Warriors target Anthony Edwards compared to two NBA stars by Tom Crean

Drew Shiller
·3 min read

Warriors target Edwards compared to two NBA stars by Tom Crean originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Warriors possess the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and several mock drafts have Golden State selecting Anthony Edwards if the 6-foot-5 guard is available.

During Edwards' one season of college basketball at Georgia, he was coached by Tom Crean.

You know who else played for Crean? That would be Dwyane Wade (at Marquette) and Victor Oladipo (at Indiana).

"The thing that’s a separator for me, if I’ve got to sum it up -- outside of all the talent and upside -- is that Anthony is one of the greatest teammates I’ve had the privilege of coaching," Crean recently told Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo. "The way he cares about others, how engaging and involved he is with them.

"For a young man, he’s got an incredible level of empathy. I don’t try to make comparisons so much when I’ve coached Dwyane Wade and Victor Oladipo. But when you look at their talent level mixed with what kind of teammates they are, what kind of empathy they have as human beings, that’s where I see tremendous similarities.

"Different backgrounds, different pathways, but the teammate quality to go with the talent, it’s there. It just needs to be brought out in him now."

That's some high praise, as Wade will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in a couple of years, and Oladipo (who was the No. 2 overall pick in 2013) was an All-Star in 2018 and 2019.

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Warriors owner Joe Lacob, president of basketball operations Bob Myers and coach Steve Kerr reportedly watched Edwards work out last week, and met with him as well.

"Edwards’ exceptional athleticism jumped out in person," The Athletic's Marcus Thompson writes. "He seemed to really impress the Warriors with his freakishness."

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When the 19-year-old scored 33 points in the second half against Michigan State last November, Golden State assistant general manager Larry Harris was sitting courtside in Maui.

There are some concerns about Edwards' basketball IQ and defensive commitment, but Crean is confident Edwards will thrive at the next level.

"There’s no question he’s got to get better with understanding what a good shot is," he explained to Woo. "But he had to take some of those shots for us because we only shot 30 percent from three. We needed [him] to score.

"The thing he needs to learn to trust is the value of catch-and-shoot, whether you’re spotted up or spacing and moving. He’s gotta continue to work hard on his footwork and his release. Does he have to get to the rim more? Can he be more balanced on his pull-up and step-back? Yes, and I think he will.

"It’s all part of the maturation process."

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