5 NBA players everyone should be keeping a close eye on in 2023-24

O.G. Anunoby and Fred VanVleet NBA (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
O.G. Anunoby and Fred VanVleet NBA (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Anthony Edwards, NBA
Anthony Edwards (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

3. G Anthony Edwards, Minnesota Timberwolves

The trade for Rudy Gobert didn’t offer grandiose returns. Karl-Anthony Towns’ future remains murky at best. It’s time for Anthony Edwards to seize control of the Minnesota Timberwolves on the court.

Ant-Man is entering his fourth season in the league, fresh off a season that included his first All-Star appearance. In 2022-23, Edwards averaged 24.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game, hitting 45.9 percent of his field goals and 36.9 percent of his threes – all of those numbers were career bests.

This week, Edwards revealed that he was changing his jersey number, going back to the No. 5 he wore in high school and college. The impact of such a move is often overstated, but it can’t be forgotten that Edwards wore that number when he developed into a first-overall pick at a school not known for basketball, the University of Georgia.

Edwards is already a confident player, one who can score with ease when he attacks the rim. He attempted nearly 500 shots at the rim last year, according to Basketball Reference, and may try pushing that even higher.

His ability to be a player who can improve both himself and his team could be on full display this summer. He’s competing with Team USA for the first time, set to play in the FIBA World Cup later in the month.

Gobert and Towns are towering pillars of the Timberwolves, but this year, all eyes should be on Edwards and his development. It could be the difference between a deep postseason push or the disassembling of a team.