Edwards showed in the playoffs this past season that he is ready to take the lead of being the primary scorer whenever he needs to step up, as he and Karl-Anthony Towns have offensive games that mesh very well together.
Edwards averaged over 25 points on over 45 percent shooting from the field in the Wolves’ first-round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies, proving that he has the ability to be a three-level scorer in the NBA.
With the Timberwolves expected to compete for one of the top spots in the Western Conference, expect Edwards to really take that leap and make his first ever All-Star Game. NBA expert picks suggest Edwards should be the favorite.
Tyrese Haliburton is another candidate to take home the award, as he is entering his first full season with the Indiana Pacers after being acquired from the Sacramento Kings in a deal that sent Domantas Sabonis out west. It’s rare a player at his level would already play for two NBA teams in his career.
Kings Huge Mistake
Many thought that the Kings made a huge mistake, as he’s still very young and possesses all the intangibles to be an elite guard in the league with his ability to score the rock and set his teammates up for good looks.
If Haliburton can help the Pacers shock the world and get them to playoff contention, then Haliburton could end up taking this award.
RJ Barrett also looms as a potential candidate to take home this award, as it appears he’s on the verge of really breaking out into a star in the NBA.
NBA player stats show Barrett averaged 20 points per game this past season on nearly 41 percent shooting while also showing flashes of potential as a guy who can be a good all-around player out on the wings.
If the New York Knicks can shock the world and get themselves back to the playoffs and Barrett takes that look New Yorkers have been waiting to see, he could very well end up winning this award.
Fellow Knick Jalen Brunson is also a candidate to take home this award, as he is coming off a postseason performance with the Dallas Mavericks that saw him put up 40-point games and become adept at finding his own shots in the mid-range and near the rim.
Brunson has been compared to Fred VanVleet a lot, so if Brunson can continue to step his game up and establish himself as the elite point guard the Knicks have been seeking, Brunson could take home this award and an All-Star appearance.
Cade Cunningham is entering his second season in the league, so it’s rare to see second-year players end up taking home this award.
However, Cunningham is already proving to be an elite guard with a bigger frame that can score in a multitude of ways while making each and every one of his teammates better out there on the floor.
If Cunningham can help lead the Detroit Pistons back to the playoffs ahead of schedule, then there will definitely be a case for him to win this award.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also looms as a potential candidate, as he’s yet to make an All-Star Game despite averaging nearly 25 points per game on extreme efficiency.
Main Option for the Playoffs
The next step for SGA is to help lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to the playoffs as the main option, as he’s only gotten there with Chris Paul being his teammate during the 2019-20 season.
SGA is already well-proven, though, so it’s unlikely he wins this award unless he brings OKC to the playoffs.
Jordan Poole is coming off a breakout season where he established himself as the third “Splash Brother” with the Golden State Warriors.
However, it’s highly unlikely he will win this award, as his role will not require him to do any heavy lifting whatsoever.
A dark-horse candidate could very well be Tyrese Maxey, as he may be tasked to take on more of a scoring load, with James Harden preferring to be more of a playmaker at this point in his career.