The rise of Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Jordan McLaughlin

Jordan McLaughlin of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
Jordan McLaughlin of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Jordan McLaughlin has become a fan-favorite as he’s proven himself time and again this season.

The beauty of Minnesota Timberwolves two-way point guard Jordan McLaughlin‘s game is that he stays in his lane, doesn’t try to do much, doesn’t make mistakes, and just does everything generally well.  McLaughlin is happy to take a three when it is a good shot, he can slither his way into the paint for an easy layup, and he is happy to set up his teammates.

McLaughlin is averaging 7.6 points per game on a reliable 48.1% field goal percentage while shooting 38.6% from three. He is also top-five in the NBA with a 4.1 assist to turnover ratio.

McLaughlin has even won over coach Ryan Saunders by demonstrating some great leadership qualities. Chris Hines of the Star Tribune quoted Saunders saying the following:

"“He has leadership qualities that are qualities you’re born with. He has an ability to connect with people, an ability to connect with his teammates and try to relay things to them that maybe us as coaches may not be able to convey to them.”"

Jordan McLaughlin’s road to the NBA is a humble one that took a lot of patience.

The rookie guard stayed all four years and started almost every game for the USC Trojans in a relatively successful college career.  J-Mac proceeded to go undrafted as he made his way to the NBA in 2018.

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The Brooklyn Nets signed him to a training camp deal but waived him before the season started.  From there he played on Brooklyn’s G-League team the Long Island Nets.

In the offseason McLaughlin made his way onto the Minnesota Timberwolves’ roster on a two-way deal. He played the beginning of the season in the G-League and didn’t get his first opportunity to play with the Timberwolves until the November 6th game against the Memphis Grizzlies when the Wolves were missing Jeff Teague and Shabazz Napier due to injuries.

He stayed with the Wolves for the next three games but didn’t play at a noteworthy level as he adjusted to the NBA.  After another brief couple of games here and there (both against Golden State), he was called up for good after the Wolves traded Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham for Allen Crabbe.

He gave the Wolves some steady performances after the Teague trade, however, it wasn’t until the Wolves traded Shabazz Napier that the young guard started his rise.

On February 5th McLaughlin first showed the Wolves what he could be as he scored 15 points on a 7-for-15 shooting night paired with 7 assists.

The following night he led the newly-revamped Wolves into a dominant performance over the LA Clippers where he scored 24 points on a stellar 11-for-15 shooting night while also dropping 11 assists.

Since then he’s seen a gradual uptick in his role as he shares the same position as Wolves star D’Angelo Russell, showing flashes in the form of breakout games when Russell misses time. The two point guards have even been playing together lately, which has resulted in some really productive offense.

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McLaughlin has solved Minnesota’s backup point guard spot for the foreseeable future the Wolves fans, especially this one, are incredibly stoked to watch him continue to grow.