The Minnesota Timberwolves just might have found themselves a long-term solution at backup point guard. We had a wide-ranging conversation with Jordan McLaughlin on his rookie season and more.
Jordan McLaughlin fought his way into the Minnesota Timberwolves rotation as a two-way player, and he’s here to stay.
McLaughlin is no stranger to hard work and understands both his role and what he brings to the table. I talked with Jordan about his basketball journey, what he has left to prove, and his time with the Wolves so far.
Career before the NBA
Coming out of Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga, California, 5-foot-11 point guard Jordan McLaughlin committed to USC as a four-star recruit and the nation’s No. 41-ranked player, according to ESPN’s Top 100.
Turning down offers from Kansas, UCLA, and Indiana, McLaughlin chose to stay near home and play for the Trojans.
Brendan Hedtke: What led to your decision to stay close to home and attend USC?
Jordan McLaughlin: I felt that USC was a better fit for me. With the new coaching change of coach [Andy] Enfield and adding some assistant coaches like Jason Hart and Tony Bland, two L.A. guys that played professionally at my position who could help me get to the next level. I also like the style of play coach Enfield wanted to play, which was run and gun and pick and roll offense. It fit me well.
The off-the-court benefits that came with USC such as their alumni system is one of the best ever.
BH: You had four consistent years at the collegiate level and received All-Pac 12 First Team honors as a senior before declaring for the 2018 NBA Draft. After going through the pre-draft process, did you think you had a chance to get selected?
JM: I did not declare until my fourth year and I did about, I think it was 11 to 13 pre-draft workouts and I was told I could possibly get drafted, maybe late in the second round, but could be undrafted.
BH: How did you feel after going undrafted?
Added fuel to the fire. Fell short [of] achieving my childhood dream. Didn’t mean it was over, just meant I had to work harder. I said I would do G League for a year and see where it would take me before I headed overseas. I figure I would find success wherever I play. I know how hard I work and how much work I put in and I know that it will eventually pay off wherever I would end up.