Minnesota Timberwolves Interview: Jordan McLaughlin on career path, rookie season

Jordan McLaughlin of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Jordan McLaughlin of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Jordan McLaughlin
LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 8: Jordan McLaughlin #26 of the Minnesota Timberwolves plays in Las Vegas Summer League. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Working for a real chance

After the draft, McLaughlin signed a Summer League contract with the Brooklyn Nets and received an invite to training camp. McLaughlin spent the entirety of the 2018-19 season playing for the Long Island Nets of the NBA G League, the Brooklyn Nets’ affiliate team.

In 39 games, including 16 as a starter, McLaughlin averaged 15 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.6 steals in 29.1 minutes per game for Long Island.

This past summer, McLaughlin played for Minnesota’s Las Vegas Summer League entry and played well enough to sign a two-way contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

BH: What were your thoughts on signing the two-way deal with the Wolves?

JM: “I thought it would be a great place for me to grow and develop and they liked what I was able to do on the floor and thought I would be a perfect fit to help grow and develop from a personal standpoint and also help their organization, especially with the G-League team.”

BH: Current Timberwolves coach and offensive coordinator Pablo Prigioni was a part of the Brooklyn Nets organization last season. Was there some familiarity there that made things a bit easier?

Pablo and I worked briefly in Brooklyn before I was on the Brooklyn Nets G-League team, but I was able to talk to him and pick his brain on what it takes to become a back up point guard in the NBA.

With improved play during his second season in the G-League, playing for the Iowa Wolves, McLaughlin earned a chance at the with the NBA squad after an early season injury to then backup point guard Shabazz Napier. In a short, four-game opportunity, McLaughlin averaged 2.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2 assists per game on 26.7 percent shooting in 14 minutes per game.

BH: After a slow start with the Timberwolves, how did you feel about where you stood?

JM: “Felt fine. Just continued to keep learning and growing and becoming more comfortable and figuring out ways that I could help the team.”

Over the next two months, McLaughlin only saw action at the NBA level twice, both against the Golden State Warriors. The first game was an impressive 19-point showing in 22 minutes. The second game was a scoreless performance in 15 minutes.