The Minnesota Timberwolves need lots of talent. Bringing in high floor players, especially later on in the draft, would be really nice. If they decide to take a swing, though, Jaden McDaniels might be a good option.
Jaden McDaniels would be an intriguing player for the Minnesota Timberwolves. As an athletic forward with lots of size and shooting potential, he brings one of the highest ceilings in this draft class. Whether he is able to achieve that ceiling is another issue, though.
This past year as a freshman for Washington, McDaniels averaged 13 points, six rebounds, and two assists on shooting splits of 41/34/76. After entering the season as a consensus top-15 recruit, McDaniels had a somewhat disappointing season next to fellow five-star recruit Isaiah Stewart.
Offensively, there is a lot that could translate with McDaniels. First, the shot upside is real. For a 6-foot-10 forward with a 7-foot-plus wingspan, he could be one of the better stretch-fours in the NBA. Though his efficiency was somewhat inconsistent beyond the arc, McDaniels does have overall decent form with the FT-numbers to project him to be a reliable shooter at the next level.
The issue with McDaniels offensively is due to a combination of him being very, very weak as well as an inability to either create separation or score at the rim consistently. As of right now, he weighs just over 200 pounds which is just very poor for a player of his size. At the college level (especially playing in the PAC-12 conference), shooting just over 50-percent from the rim is just not good. It is understandable that McDaniels is a more perimeter centric scorer, but being that poor with elite size and above-average athleticism does not bode well for his chances of being much of a threat at an even higher level.
In terms of defense, again, McDaniels just is not going to give you much merely due to his total lack of muscle. Should he put on significant weight, he may be able to at least be adequate. However, as it stands right now, he is absolutely going to be a negative on that end of the floor.
Fit with Timberwolves
Jaden McDaniels is an interesting prospect, especially when you talk about his potential fit with Karl-Anthony Towns. IDeally, Minnesota would want a player that can give them above-average defense as well as solid, consistent perimeter shooting. Right now, it only looks as though McDaniels will be able to do one of those things, and it will be interesting to see if he can even shoot at a high-clip.
McDaniels would be an interesting PnR-roll man although again, his lack of finishing at the rim may negate this ability a little bit. Despite being a high-ceiling player, McDaniels’s floor is infinitely lower than, say, Tyler Bey or Robert Woodard — and that is not to say he could eventually become better than either of those players.
McDaniels gives Bruno Caboclo vibes. He’s two years away from being two years away. He may be considered a first-round pick because of what he theoretically may eventually bring to a basketball team, but it is absolutely difficult trying to see him live up to that so-called potential.