Minnesota Timberwolves wing Jarrett Culver can’t be written off yet. He needs a chance.
Minnesota Timberwolves fans, it’s confession time.
Yours truly, a former Texas Tech student, was all aboard the Darius Garland hype train.
When he was drafted by Cleveland, I still didn’t want the Red Raider’s Jarrett Culver, so my thoughts quickly turned towards Coby White. Alas, the Wolves ended up with Culver anyway.
Culver was not highly touted out of High School in Lubbock, Texas, but quickly found himself as the face of a program playing for the National Championship. There is no coincidence there.
Often referred to as the hardest worker in program history at TTU, he had to be quite literally forced out of the gym. A true gym rat, of which Wolves fans have been reminded during the NBA’s pandemic-induced lockdown.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Jarrett Culver has a bright future
Look, did he have the year we all hoped for? Of course not. Just 40 percent from the field, 29 percent from 3-point range, and a terrible 46 percent from the free throw line. That is about as concerning as it comes from a shooting guard. And it’s not like his form is perfect, either. It needs plenty of work.
But by no means should you write off Culver. He isn’t a five-star recruit drafted off pure talent (cough cough, Andrew Wiggins). This is someone who has earned everything he has gotten thus far.
And after the trade deadline, he quickly improved in just about every single category, averaging nearly 47 percent from the field and nearly 43 percent from three. Talk about a huge improvement. Sure, it was a small sample size, but we live in a world where many of these teenagers and early 20-somethings are coming into the league and immediately averaging 20+ a game.
Let’s not forget, this is the highest level of basketball in the world, and sometimes it takes these guys a few years. Just ask Kawhi Leonard. Sure, that is an extreme case, but let’s give this guy the opportunity to improve.
Work ethic, check. Athleticism, check. After the deadline the expectations have quickly shifted for Culver, the Wolves need him to be a defensive anchor, which he has absolutely shown signs of being capable of. The future is the brightest it has been in quite some time thanks to Gersson Rosas and Co. D’Angelo Russel, Karl-Anthony Towns, Malik Beasley, and yes … Culver.
He is an extremely valuable part of what Minnesota is trying to accomplish, and his improvements, while subtle and slower than most would like, will prove to be extremely valuable in the years to come as this young franchise looks to build a contender.
Let’s all take a moment and celebrate how far this franchise has come in the past 12 months, and look ahead to the exceedingly bright future that lies ahead.