Jarred Vanderbilt could be a key piece of the Minnesota Timberwolves moving forward.
The most exciting Minnesota Timberwolves player that has not been discussed enough is none other than Jarred Vanderbilt.
A McDonald’s Al-American coming out of high school, this extremely skilled big man could find himself having a major impact for the Wolves moving forward.
First and foremost, he is just 21 years old. Due primarily to injury issues in his lone year at the University of Kentucky, the former Wildcat was selected No. 41 in 2018 by the Denver Nuggets. Frankly, the only reason the Nuggets have already moved on from him is a lack of opportunity moving forward on one of the league’s best rosters.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Jarred Vanderbilt is a key piece moving forward
Vanderbilt has the ability to be an extremely high-end rebounder at the NBA level, standing 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan. He’s athletic and has solid instincts. That’s a lot of boxes to check from a defense and rebounding perspective.
Plus, he passes and sees the court at a very high level for a big man. If he can develop anything remotely average in terms of long-range shooting, he has the upside to be a legitimately solid NBA player.
Beyond consistency with his jumper, the major question mark for Vanderbilt at this point is simply, can he stay healthy? If so watch out.
He has been putting on some serious muscle recently, based on his Instagram account. During his short stint with the Iowa Wolves, he averaged 15.9 points and 12.9 rebounds per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field. Sure, it’s a small, G League sample size, but G League dominance sure doesn’t hurt in evaluating someone who can barely order a legal drink.
Look, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas is going big-game hunting, and there won’t be a ton of money left to go around. Vanderbilt is exactly the kind of player that can come at a cheap cost, with the ability to impact the game in a major way.
Every successful team needs a Jarred Vanderbilt, and it will be exciting to see him progress over the coming year. Whether that’s in Des Moines or Minneapolis, there should be minutes and opportunity for Vanderbilt to prove himself.