Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Draft 2020 Prospect Profile: Devin Vassell

Devin Vassell of the the Florida State Seminoles. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
Devin Vassell of the the Florida State Seminoles. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Devin Vassell
Devin Vassell of the Florida State Seminoles. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Devin Vassell might be the perfect 3-and-D draft prospect, and he is one of a few attractive trade-back options for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2020 NBA Draft.

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a pair of stars in Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell.

The Wolves’ two biggest shortcomings last season as a team were defense (No. 21 in defensive rating and No. 28 in opponent points per game) and 3-point shooting (No. 3 in attempts per game but No. 28 in percentage).

Put simply, it’s obvious that the Wolves need to find players who A) fit with Russell and Towns, and B) contribute positively to one of those two areas of need.

While the Wolves won’t be taking a 3-and-D, role-player-type prospect with the No. 1 overall pick, there are enough players fitting that bill in this year’s draft that Minnesota could target one with a trade back. Not only that, they need to be prepared for their selection at No. 17.

That brings us to Devin Vassell, perhaps the best 3-and-D prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Devin Vassell NBA Draft 2020 Prospect Profile: Strengths

Vassell is the rare 3-and-D player who is legitimately great at both aspects of the equation.

Defensively, Vassell’s size (6-foot-7 with a 6-foot-10 wingspan) and lateral quickness were enough to lock down virtually everyone he guarded last year at Florida State. He’s long and athletic enough to recover and challenge shots even if he is beat, which doesn’t happen often.

Vassell is an incredibly intelligent player on both ends of the floor. Defensively, that means he anticipates the action exceptionally well, and he is an outstanding team defender. His size and athleticism allow him to effectively guard his man and almost play “free safety” at the same time, forcing opposing offenses to consider where he is at all times.

Outside of the occasional gamble, Vassell plays passing lanes perfectly and knows when to rotate and when to simply stunt at opposing shooters — qualities that the wings on the Wolves’ current roster simply have not grasped to this point.

Offensively, Vassell shot 41.7 percent on 168 3-point attempts over two years at Florida State. He’s an all-around solid shooter with good form. Most of his makes came as a spot-up shooter, and while he has room to improve in catch-and-shoot situations when coming off screens, that 40-plus percent mark from deep doesn’t lie.

His offensive game in the half-court is largely limited to spot-up shooting, but his length, athleticism, and deadly jumper also play in the open floor. Additionally, his aforementioned awareness and intelligence make him a strong passer who rarely makes the wrong decision with the ball in his hands.

Also, and this cannot be undersold, Devin Vassell plays hard all the time on both ends of the floor. That’s a quality that simply can’t be taught.