Minnesota Timberwolves: 4 things to watch from Wolves young players

Anthony Edwards and Jaylen Nowell of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Anthony Edwards and Jaylen Nowell of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Jaden McDaniels
Jaden McDaniels of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves to watch: Jaden McDaniels playing with the core

This admittedly somewhat of a cop-out, but, frankly, there’s still a lot McDaniels needs to work on. He’s quite raw as a prospect despite the strides he’s taken overall.

McDaniels is a fantastic shot blocker and a good corner 3-point shooter while being a very solid defender on the perimeter, but he still fouls a lot, isn’t much of a threat on the glass, and doesn’t really create his own shot.

The most important thing for McDaniels is just getting more reps with Edwards, Towns, and Russell.

According to Cleaning the Glass, the lineup of those four, plus Rubio, is plus-38.6 over 28 possessions. While that’s obviously not a huge sample, it’s a great start!

Now, that same four but with Josh Okogie instead of Rubio? Minus-27.3 over 23 possessions. That’s … pretty bad.

But that’s what we should look for over the remaining games on the schedule. The Wolves finally have the chance to get those four on the court together at the same time and figure out who can fit best with that group. McDaniels has all the tools to become a very good starter and to be a near-perfect fit with Towns in the frontcourt.

Finch clearly wants to give him that chance, playing him nearly 30 minutes a night since the break, and he’s played over 850 possessions with Towns and Edwards (an overall minus-5.8 net rating, but that also includes his time under Ryan Saunders).

As a whole, the Wolves are plus-6.7 per 100 possessions with McDaniels on the floor this year. Put simply, the Wolves should just keep putting him out there and let him continue to figure out how he fits with the core pieces.

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It may be exciting to look ahead to the potential of a top-four pick with nothing left to play for, sure. However, the Wolves are pretty frisky right now, going 3-4 over their last seven games. Getting to see these young players develop and navigate through Finch’s offense should absolutely keep fans watching for the remainder of the season.