The Minnesota Timberwolves seemingly got a steal when they selected Jaden McDaniels with a late-first round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He’s been one of the better selections of the entire draft, perhaps being the best overall power forward – even ahead of New York Knicks rookie Obi Toppin.
The Timberwolves, who have been struggling this season to find a way to win basketball games, have found two rookies that will seemingly be a part of their long-term core. The first, Anthony Edwards, was the first-overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. His impacts have been nothing short of amazing.
The second, however, is Jaden McDaniels, who was selected with the 28th overall pick in 2020 out of Washington.
McDaniels is averaging seven points, four rebounds, and one assist per game this season on strong splits of 44/37/61. McDaniels has proven to be a good rotational player at minimum, starting 25 games for the Timberwolves this season so far. He is an excellent fit alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, and it will be interesting to see how he progresses.
One of the more disappointing rookies this season has been the Knicks’s Obi Toppin.
Toppin, selected with the 8th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, is only averaging four points per game as an older rookie – 22-years-old. Toppin is stuck behind Julius Randle in the rotation, and only averages 11 minutes per game.
Toppin, the AP Player of the Year in 2020 for college basketball, still has the potential to be very good, but he has not lived up to the lottery pick he was selected with.
There are several reasons McDaniels is going to end up being a better selection.