There were many players on the Minnesota Timberwolves that had a disappointing season. Juan Hernangomez was one of those players following him signing a three-year contract with the team this past offseason.
Juan Hernangomez had decent expectations this year – many wanted him to become a solid rotational piece – especially given he was now 25 years old on his second contract.
Minnesota Timberwolves season grades: Juan Hernangomez
In the 14 games Hernangomez played in a Timberwolves jersey in 2019-20, he averaged 13 points on 42-percent from three. He was a great shooter, which led general manager Gersson Rosas to give him a $21 million deal.
Hernangomez averaged 7.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 0.7 assists on splits of 44/33/62. Known as s stretch-four, the lack of high-level shooting Juancho was signed for really derailed his season.
It came down to this: When Hernangomez’s shot was falling, he was everything the Timberwolves needed (and more). When it wasn’t he was unplayable.
Earning only 17 minutes per game this past year, Hernangomez did not, in fact, solve the power forward problem for the Timberwolves. His lack of success did, however, lead to the discovery of both Jaden McDaniels and Jarred Vanderbilt, who proved to be at least playable (in McDaniels case, a really good rotational player).
The main issue with Hernangomez was that his defense was legitimately some of the worst in the league. He could not stick with anyone on the perimeter, does not have the verticality to defend inside, and was not switchable. The Timberwolves, already a poor defensive team, could not afford to have him on the floor for long stretches of time.
It would be one thing if Hernangomez meshed well with the Timberwolves’ core group of players, but net points per 100 possessions went down significanly when he shared the floro with D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, or Malik Beasley, while it only improved slightly when Juancho shared the floor with Karl-Anthony Towns.
Season grade: F
Juan Hernangomez, put simply, was not good last year. He disappointed based on his expectations and did not fill the role he was expected to fill. Hopefully he is able to turn it around in the future – but I would look at him as a possible trade piece this offseason.