Minnesota Timberwolves: How high is Jaden McDaniels’s ceiling

Jaden McDaniels of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Jaden McDaniels of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves seemingly found a great player late in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft when they selected Jaden McDaniels with the 28th overall selection.

A forward out of Washington, McDaniels has outplayed his draft position so far, being a versatile, two-way forward that brings a variety of skills. He was projected to be a raw player that did not get much run as a rookie but has already proven that stigma wrong.

Minnesota Timberwolves: How good can Jaden McDaniels be?

This coming year, McDaniels is going to have to be a rotational player, likely as a starter. Whether that means he improves remains to be seen, but presumably it will happen given he will have a full offseason to prepare.

It will be interesting to see just how good Jaden McDaniels can become, but it’s difficult to assign expectations to him to become anything more than a high-level rotational player. As a low-volume offensive option this past season, 6.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 1.1 assists on shooting splots of 45/36/60 (3.1 3-point attempts per game).

That’s pretty good. Factor in the above-average defense, and McDaniels’s career already looks to be taking shape in Minnesota – as a high-level 3-and-D forward.

Again, though, it is important not to hope for too much – it is unlikely that McDaniels becomes a star – or possibly even a playoff-level 3-4th option. But he doesn’t need to be that in order to bring value to the Timberwolves.

So long as his shot continues to fall as well as bring good perimeter and interior defense, he will be good enough for the Timberwolves to consider him a long-term building block – someone that is good enough to be the running-mate for Karl-Anthony Towns in the frontcourt.

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Considering McDaniels was a late-first round pick, that is more than valuable. The Minnesota Timberwolves have seemingly hit on two of their 2020 first-round picks – and that’s important for the long-term health of the franchise.