Reason III: McDaniels showing up
For the Minnesota Timberwolves, young small forward Jaden McDaniels has been one of the more valued players on the Timberwolves roster. He has been a defensive dynamo, a player who just makes scoring a very difficult matter altogether for any opponent who he locks onto on the basketball court.
But the team, and Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch, pulled no punches in the offseason, as the team set a pretty high bar for the forward in the offseason. In fact, McDaniels was one of the players who the Utah Jazz named specifically as a requirement to make the trade for center Rudy Gober happen, and the Timberwolves refused. Instead, the Timberwolves kicked in one more first-round draft pick.
McDaniels is more than defense now
McDaniels is now in his third NBA season, the point in a basketball player’s career where the game truly begins to slow down, and his prowess is beginning to shine through on more than the defensive half of the basketball court. In fact, his seasonal scoring average is up two points per game this season, but his scoring for the month of January 2023 is averaging three points higher than his seasonal average.
Jaden McDaniels is still delivering on defense. In fact, his defensive play has never been better. He is more attuned to the flow of the game, and that has helped him to pick his spots over when to show smother defense and when to throttle back to avoid unnecessary penalties. Now, he’s added scoring and assists to his game, which is making him a very dangerous weapon on the Timberwolves roster, indeed.