So far, our on-the-bubble players are showing up on this list because they are struggling to show up better than expectations, and younger players who are in the talent pipeline are pushing them hard to get more playing time next season. I don’t think that is the case for shooting guard Jaylen Nowell. In fact, I’m certain of it.
Quite honestly, the opposite may be true. This is shooting guard Jaylen Nowell’s fourth, and finest, season in the NBA. He has taken a step forward this year, appearing in all 61 games, averaging 19.7 minutes, 11.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. While his perimeter shooting has fallen to a near-career low of 29.6 percent, he has truly upped his game to the point where he is arguably ready to take on a starting role in the NBA next season.
Has Nowell outgrown his Timberwolves role?
There is a problem with that. There is no way he takes starts away from Minnesota Timberwolves star shooting guard Anthony Edwards. There is not even a chance that the team moves him up to the small forward position, because Jaden McDaniels is firmly entrenched there.
Nowell is a prime example of a player who is pot-bound. He has outplayed his role and budgeted salary slot on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster. Unless he is willing to give up earnings potential and sign with the Timberwolves on a deep hometown discount, he will have plenty of interest if he tests the NBA Free Agent market.
However, he is a good candidate for a potential sign-and-trade scenario as he would be very wise to protect future maximum earnings by ensuring that his Bird Rights are retained. The Timberwolves would be wise to consider this as well, as it could net them future assets like a player or draft picks that could become pieces to their own quest for an NBA Championship team.