Minnesota Timberwolves must extend Jaden McDaniels

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves are a team with dual personalities. This is a team that has committed significant future resources to win in the present, a gamble that appears at risk of falling short thanks to the untimely and prolonged injury to veteran power forward/center Karl-Anthony Towns.

Of course, pitfalls happen to even the best-laid plans.

Duality is a common theme for this Timberwolves roster, as the team can go toe-to-toe with some of the best teams in the NBA. But if a team is just going through the motions and already planning their NBA Draft Lottery strategy, then the Timberwolves seem to slump their shoulders and become far less determined and competitive.

Jaden McD plays capital D

But even as the fans and coaching staff try to determine which version of the Timberwolves will show up in the next game, there is some comfort in knowing that the team can count on small forward Jaden McDaniels to show up and play hard-nosed NBA defense. In fact, he continues to perform among the NBA’s best weak-side rim protectors in the league:

And you simply cannot find that type of elite NBA defense easily.  For a real treat, check out this expose’ on Jaden McDaniels from Britt Robson. He covers McDaniels in an entertaining deep-dive that truly explains just how valuable he is to the franchise.

But how effective is he on defense? Let’s take a look at what he has done against some of the NBA’s most elite shooters this season:

The Minnesota Timberwolves may not be as dominant as they have needed to be this season, but this team certainly has the makings of an NBA powerhouse. With the team toggling between NBA veterans like Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns and young future NBA stars like Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels, the team not only can compete today but has the star power to compete for years to come.

Of course, that only happens if the team extends their young stars. We are somewhat confident that the team will do so with Anthony Edwards. But the team will have some subjectivity when valuing a contract offer to Jaden McDaniels. And that will be even more crucial as the team looks to extend center Naz Reid. Can it be done? Yes. Will it be done? That’s a good question.

More. Timberwolves that must play well to avoid missing playoffs. light

In my mind, the Minnesota Timberwolves must extend Jaden McDaniels. No question about it.