With the 53rd pick of the 2023 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Jaylen Clark, guard, from UCLA. Jaylen Clark is/was the best defensive player on the board in the draft, but fell due to the medical concerns and current rehab of an Achilles Tendon injury. In fact, before the injury, many NBA teams including the Minnesota Timberwolves had a lottery grade on Clark.
That often results in a very good but stacked team taking a chance on a fallen future NBA star. After all, NBA teams that are perennial NBA Playoffs participants have what they need on the roster today, and can be patient with rehabbing a young basketball player whose upside realistically is a contributor who can help that team maintain their postseason performances.
This Timberwolves roster needs wing defenders
Jaylen Clark is exactly the type of player who the Denver Nuggets would have chosen, at least when Tim Connelly was their President of Basketball Operations. Connelly still has that title, and that fine eye for NBA Draft gems, but he is using that talent to fill the Minnesota Timberwolves roster now. And so, he is what he said about his two rookie selections of the 2023 NBA Draft:
But what is the long answer? Why did the Timberwolves add another guard to the roster, particularly one that is currently ‘7-8 months away’ from being fully ready to compete on a basketball court?
There are good reasons for doing so. And yet, they may not be as obvious to everyone. So . . . Let’s discuss some reasons why he was the right choice, right now . . .