The Minnesota Timberwolves put in a solid night of work during the 2023 NBA Draft. Going into draft night with only one pick at 53rd overall, Timberwolves President Tim Connelly put together a trade with the San Antonio Spurs that allowed them to move up in the draft.
Minnesota gave up two future second-rounders to acquire the 33rd pick in the draft, which they used to select G League Ignite standout Leonard Miller. This move looks to be a massive success for the Wolves, as they were able to pick up what is essentially a first-round talent in the second round of the draft.
Miller joins the Timberwolves after being ranked as a five-star recruit in the 2022 high school class. Rather than play in college, Miller opted to get experience playing at the professional level for a year. As a result, he could turn out to be a very valuable pickup for Minnesota.
Leonard Miller’s professional experience is a big boost.
Anytime a player has been able to experience playing a full season against other professionals before entering the NBA, it always bodes well for their development. This is especially true if that player thrived while playing in that setting, which is the case for Leonard Miller.
In 30 minutes per game with the Ignite in 2022-23, Miller put up 18 points per game and showed off his scoring efficiency with a 56% shooting mark for the season. He played well within his role, and grew as a player significantly over the course of this past season.
Overall, Miller projects as a versatile forward that could be useful in a variety of ways for Minnesota. At 6-foot-10, his skillset is somewhat similar to former Timberwolf Jarred Vanderbilt, and he could ultimately become a upgraded version of Vando for the Wolves.
Leonard Miller can be a better version of Jarred Vanderbilt.
Miller enters the NBA already two inches taller than Jarred Vanderbilt. He is an energy player that fights hard for rebounds, hustles in transition, and does a lot of little things that help a team be successful.
Like Vanderbilt, Miller is a defensive-minded player who moves his feet well and should be able to effectively guard multiple positions at the NBA level. Being a versatile defender will increase Miller’s chances of getting on the floor quicker with the Timberwolves.
In addition, Miller is just scratching the surface when it comes to his offensive game. His dribbling skills and ability to score off the bounce are already there, but there is still much room for improvement.
There is a very good chance we look back at the Timberwolves’ draft night trade for Leonard Miller as a huge steal. His upside on both ends of the floor make him an extremely interesting prospect, and there is certainly a path for him to become a highly impactful player.