Why Timberwolves signing Jaylen Clark to Two-Way contract was the right move

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Minnesota Timberwolves Timberwolves Roster Timberwolves News Jaylen Clark
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III: Removes pressure to rehab quickly

The Minnesota Timberwolves roster was ravaged by a number of injuries, but minor and major, in the 2022-23 NBA season. As a result, it appears that the Timberwolves front office has a higher confidence level in dealing with player injuries. The truth of the matter is that UCLA shooting guard Jaylen Clark, before his injury, was projected to be a lottery pick in Round 1.

After all, he is considered the best pure defender in the 2023 NBA Draft class, and the popularity and value of a wing defender, also known as a 3-and-D player, has only grown in the NBA over the years. The value of Jaylen Clark if he can reclaim his pre-injury form is off the charts for the Timberwolves.

So there is every incentive in the world for both the Timberwolves and Jaylen Clark to ensure that he rehabs wisely, and at a sustainable pace.

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Don’t rush me

A year ago, that was not the case. Because the Minnesota Timberwolves roster had suffered so many injuries, many of which overlapped at times. Several players had to absorb more minutes than originally expected. And injured players tried to rush back and play even as their performance was noticeably and adversely affected by pain.

We know that Rudy Gobert suited up to compete in games despite suffering back spasms, simply because the team need him to help take some of the minutes off backup center Naz Reid. We also know that starting shooting guard Anthony Edwards suited up for a half dozen or so games when injured, despite leaving the game early and suffering poor performances as a result.

A rookie is too far down on the totem pole to say “I’m not ready,” so the Timberwolves wisely eliminated the temptation to suit him up too quickly.