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

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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I: Jaylen Clark has an opportunity to ramp up to the NBA level

The very nature of an NBA Two-Way contract is ideally suited for a player who has suffered a major injury. While it offers some financial insulation for the NBA team, it also unlocks a wide range of support and coaching resources to the afflicted player.  Best of all, the path for SG Jaylen Clark now almost certainly includes gradually increasing minutes with the Minnesota Timberwolves G-League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves.

The Timberwolves and Wolves hold a very close and symbiotic relationship, each serving as an outward expression of the other. The Iowa Wolves manage and develop those Timberwolves players who are either not yet healthy enough or not yet refined enough to compete at the NBA level on a regular basis. The Wolves are able to dedicate far more coaching and patience to help players to get back on track to an NBA career.

You go back, Jack, do it again

The Timberwolves become the fountain of talent for the Iowa Wolves, committing both young drafted rookies and Two-Way contracted players to the Iowa Wolves roster for more playing minutes and for a greater one-on-one coaching experience. That is what Jaylen Clark is aiming for now, a lighter version of NBA basketball for the next year or so, which will allow him to compete at his pace without impacting his NBA career.

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While it may feel like a bit of a surrender to some, this is perhaps the optimal scenario for Clark. The greatest challenge for Clark after getting medical clearance to play basketball is to relearn to trust his injured ankle and to gain so much confidence that his play becomes second nature and instinctive once more.

Returning from an Achilles Tendon injury, while doable, takes a great deal of patience, coaching, and time. Now that he is on a Two-Way contract, Jaylen Clark will have ample amounts of everything that is needed to ensure that he gets his NBA career off to a fantastic start.