The offseason is in full swing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and fans are fixated on the young talent competing for the Wolves at the NBA Summer League. After a very solid draft night, Minnesota compiled a deep roster to represent the franchise in Las Vegas.
Once again, General Manager Tim Connelly took the extra steps to make sure the Timberwolves maximized their opportunities and left draft night with more than just a 53rd overall pick. He executed a trade with the San Antonio Spurs that allowed Minnesota to acquire the 33rd overall pick as well, and it only cost them two future second-rounders.
With the Timberwolves on the clock, they selected G League Ignite standout Leonard Miller with the 33rd pick. Miller had been projected by many as a first-round prospect, so Connelly’s move was rightfully lauded on draft night. But now that Summer League is in full swing, we are seeing that Minnesota may have just pulled off the biggest steal in the entire 2023 draft.
Leonard Miller may be the biggest steal of the 2023 NBA Draft.
Shortly after the draft, we compared Leonard Miller’s abilities to that of a young Jarred Vanderbilt, and it is a comparison that has only gained traction. Miller is a big, versatile wing that brings a lot of useful abilities to the floor. He was originally looked at as a defensive prospect first, but his game has grown significantly.
Like Vanderbilt, Miller is quick laterally and moves his feet well on defense. He is already capable of guarding players of varying size and skillsets. On the glass, Miller is a bull and gobbles up rebounds from opposing post players. It is easy to see why he has oft been compared to the former Timberwolf.
Miller’s offensive game may not be quite as developed, but it is not far behind. On Monday, he led the Summer League Wolves with 20 points while knocking down numerous jumpers off the dribble. He is already seeing that part of his game grow tremendously as well.
Leonard Miller may see the floor with the Timberwolves sooner than expected.
All this is evidence to the fact that Leonard Miller is already looking like an NBA-ready prospect. It is becoming increasingly stunning that the Timberwolves were able to find him in the second round of the draft, and he will certainly make the teams that passed on him regret it soon.
In fact, many are wondering if he could end up earning significant minutes with the Minnesota Timberwolves in his first NBA season. Rookies, especially second-round picks, do not typically see the floor much in their first season, but Miller may just be talented enough to crack Head Coach Chris Finch’s rotation right away.
His experience playing against professionals with the G League Ignite should help him in that regard. And of course, it will all depend on what he shows in practice with the big league squad. Minnesota has already officially signed the second-round draft pick to a four-year, $8.3 million rookie contract, and it is unlikely he will be converted to a two-way at any point.
Leonard Miller is certainly set up to become one of the highest-value picks to come out of the 2023 NBA Draft. Time will tell, but the possibility that he could be the single biggest steal in his class is only growing larger.