4 young players Timbewolves should develop, 3 to give up on

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves Timberwolves roster Jordan McLaughlin Nickeil Alexander-Walker
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VI: Give up on PG Jordan McLaughlin

The Minnesota Timberwolves needed help throughout the 2022-23 NBA season at the point guard position. Unfortunately, backup point guard Jordan McLaughlin was either injured or ineffective. That was more than a minor inconvenience for the Timberwolves roster, as it forced the team to repurpose both forward Kyle Anderson and shooting guard Anthony Edwards from their established roles to make up the difference.

Since arriving in the NBA some four seasons ago, Jordan McLaughlin has regressed across the board. From fewer points to fewer steals to less accurate shooting, McLaughlin is wilting on the Timberwolves roster before our very eyes. The team finally pulled the plug on the slow drain and signed a new backup point guard in Shake Milton.  While some may hold out hope for a resurging Jordan McLaughlin to put points and assists at career highs this season, I think it is more likely that the Timberwolves already have plans to replace him on the 2024 NBA season roster.

V: Develop SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker

When the Timberwolves entered Round 1 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs with two key contributors injured and unavailable, shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker not only stepped into a vacated role but stepped up his play. The Timberwolves appeared to add NAW as an afterthought at the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline, as a sidekick to veteran PG Mike Conley Jr.

While the Minnesota Timberwolves are the third NBA team that Alexander-Walker is playing for, I believe that he has found his home. After all, he was able to quickly pivot in the final 23 games of the 2022-23 NBA season to put up some solid production for the Timberwolves last season. This year, with a full preseason and season ahead of him, I look for the Timberwolves to entrust him with a far larger role in the rotation.  He has the ability to space the floor, defend the perimeter, and sink shots from almost anywhere, all of which were noticeably absent from the Timberwolves roster in the early going last season.

Because he is just 24 years of age, he has plenty of years ahead in his NBA career. So it makes sense for the Timberwolves to work on developing him even further.