Will Timberwolves finally see what Wendell Moore Jr. can do this season?

Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The challenge for any rookie trying to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves is a matter of opportunity. The matter of opportunity for rookie shooting guard Wendell Moore Jr. in the 2022-23 NBA was a bit sparse.  While he did see action in 29 games, and even started two games for the Timberwolves, his average of 5.3 minutes per game was abysmally light.

The challenge for Wendell Moore Jr. was not the fact that he couldn’t play. Rather, he was buried on a depth chart behind veterans like Anthony Edwards, Jaylen Nowell, Austin Rivers, Bryn Forbes, and even Nickeil Alexander-Walker. That made getting meaningful minutes a difficult task.

Moore was not added to the Timberwolves roster willy-nilly. He packed an arsenal of valued attributes that made him a valued rookie prospect, particularly on the defensive half of the basketball court:

The challenge for the Timberwolves and for Moore is the fact that rookies need playing time to improve, and the Minnesota Timberwolves roster, thanks to so many injuries to players in the front court, simply did not have the time to spare to develop Moore last season.

Moore has more to contribute

That resulted in frequent assignments of Wendell Moore Jr. to the Timberwolves G-League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves. While playing for the Iowa Wolves, Moore averaged 31.4 minutes, 19.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.0 blocks per game. While impressive, his perimeter shot was no better than 29.8 percent accurate, which was likely a stumbling block to his getting more time in Timberwolves rotations.

Will we see more of Wendell Moore Jr. this season?

I certainly look for that. As he refines that perimeter shot, I can see him filling either a Nickeil Alexander-Walker-type role or even sliding over to absorb some minutes in a hybrid point guard type of role. At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, he even has the natural size and wingspan to fill in at small forward in a pinch.

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