Jaden McDaniels has been selected 28th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight in the NBA Draft. Similar to his teammate earlier in the night, Jaden doesn’t end up on the team that he was announced for as it was made by the Los Angeles Lakers but traded to Oklahoma City and then to Minnesota.
The 6’9 McDaniels played just a single season at Washington after coming in as a consensus top-ten overall 5-star recruit. He finished second on the team in scoring for the Huskies and in 31 games put up the following stat line: 13.0 ppg, 2.1 apg, 5.8 rpg, 40.5% FG, 33.9% 3pt, 76.3% FT.
It wasn’t exactly a smooth transition to college though for Jaden. He struggled with fouls and turnovers and halfway through the conference season was moved to the bench. Although McDaniels’ minutes didn’t change all that dramatically after the switch, he just didn’t start the game. Getting into an NBA system/culture that emphasizes player development and the importance of the little things behind the scenes will be key for Jaden.
Unfortunately, the Timberwolves are not known as a team that has a strong culture. Minnesota drafted SG Anthony Edwards out of Georgia with the #1 overall pick as well as 6’8 Argentinian wing Leandro Bolmaro with the 25th pick. That means Minnesota is likely to play a 3 guard lineup with Edwards, D’Angelo Russell, and Ricky Rubio and that Jaden will have to compete for backup small forward minutes to start. He’ll likely need to gain plenty of muscle before he could seriously compete for power forward minutes in the NBA which is where Minnesota has the biggest opening. Former Husky Jaylen Nowell was also drafted by the Timberwolves last year and ended the season with their G-league affiliate.
For more information about Jaden’s background and how I think he might transition to the NBA check out the draft profile I wrote earlier this week.
Even if things didn’t work out quite as well as all parties would’ve hoped, McDaniels is still a local kid who decided to stay home and we wish him all the best at the next level. Congrats Jaden!