McLaughlin went undrafted out of USC and signed with the Brooklyn Nets Summer League team in 2018. After spending time in training camp with the Nets, McLaughlin ended up signing with their G League affiliate, the Long Island Nets. McLaughlin spent the 2019 Summer League with the Timberwolves. After helping lead the Timberwolves to the championship game, McLaughlin ended up signing a two-way contract with Minnesota.
McLaughlin played college ball at USC from 2014-18. In four seasons there, he averaged 12.9 points, 5.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. As a senior, he averaged 12.8 points, 7.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game while shooting 39.7 percent from the 3-point line. McLaughlin earned First Team All-Pac-12 honors in 2018. He became the third Pac-12 player in history to record more than 1,600 points and 600 assists in a career.