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Get To Know New Wolves Guard Isaiah Canaan

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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On Wednesday, the Timberwolves signed point guard Isaiah Canaan to a 10-day contract. Unfamiliar with Canaan? Hopefully this helps. 

What’s His Name?

Isaiah Canaan (pronounced KAY-nin)

Where Is He From?

Canaan, 27, was born in Biloxi, Mississippi. He attended Murray State University from 2009-13 and was a scoring machine. In his senior season, he averaged 21.8 points per game and was named the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year for the second-straight season. 

A few fun facts about Biloxi, Mississippi:

  • Jessica Alba lived in Biloxi while her father was at Keesler Air Force Base.
  • Biloxi is the home of the Biloxi Shuckers, the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • At the time I’m writing this, it’s 49 degrees in Biloxi, or 63 degrees warmer than Minneapolis. 

Where Have You Heard Of Him Before?

After being drafted in the second round in 2013, Canaan has played 224 games (76 starts) for four different teams. Just this year, he started 15 games with the Suns and averaged 7.5 points, 3.3 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. 

Canaan is an NBA-caliber player, clearly. Just two three seasons ago, he averaged 15.5 points per 36 minutes. 

Last February, Murray State actually retired Canaan’s No. 3 jersey. He was also a D-League All-Star in 2014. 

In 2017 with Chicago, Canaan played in three playoff games (starting one) and averaged 11.7 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from the 3-point line. 

He suffered a nasty ankle fracture last on Jan. 31, 2018 (don’t look it up) and missed the rest of the season. He looks fully healthy now, though. 

Describe Him To Us

At six feet, Canaan might not be the biggest guy, but don’t let that fool you. He’s more of a score-first point guard and he has the ability to hit the 3-point shot. He’s a career 35.1 percent 3-point shooter on 4.5 attempts per game. Those numbers aren’t wild, but as a defender, you have to respect his shot.

“He brings a shot-making ability. I’ve always liked Isaiah, just his toughness,” Timberwolves interim head coach Ryan Saunders said Wednesday. “I like that he’s a guy who wants to give himself up for a team, and his ability to fight through things… Him being able to play both on the ball on the ball and off the ball. We like that as a group and we look forward to big things from him.”

With the Wolves shorthanded in the backcourt with injuries to Tyus Jones (ankle), Jeff Teague (foot), Derrick Rose (ankle) and Rob Covington (knee) all limiting Saunders’ options, expect Canaan to get opportunities with the Wolves during his 10-day stint. 

“Really looking forward to just getting out there and competing with these guys, giving them more push,” Canaan said. “My biggest thing is winning… I’ve won a lot of games throughout my career and that’s what I want to go down as is just being a winner and a competitor.”

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