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Get To Know Timberwolves 2nd-Round Pick Jaylen Nowell

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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With their second-round pick in Thursday’s 2019 NBA Draft, the Timberwolves selected Washington shooting guard Jaylen Nowell.

In his sophomore season, Nowell averaged 16.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game. He shot a scorching 50.2 percent from the field and 44 percent from the 3-point line in 2019, a nine-point percentage increase from his freshman season. That’s a pretty important thing with how key shooting is in today’s NBA.

That performance earned him the Pac-12 Player of the Year award.

Heading into the draft, he was projected to be drafted as early as the middle of the first round, so getting him in the middle of the second round seems like good value.

His parents both played basketball at Clark Atlanta University, and his father Mike played in the CBA and once had a tryout with the Denver Nuggets.

He tragically lost his father to cancer when he was just 15. His father was a huge part of his life, and still is.

“He would tell me that you’re definitely doing a great job, but there’s a bunch of things that you need to improve on,” Nowell told the Seattle Times in 2018. “There’s no such thing as being a finished product.”

Judging from his steady improvement throughout his basketball career, Nowell has taken his father’s advice seriously. And you should expect that to continue.

This is a player who should be able to stretch the floor and can also finish at the rim with a strong body. He’s improving as a playmaker. 

It will be interesting to see how his game progresses defensively. In college, he played mostly zone. Nowell measured at 6’4, 202 pounds at the Combine in Chicago and projects to be a player who can score off the bench, but what will get him on the court in a league where almost everyone can score, will be his defense. 

While Nowell might not have had huge scoring games in college, scoring more than 30 points just once last season, he was incredibly consistent, hitting double digits in 32 of 36 games. That’s pretty rare among college prospects. 

We’ll certainly hear more about Nowell’s game and what the Timberwolves liked so much about him in the coming days. Stay tuned. 

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