Jarrett Culver's Full Potential Has Yet To Be Revealed

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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G | 6'6, 195 lbs

Stats in 2019-20: 63 games, 35 starts, 23.9 MPG, 9.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.9 SPG, 40.4 FG%, 29.9 3P%, 46.2 FT%

The Timberwolves traded the No. 11 pick and Dario Saric to acquire the rights to Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver with the No. 6 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Culver’s resume heading into the league was that he made winning plays, could attack the basket and could defend multiple positions. 

Because of weird NBA rules that I don’t quite understand, Culver didn’t officially become a member of the team until early July, which left him off the Summer League roster.

That’s certainly not ideal for any rookie, but Culver was constantly around the team and participated in practices and individual workouts throughout the summer.

Culver, like most rookies, had an up and down season.

Fans would have loved to see Culver’s 3-point shooting and free-throw shooting at a higher mark, but it is worth noting that in the last 30 games of the season, Culver shot 38 percent from the 3-point line. 

The free-throw shooting is concerning, but Culver did shoot 70 percent from the charity stripe in his final year at Texas Tech. We know that he’s capable of shooting better than he did as a rookie. As we’ve seen with other players throughout their careers, free throws can be a mental obstacle. This is a guy who was a three-star prospect who turned out to be a top-10 pick. I’m not too worried about Culver’s mental toughness.

Offensively, Culver cut like a veteran, and defensively, he wasn’t afraid of any matchup. Late in the season especially, it was clear Culver would do anything to force a turnover. With Culver and Josh Okogie, the Timberwolves have to feel good about the perimeter defense in the years to come. Of course, there will be some growing pains (and Culver needs to put on some weight), but he’s only 21 years old. That will come.

Opportunity was key for Culver as a rookie. Culver eclipsed the 20-point mark four times and scored 15 or more points in eight games. In those games, he played 25 or more minutes in all but one. 

It is worth noting that Culver had to go through quite the adjustment during his rookie season with the roster completely flipped at the trade deadline. It was clear he played better after the deadline when he wasn’t asked to be more than he is right now as a player.

In 14 games after the deadline, Culver played fewer minutes than his season average but still excelled, averaging 9.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game while shooting 48.1 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from the 3-point line.

Now what?

It would appear as if Culver will come off the bench in 2019-20 with Gersson Rosas bolstering the team’s backcourt, adding both D’Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley. That’s not a bad thing, though, and could be a place Culver shines. He’s a player who isn’t afraid to do the dirty work, especially on the defensive end.

If he can boost that 3-point percentage up to 35 percent, that could help change the whole dynamic of this team.

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