Wolves Gain Versatility With Jaden McDaniels

by Cody Sharrett

Versatility is an asset every NBA team desires. With the 28th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves picked up versatile big Jaden McDaniels from the University of Washington. 

The Los Angeles Lakers made the pick for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who acquired the selection in the Dennis Schroeder-Danny Green trade. The Thunder then swapped the pick with the Wolves in the deal to bring Ricky Rubio back to Minnesota. 

A 6-9 forward from Federal Way, Wash., McDaniels boasts a 7-foot wingspan and put up averages of 13 points and 5.8 rebounds per game on 33.9% shooting from three-point range in his freshman season with the Huskies. McDaniels has the ability to both defend the paint while also capably guarding wings on the perimeter. 

"I think I fit pretty well," McDaniels said of the possibility of playing next to Karl-Anthony Towns. "Being versatile, I feel like I could play one through four at any time. Kind of like I said earlier, just taking pieces off his game and little tips, even how to guard bigger dudes in the post, and just learn on the pick-and-rolls and stuff."

McDaniels is also an adept ballhandler for his size. The Timberwolves draftee believes he can be a complementary piece in the Wolves system with D'Angelo Russell and No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards.

"I feel like being a versatile player, being able to handle the ball and stuff, I feel like such different situations -- like I could sometimes be the creator for them or even in opposite ways," said McDaniels. 

Spending his entire life in the Pacific Northwest, McDaniels is excited to begin a new journey in the Twin Cities... Even if it means shoveling a little snow. 

"It's super cold; I'm used to the cold from Seattle," McDaniels told media. "They say it's a lot of snow. But I'm kind of excited, just new place, new culture.

"This is the start of my journey."

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