The Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly rejected every trade offer for wing Jaden McDaniels during the 2023 NBA Draft.
“The Wolves received a ton of interest in Jaden McDaniels, league sources say, with teams all over the draft board calling and inquiring on his availability,” The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski wrote. “The Wolves rebuffed every offer, viewing McDaniels as a huge piece of the team’s long-term future.”
McDaniels is one of the better young defenders in the NBA, and he clearly has a strong backing in the Timberwolves front office.
Minnesota missed McDaniels in a big way during the postseason in the 2022-23 season after he suffered an injury late in the regular season. McDaniels fractured his hand after punching a wall.
The Wolves, who made the playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference in the 2022-23 season, clearly believe in the growth of McDaniels over his first three seasons.
The former first-round pick averaged a career-high 12.1 points per game in the 2022-23 season while shooting his best percentages from the field (51.7 percent) and beyond the arc (39.8 percent). He also contributed 3.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists (another career high), 0.9 steals and 1.0 block per game for Minnesota.
McDaniels has a ton of potential as a defender, and one of his former teammates, Patrick Beverley, believes that he will be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate at some point in his career.
The Timberwolves seem to be content with keeping their current core of Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert intact after not making a blockbuster deal during the draft.
McDaniels certainly is a big part of that core, as he can defend other teams’ top players, which is extremely important in the Western Conference. The West is loaded with strong wing talent (Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Brandon Ingram and more).
The Timberwolves could extend McDaniels’ contract past his rookie deal this offseason, or they can wait until next offseason when he would become a restricted free agent to sign him to a new contract.