Wolves look-ahead profile: Jaylen Nowell

With the announcement of the NBA’s 22-team plan to close out the rest of the season, the Minnesota Timberwolves are now in offseason mode. The franchise will have to make plenty of tough decisions in the coming months, including an array of personnel moves.

As Gersson Rosas and Ryan Saunders navigate the NBA offseason, FOX Sports North will analyze each player on the Timberwolves and how they might fit in with the team in the future.

This edition: Jaylen Nowell

Previously: Malik Beasley | Josh Okogie | Jarrett Culver | Jake Layman | Karl-Anthony Towns | Juan Hernangomez | Naz Reid | D’Angelo Russell | James Johnson

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BACKGROUND

Nowell left the University of Washington after a sophomore year in which he was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year, averaging 16.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists while shooting 50.2% from the field and 44.0% from 3. The 6-foot-4 guard was selected in the second round of the 2019 draft by Minnesota.

 

SEASON REVIEW

Nowell spent his rookie season shuttling back between Minnesota and the G League’s Iowa Wolves. He played sporadically in Minnesota, only getting more than 16 minutes of action in a game once and never appearing in more than three consecutive games. That kind of inaction can make it hard to find consistency. His time in the G League was, not surprisingly, more productive. In 26 games with Iowa, Nowell averaged 21.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists over 32.7 minutes with a 49.0% field-goal percentage and 44.1% on 3-point attempts.

 

STATS

MPG PPG RPG APG FG% 3P% FT%
10.1 3.8 0.9 1.3 35.8 11.5 94.1

 

GAME TO REMEMBER

Nowell had two double-digit scoring games with the Timberwolves, including an 11-point effort vs. Orlando on March 6. He made 3 of 4 shots and sunk all five of his free-throw attempts while dishing out two assists and nabbing a steal.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT SEASON

It can take time for young players – especially young shooters – to develop. The bad news is Nowell had trouble finding his shot in his limited NBA exposure in 2019-20. The good news is he demonstrated what he’s capable of doing down in the G League. Minnesota won’t really know what it has with Nowell until he gets some kind of reasonable playing time. With the setup of the roster, Nowell has a good chance of carving out a bench role in 2020-21.