Washington basketball’s own and the 2018-19 Pac-12 Player of the Year, has been drafted 43rd overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves!
Washington basketball gets their second player picked in the 2019 NBA Draft, and this time, it’s the Minnesota Timberwolves getting a Pro Dawg! They selected Jaylen Nowell with the 43rd overall pick, and he has a great opportunity to get some early playing time. Both Nowell and Matisse Thybulle were also in some way affected by Jimmy Butler, as they could both take over a spot that he played during the 2018-19 NBA season, and they’re both more than capable of filling that role.
Nowell is a great fit for their system, as the T-Wolves are in need of another scorer that can take over a game, which Nowell is more than capable of doing at any point in time. He’s an elite scorer on all three levels, and is still rapidly improving from behind the three-point line, which was his biggest question mark on offense going into his sophomore season. He shot 35% during his freshman year, and brought it up to 44% in his second year.
The only thing that probably held Nowell back from being a late first-round pick was his defensive ability, as he was tucked away in the corner of the 2-3 zone for pretty much all of his college career. He averaged 1.5 steals per game during his sophomore year, and seemed to be very compitent on defense when he actually put the work in, but he’ll need to play with a much higher motor at the NBA level, as sometimes it looks like he takes a play or two off. He’s more than capable athletically to be a good NBA defender, but only time will tell how that part of his game will develop.
If Nowell hits his ceiling, he could be a lot like Lou Williams. While Nowell definitely has the talent to start, bringing him off the bench could be lethal for teams who need a scoring jolt, and he can provide that rather easily. This is a great pick by the Timberwolves, and congratulations to Jaylen on starting his NBA career!