Timberwolves

Can Josh Minott Become Minnesota's Brandon Clarke?

Photo Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves selected Josh Minott out of Memphis with the 45th pick in the draft. Few fans get overly excited with someone picked that late in the 2nd round, but you should be with Minott. He possesses similar tools to Brandon Clarke, someone Timberwolves fans are very familiar with.

Minott, 20, excels at a quiet few things. He rebounds well, is athletic, can score on and off the ball, has some shot-blocking ability, and can hit mid-range jumpers here and there. Minnesota already had someone who could do most of that in Jarred Vanderbilt, but they traded Vanderbilt, and Minott’s probably will offer more offense than him.

In Memphis, he put up 6.6 points per game and 3.9 rebounds on 52% from the floor in one season with the Tigers. Minott played every game and shared the floor with fellow 2022 draft pick Jalen Duren, proving he knows how to compliment a dynamic big’s game.

Minnesota got their first real taste of just how lethal Clarke could be in the paint during the first round of the playoffs. It felt like Clarke was everywhere. He piled up rebounds and second-chance points and played solid defense down low. While Ja Morant’s game-winner may have stolen the show, Clarke’s impact was huge. With 21 points and 15 boards in Game 5, Clarke did everything to lead Memphis to a 111-109 win over the Wolves.

Like Minott, Clarke stands at about 6’8”-6’9”, but they play bigger than that. Clarke was the biggest thorn in Minnesota’s side all series long. With time I believe Minott can blossom into that same thorn for the 29 other NBA teams.

I know this topic may be a little sore for Wolves fans right now. According to Carmichael Dave, Minnesota was projected to draft Clarke 11th in 2019 before trading up for Jarrett Culver.

Coincidentally, Culver is sitting on the Grizzlies bench right now.

For Wolves fans who watched the team’s matchup against Memphis last year, you can’t help but wonder how perfectly Clarke would have fit in Minnesota’s system, especially next to Karl-Anthony Towns. Whether picking up slack on the glass or back-cutting to defer a Town’s double, it seems like it would be a perfect match.

It doesn’t help that the Wolves traded the No. 11 pick to the Phoenix Suns for No. 6, only to see the Cleveland Cavaliers draft Darius Garland one spot ahead and end up with Culver. But Minnesota may no longer have to stew on Gersson Rosas’ lapse because Minott may be that missing piece for the Wolves.

Minott will be playing in Summer League alongside Minnesota’s other 2022 draft picks, big-man Walker Kessler and 3-and-D wing Wendell Moore Jr. This Summer League will be a showcase for all participating, especially in Minott’s case. With Wolves assistant Kevin Burleson taking over head-coaching duties for the Summer League, Minott will get his first opportunity to play in Minnesota’s system and learn their development plan.

While it may be some time before the Wolves put Minott into Minnesota’s rotation, one thing is certain. When Minott is ready and that call comes, the Timberwolves will be getting one of the harder workers in the draft and a true thorn for opposing teams.

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