Thursday, December 7 2023

The Timberwolves recently landed two second-round picks Leonard Miller and Jaylen Clark in last week’s 2023 NBA Draft, and Minnesota’s President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly feels fortunate to have brought in both quality players. 

During this Monday’s introductory press conference for the newcomers, the media asked Connelly what did he believed the rookies will bring to the squad.

“Toughness. Competitiveness. As people, you guys should pat yourselves on the back, pat your support systems on the back, everybody swears by these guys in terms of what they bring to the building everyday,” he said. “Positivity. High IQ. Just guys you want to be around. So, I think, we got two of the most competitive, toughest guys in the draft. If you’d have told us when the night started we were going to walk out with Jaylen and Leonard, I wouldn’t have believed you.”

If you’re interested, check out the full media coverage of the Timberwolves welcoming conference:

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Connelly was then consulted about how they expected to mix the young talents with the Wolves’ veteran core. “Ideally you just keep adding talented players and quality individuals, they certainly check both of those boxes,” he said.

“There’s no linear path to a perfect roster but we think if we can keep adding guys who can play, who are really good people, who are self-motivated people, who are competitive, who care, I think our time will come sooner rather than later,” the President explained. “On Thursday night we had no expectations that we’d get these two guys but I felt pretty fired up Thursday night and I know these guys are excited to be here.”

Both Miller and Clark desire to start working as soon as possible and participate in next week’s Summer League

Minnesota first selected six-foot-ten forward Leonard Miller as the 33rd pick in the draft, a player who decided to play for the G League Ignite instead of taking the college route. With his former squad he averaged 16.9 points and 10.1 rebounds this last campaign.

“I always work so hard and I’m always working towards these things that’s happening to me. And so when it comes I don’t get surprised or rattled by it, I just keep working towards the next,” the player expressed. “That’s just always been my approach. I just stay level-headed and don’t let it phase me too much.”

On the other hand, Jaylen Clark played for UCLA this past season and was named the National Defensive Player of the Year. The Wolves second pick of the draft had suffered an achilles heel injury and missed the last March Madness tournament, but he assures that he’ll be ready for the upcoming NBA competition.

“It’s just another stepping stone,” he said about his health issue. “I’m not the first to go through this. There’s people that went ahead and made their return. Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant all of them have something different about them. Their work ethic wasn’t as normal as other players that didn’t come back from it. So I’m just ready to work.”

Source: Basketball Insider


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