Reports: Timberwolves reach deals with Jarred Vanderbilt, Jordan McLaughlin

Minnesota Timberwolves v Orlando Magic
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Two of the Timberwolves’ key development projects — forward Jarred Vanderbilt and point guard Jordan McLaughlin — have reached three-year deals to stay with the team.

Vanderbilt — the 6’9″ power forward who started 30 games last season for the Timberwolves and showed promise — agreed to a three-year, $13.8 million contract to remain in Minnesota, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. He was a restricted free agent, and the Timberwolves both wanted to keep Vanderbilt and to stay out of the luxury tax, which they did.

This is a fair deal for both sides, but one that could be a steal if Vanderbilt continues to develop on the offensive end (meaning, he gets any range on his shot).

Vanderbilt was finally healthy last season — he had not been at Kentucky or his first two years in Minnesota — and got into 64 games on a team hit hard by COVID and injuries, averaging 5.4 points and 5.8 rebounds a game. He is really an energy big who plays hard, defends, rebounds, but he’s also become an efficient scorer at the rim — 78% of his shot attempts were inside the restricted area and he finished an impressive 71.7% of those last season. He’s athletic and proved he can play a role filling in with Taurean Prince and Jaden McDaniels, plus play some backup center minutes. His play last season earned him more run this season.

McLaughlin, who had been on two consecutive two-way contracts with the Timberwolves, signed a three-year, $6.5 million contract, although the third year is non-guaranteed.

McLaughlin will be the third point guard behind D'Angelo Russell and Patrick Beverley in Minnesota. He was in that position somewhat a year ago (Ricky Rubio instead of Beverley), and he still got in 51 games due to Russell’s injury and averaged 5 points and 3.8 assists a night, plus shot 35.9% from 3. Other teams had some interest in McLaughlin, but he will remain in Minnesota for a couple of seasons in a role that suits him well.