NBA Draft: Grading every first-round pick after rookie year

2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images
2022 NBA Draft Class. Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images /
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NBA Draft
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 30: Wendell Moore Jr. #7 of the Minnesota Timberwolves looks on against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first quarter of the game at Target Center on November 30, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Grizzlies 109-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

26. Minnesota Timberwolves – Wendell Moore Jr.

The third Duke Blue Devils player to land in the first round, Wendell Moore Jr. entered the league as something of a jack-of-all-trades, a player who didn’t do one thing particularly well but who could score, shoot, pass, defend and rebound. For a Minnesota Timberwolves team clearly wanting to take a big step forward, the selection made sense.

Unfortunately, Moore wasn’t able to find a lot of minutes on the Timberwolves as a rookie, playing just 153 minutes total across 29 games and taking only 43 shots; Kobe Bryant took more shots in his final game than Moore took this entire season. Where Moore did show impact was on defense, averaging 1.9 steals and 1.2 blocks per 36 minutes. Only 25 players in league history ever hit those marks as a rookie (minimum 25 games played), so there is something to hang his hat on.

Moore will need to translate that intensity to the offensive end to get a chance for a larger role. His free-throw shooting in the G League suggests he may have more shooting potential than he has shown, and if he can improve in that area he should be able to earn a rotation spot. He looks like the kind of player a good team wants to have; he just needs to get there.

Grade: C-