This is the first post in a new series here on Howlin’ T-Wolf ranking the Timberwolves roster player-by-player. Ideally, Tom or Derek will post a new player everyday for 13 days. As always, you can follow Derek on Twitter (@DerekJamesNBA) and Tom (@Tom_NBA) as well.
After Tom and I figured out the order for this T-Wolf Rank project, he volunteered to begin it with Malcolm Lee unless I had some attachment to Lee. I casually played it off like I barely knew who Malcolm Lee was and told him that maybe it would be better for me to take Lee and him cover the next ranked player since he was more familiar with him. And now, here I am.
On the night Lee was drafted and traded for, I’ll admit, I had no clue who this guy out of UCLA was. Then I learned that he was a combo guard who was very capable on the defensive end. He may have been an average shooter as a Bruin, but even if he didn’t improve as a pro, that was fine because there were other scorers on the roster.
That was the very moment when I joined the Malcolm Lee bandwagon.
Then came the surgery, rehab, and D-League stint for Lee. But finally, those of us who had been holding our breaths to see if Lee could exhale as he made his NBA debut on March 10th against the Hornets. Well, we found out what a rookie with no training camp who is recovering from surgery looks like as Lee played just five non-descript minutes, but at least showed some decent defense. That game sure didn’t help the Wolves fans who didn’t understand the Malcolm Lee hype beforehand.
I was at that game, and later that night, I would learn something that eventually caused my relationship with my girlfriend of several months at the time (Who bought us the tickets) to begin to unravel. So yeah, there is some level of association or attachment for me with Malcolm Lee.
As for Lee’s future, it’s difficult to use his rookie season as a predictor since it’s just a 19 game sample in a lockout shortened season. It will be fairer to reassess Lee after a full season with a training camp and preseason. Then we can ask, “Is he a better shooter than his .390/.200/.824 shooting percentages indicate”; “Will his turnovers and fouls per 36 minutes come down”; and “Can he grow into a non-offensive liability despite his defensive potential”?
Until then, Malcolm is #13 in our very first #TwolfRank.