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Minnesota signs Jordan McLaughlin to two-way contract

Jordan McLaughlin

The Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday announced the signing of guard Jordan McLaughlin to a two-way contract.

McLaughlin played with the Timberwolves at Las Vegas Summer League, averaging 9.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 5.0 assists while starting all seven games. He shot 36.9 percent from the field and 31.9 percent from three-point range.

The 23-year-old went undrafted out of the University of Southern California last year. Starting in all but one of his 128 career games with the Trojans, McLaughlin averaged 12.9 points, 5.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 33.5 minutes over his career. An impact player from the moment he stepped on campus, McLaughlin was especially effective as a senior, when he set a single-season school record by totaling 281 assists, third-most in the country.

He got his first NBA opportunity with the Brooklyn Nets last year, playing for their Summer League squad. McLaughlin subsequently signed a training camp contract with the Nets, but was released before the regular season, landing with the franchise’s G-League affiliate. In 39 games with the Long Island Nets, he averaged 5.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.6 steals, shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 33.5 percent on 6.1 three-point attempts per game.

The Timberwolves return starting point guard Jeff Teague, and acquired Shabazz Napier by getting in on the multi-team, blockbuster trade between the Nets and Golden State Warriors, compensating for the loss of backup Tyus Jones, who signed with the Memphis Grizzlies. Minnesota picked up Tyrone Wallace off waivers from the LA Clippers, too, adding another capable ball handler.

McLaughlin’s path to the NBA seems slim. Considering his steady hand at point guard and the inevitable physical tolls of the regular season, though, don’t be shocked if he’s called up to the Timberwolves in 2019-20 at a time of positional need.