NBA Future Watch: Wendell Moore Jr. Basketball Cards, Minnesota TimberwolvesNBA Future Watch: Wendell Moore Jr. Basketball Cards, Minnesota Timberwolves Wendell Moore Jr. will forever be a core part of the Mike Krzyzewski legacy at Duke as one of the stars, along with Paolo Banchero, AJ Griffin, and Mark Williams, that led Coach K’s final team to a Final Four. But Moore’s three years as a Blue Devil were just a continuation of his time playing with, and against, elite competition.

In suburban Charlotte, Moore led Cox Mill High School to consecutive state championships and notched 25 PPG, 2.9 APG and 2.3 SPG as a senior. Additionally, Moore won gold for Team USA at the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and 2018 FIBA U17 World Cup. Moore was selected for the McDonald’s All-American Game, the Jordan Brand Classic and the Nike Hoop Summit. He was also designated North Carolina Mr. Basketball.

As a five-star recruit, Moore selected Duke and, as anticipated, faced stiff competition for playing time as a freshman on a deep squad. Nevertheless, Moore achieved tremendous notice on February 8, 2020, with a tip-in at the buzzer to defeat archrival North Carolina. That contest also provided Moore’s first collegiate double-double, with 17 points and 10 rebounds. It prefaced a breakout game 17 days later with 25 points at Wake Forest and a freshman program record 15 successful free throws.

Sequential increases in opportunity and in progress came in the second year, with a FT% of .848 that demonstrated Moore’s offensive upside remained high. As a junior, Moore ascended to third in FGA and posted some career-best numbers. 13.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.4 SPG and .500 FG%. Moore continued his pattern of coming up the biggest in big games, especially against top-ranked Gonzaga. On November 26, 2021, he tallied 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and six steals.

The recipient of the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award, Moore declared for the 2022 NBA Draft. He ended up with Minnesota via the 26th pick. With a wingspan approaching seven feet and an athletic frame, Moore can play either wing spot. This is essential, considering that Anthony Edwards occupies one of those positions for the Wolves.

An extremely smart and coachable player, Moore will be an elite secondary playmaker with the ability to score at all levels, albeit greater consistency will be a part of his development. Having progressed from .211 3% as a freshman to .301 as a sophomore and .413 as a junior, the promise is certainly there. As Moore progresses alongside Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, and the rest of an ascending Twin Cities squad, he could easily make a name as one of the most exciting stars in the NBA.

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Rick Morris

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