Currently, the Minnesota Timberwolves have four forwards on their roster. All-Star Kevin Love, second year player Derrick Williams, and newly signed players in Chase Budinger and Andrei Kirilenko. Williams, Love, and Kirilenko have the capabilities to play the four leaving Budinger as the only true small forward on the team as he himself can also play shooting guard at times. However, in my opinion, Kirilenko will be the best player for the Wolves to start at the three alongside Love, Brandon Roy, J.J Barea (for now with Rubio still out), and Nikola Pekovic.
The Timberwolves have already waived and dealt away multiple players from their roster this off-season. Darko Milicic, Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson, Martell Webster, and Wayne Ellington will no longer be seen playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves this upcoming season. All of those players were mainly role players for the Wolves in the 2011-2012 NBA season and are now gone. One player, however, who has slightly been forgotten by many is forward Anthony Tolliver. Last season, Tolliver was one of the better shooters for the Timberwolves, although struggling from the free throw strike especially in clutch situations, Tolliver was a knock down shooter for a team that lacks range.
Most of us might remember that mind blowing play by point guard Ricky Rubio when he passed the ball in between the legs of Dallas Mavericks captain Dirk Nowitzki to an open Tolliver who ended up knocking down a big three pointer which excited the crowd. Trust me, I was there.
With the Wolves now heavily packed in the forward position, but still lacking some offense, I still would love to see Tolliver on the Timberwolves next season if an only if they can’t find anyone else better than him. The wing position is still a problem for the Wolves as they don’t really have scorers outside. Brandon Roy may be the solution to that but we are still uncertain about how he will perform this season after retiring from the NBA a season ago. Nonetheless, Roy won’t be enough.
In the NBA today, you need more than just one main scorer or sometimes even two if you want to be on another level much like the Oklahoma City Thunder, a division rival of the Timberwolves. Anthony Tolliver definitely isn’t going to be that guy but with the Timberwolves already having a handful of solid wing players, not great, it’s not that bad actually. Williams is still developing into the player most of us expected him to be coming out of college as the 2nd overall pick behind Kyrie Irving, who already has proven his worth last season winning Rookie of the Year honors.
Being on the trading block multiple times says a lot, the Timberwolves front office aren’t sure about Williams’ future. I even see it, Williams doesn’t necessarily have the tools to be successful and his drive to succeed is nowhere to be found when he plays the game. I know that it’s his first season in the NBA and I will give him another shot at it believing that he can turn it around and be that second leading scorer the Wolves need.
Tolliver has been drawing interest from Panathinaikos, a power house basketball club in Greece. Tolliver is pleased with the offer but is still waiting on some NBA teams to make offers, especially the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves have not shown great interest in keeping Tolliver but unlike the other players they’ve waived, they are still willing to keep him if they can.
Last season, Tolliver averaged 4.1 points and 3.0 rebounds per game through 17 minutes per game. Tolliver came off the bench in all 51 games he played. The 27-year old forward shot a poor 24% from distance last season which is 8 percent lower than his career average.