Ranking current Minnesota Timberwolves players: #10-6


After revealing part one on Sunday, I will now continue ranking current Minnesota Timberwolves players with numbers 10 through 6 on the roster.

With the offseason departure of Kevin Love and no clear number-one player now, the farther we get with the rankings, the more difficult the decisions will be. This is a reminder that I am making my rankings based primarily on what I expect the player to contribute to the team in the 2014-2015 season.

Here’s a brief rundown of numbers 15 through 11.

15. Glenn Robinson III

14. Robbie Hummel

13. Ronny Turiaf

12. Chase Budinger

11. Shabazz Muhammad

*For this list, I have excluded Jose Barea.

10. Zach LaVine

The Wolves utilized their first round pick (13th overall) in the 2014 NBA draft on this ultra-athletic, lanky player out of UCLA and LaVine is currently slated as the third-string point guard.

The Renton, Wa. native is expected to see time at the two-guard position as well and should get plenty of opportunities this season to show off his high-flying dunking ability to the Target Center crowd.

Is LaVine just a highlight reel player who will be showing up more on SportsCenter’s Top 10 than in the scoring book? Only time will tell to see just what kind of basketball player Flip Saunders and company selected to help assist in this season’s youth movement. My prediction is that LaVine will have a handful of solid offensive games – particularly against smaller or slower guards – but will certainly be used more as a role player in his first NBA season. As you can see in the chart below (courtesy of basketball-reference.com), LaVine was not even a full-time player for the Bruins until later in the season, but still contributed decent scoring numbers overall.


9. Mo Williams

One of just three players on the current Wolves roster over the age of 30 (excluding Barea), Williams came over to Minnesota after spending last season with Portland. Williams was the only addition made to the Wolves through free agency this summer, signing a one-year, $3.75 million contract in July.

The five-team NBA veteran will bring over an elder presence and unlike most of the Wolves, Williams has significant playoff experience. Similar to last season – when Williams backed up up-and-coming point guard Damian Lillard – Mo could be used as a mentor figure to younger players like LaVine and Ricky Rubio. Though he did have his struggles at times last season, Williams still managed to play in 74 games and shot the three ball at a 36.9 percent clip.

May 14, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard

Mo Williams

(25) watches from the bench against the San Antonio Spurs in game five of the second round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. The Spurs won 104-82. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

8. Corey Brewer

Well, I’m pretty much required to bring up Brewer’s 51-point outburst in April when analyzing his rank at number 8 right?

The career game was clearly an anomaly, as the skinny small forward did not surpass 30 points in any other contest during the 2013-2014 season. The high score may have been the result of injuries to other players opening up more shots for Brewer or simply that he got hot for a game. But don’t expect another 50-point game from Brewer this season.

Number 13 started in all 81 games that he appeared in last season, but with the additions of Andrew Wiggins and Thaddeus Young, a repeat of this will almost be an impossibility. It would be shocking to see Brewer average double-figures in points scored again this season, but he’s usually good for a emphatic slam dunk or a head-scratching gaffe in every contest.

7. Anthony Bennett

The Timberwolves will attempt to resurrect a much-too-early-to-call-it-quits career in the form of Bennett.

Another seemingly failed Cavaliers draft pick, Bennett’s struggles in his rookie year last season were well documented. The former UNLV Runnin’ Rebel shot a combined 0 for 15 in his first 4 NBA games, and did not reach double figures in points or rebounds for a game until the end of January.

Bennett did have a good string of games in February (including two double-doubles) before losing a month of play at the close of his rookie season. With significantly less pressure in his second season, I expect Bennett to bounce back strongly in his sophomore campaign. He won’t be expected to start, average double digits, or be a go-to scorer. Plus, he will have a fellow Canadian in Wiggins playing by his side. That can’t hurt, can it?

6. Kevin Martin

Martin is basically a one-dimensional player, so let’s just get that out of the way from the start. K-Mart will be counted on for shooting and scoring and very little else.

He’s been good at what he’s known for – shooting threes and making free throws – for most of his career and I don’t expect much to change at this point. I’ve always liked Martin as more of a sixth man than a starter, but with the current personnel on this Wolves team, he should again get the majority of the starts at shooting guard.

Apr 2, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard

Kevin Martin

(23) challenged by Memphis Grizzlies guard

Courtney Lee

(5) in the first half at Target Center. The Wolves defeated the Grizzlies 102-88. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

By process of elimination, you can tell who makes up the top five ranking of this year’s Timberwolves roster.

But how will they be listed? How high did I place Wiggins before he has even stepped foot on an NBA court? Where will Young, another newcomer, end up in the rankings? Stay posted for my ranking of the top five Wolves players for the 2014-2015 season coming later in the week!