The Timberwolves are playing short-handed after waiving Andre Miller late last week.
When will the Wolves fill the roster? After Karl-Anthony Towns and Gorgui Dieng, the Wolves only have Adreian Payne on the bench. There is no backup center, and Payne doesn’t offer much as the only natural power forward on the team.
It’s a disservice to the entire team, especially Towns and Dieng, to not have legitimate rotation players behind them. It also makes things tougher on rookie point guard Tyus Jones, who is expected to run the entire second unit, when there aren’t NBA-caliber players receiving minutes alongside him.
Sam Mitchell acknowledged the issue but was also quoted in the Star Tribune as taking an odd approach for a head coach, expressing concern that if they filled out the roster too quickly, someone that they might have their eye on could potentially not be available.
“After the dust settles, there are going to be some guys out there we’ll want to look at,” Mitchell said. “You don’t want to do it too fast because you don’t want to fill a spot and then someone becomes available. There are only so many playoff teams and only so many roster spots.”
This would make one think that the Wolves have their eye on one player in particular that they seem to think could become available, but it’s not like the Wolves are a playoff team looking for a perfect fit; they’re a young team looking to fill the roster by adding a body with (hopefully) some upside potential.
Copeland would be intriguing only in the sense that it would be good to add a forward to the roster who could stretch the floor, not just to the mid-range but beyond the arc.
That said, he’s a horrible defender, 31 years old, and has shot just 30.5 percent in 74 games over the last year-plus. He only shot 27.8 percent with Milwaukee this season before being waived by the Bucks a week ago.
He also doesn’t really solve the ‘big man’ need, as he’s a short 6′-9″ and barely rebounds better than current Wolf Damjan Rudez.
In other words, there are clearly better options out there, but it would be an intriguing case study if nothing else.
Also: old friend Anthony Bennett is available once again after being waived by the Toronto Raptors. Bennett played in just 19 games this year and is about to be on his fourth team in less than three seasons after being the first-overall draft pick in 2013.
Anthony Bennett likely isn’t the player the Wolves are eyeing, but with these Wolves, who knows. It’s anyone’s guess.