Minnesota Timberwolves: First-half player grades for the Wolves

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 12: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 12: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Robert Covington, Josh Okogie
MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 30: Robert Covington #33 of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates with Josh Okogie #20. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Robert Covington

  • Has appeared in 22 games and is averaging 23.2 minutes per contest
  • Averaging 14.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game
  • Shooting 37.2 percent on 6.7 3-point attempts per game

Robert Covington, who was acquired alongside Saric and Jerryd Bayless in the Jimmy Butler trade, was pacing for the best year of his career before re-injuring his knee late in the New Year’s Eve loss in New Orleans.

Covington’s 22 games in Minnesota have generated 14.5 points and 2.3 steals per game in  34.7 minutes per contest, all career highs. He stepped right into the role vacated by Butler and played top-flight defense, as well as instilled a level of hustle and tenacity that the Tom Thibodeau-era Wolves often lacked.

While Covington is a good 3-point shooter (36 percent for his career and 37.8 percent this year), he isn’t exactly a prolific shot-maker. He is, however, a prolific shot-taker, and that matters. The Wolves have never really had a 3-point shooter who was so ready and willing to launch long-range bombs and make them at a competitive clip.

Covington adds that element to the offense, as well as the ability to be a cutter and move the ball well within the offense. His level of passion and skill on the defensive end of the floor is equally as important, including his proclivity to force jump balls, deflect passes, and rebound his position better than any other wing on the roster.

There is currently no timetable for Covington’s return, and while the team is absolutely better with RoCo available and in the starting lineup, the silver lining has been the opportunity that Josh Okogie has had to see regular playing time, preparing him for the future as a key piece of the Wolves’ puzzle.

Here’s hoping that Covington can get back soon and contribute to the Wolves’ hopeful playoff run.

Grade: A