Minnesota Timberwolves: Which wing will be the odd man out?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 30: Andrew Wiggins #22 and Josh Okogie #20 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JANUARY 30: Andrew Wiggins #22 and Josh Okogie #20 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves went from a team light on wing players to one with a roster full of them. Who might fall outside the rotation next year?

It was only a few short months ago when the Minnesota Timberwolves were down to two-way player C.J. Williams and former 10-day contract signee Cameron Reynolds on the wings.

Now, at least eight of the 15 players on the roster could be considered true wings, meaning that their primary positions are either the 2 or the 3.

The incumbents are Andrew Wiggins and second-year man Josh Okogie, plus Robert Covington, who missed the final three-plus months last year following a knee injury. We could also include last year’s second-round pick, Keita Bates-Diop, who plays primarily the 3 and the 4.

Then, the team added No. 6-overall pick Jarrett Culver in the draft — a high pick who will surely get a bite of the apple in terms of playing time. Jake Layman was acquired in a sign-and-trade with Portland, and will likely play mostly the 3 and the 4. And Treveon Graham ended up in Minnesota as part of the final sign-and-trade that sent Kevin Durant to Brooklyn and D’Angelo Russell to Golden State.

Finally, in somewhat of a surprising move, the Wolves picked up Tyrone Wallace on waivers from the Los Angeles Clippers. His contract isn’t fully guaranteed, but he’s still holding down a roster spot as we head towards the latter part of the offseason.

So, who will crack Ryan Saunders’ rotation this fall?

It stands to reason that Wiggins and Covington will both start. The team still might choose to start three wings with Karl-Anthony Towns as the only big man in the lineup. In that case, Okogie or Layman will likely start. But there’s also this year’s lottery pick, Culver.

The most likely scenario is that the Wolves end up starting three wings while rotating the other two through as backups alongside big men Jordan Bell and Noah Vonleh.

This whole situation will largely hinge on matchups, as Gersson Rosas has done an impeccable job acquiring a number of players who can play at least two, if not three, positions and can switch as needed on defense in the pick-and-roll game.

They can play big, with Culver or Wiggins running as point forward and some combination of Towns, Vonleh, and Bell in the frontcourt. Or they could play small with three wings and just Towns in the frontcourt.

We don’t know much about Rosas’ and Saunders’ plan, but it likely means that Graham and Bates-Diop are out of the rotation, and it will make it exceedingly difficult for Wallace to even make the team.

Next. Who will be the Wolves' starting power forward?. dark

If nothing else, the front office has created a roster that is far more flexible than the one that Rosas inherited just a couple of months ago. It’ll be intriguing to see what happens when the team takes the court for the first preseason game in September.