Minnesota Timberwolves: Roster today compared to start of the season

D'Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates with teammates. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
D'Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates with teammates. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez, Jordan McLaughlin
MIAMI, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 26: Juan Hernangomez #41 of the Minnesota Timberwolves hugs Malik Beasley #5 after they defeated the Miami Heat. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves have had a roster in flux since the day that Gersson Rosas took his post last May. Let’s take a look at the changes since the start of the 2019-20 season.

Gersson Rosas became the president of basketball operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first week of May in 2019. He made it clear at his introductory press conference that changes were afoot at 600 First Avenue in Minneapolis, and it’s safe to say that he wasn’t exaggerating.

Last summer, Rosas initiated a flurry of activity beginning with the NBA Draft in late June.

On draft night, he sent Dario Saric to the Phoenix Suns for the right to move up from the No. 11 to the No. 6 pick in the draft. Rosas selected Jarrett Culver and then picked Pac-12 Player of the Year Jaylen Nowell of Washington in the second round.

Then, Rosas aggressively pursued D’Angelo Russell, among other free agents. Russell had interest in Minnesota but ultimately chose Golden State as the Wolves swung and missed on the biggest names.. Rather than be left out in the cold, however, Rosas squeezed his way into the deal, inserting the Wolves as the third team in a three-way trade.

Because of Rosas’ creativity, the Wolves picked up veterans Shabazz Napier and Treveon Graham, both on expiring contracts. Both players filled needs on the roster, and allowed the Wolves the flexibility to walk away from Tyus Jones after they had extended the qualifying offer and he signed an offer sheet with the Memphis Grizzlies that the Wolves opted not to match.

The Wolves also picked up Tyrone Wallace on waivers from the LA Clippers and signed Noah Vonleh to a veteran’s minimum deal all in the same day. Additionally, Rosas pulled off a sign-and-trade deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, landing Jake Layman and signing him to a three-year, $11.3 million deal.

Then, Rosas inked big man Jordan Bell to a minimum deal and added a series of undrafted players on modest guaranteed contracts (Naz Reid) and two-way deals (Jordan McLaughlin and Kelan Martin).

That was the gist of the roster overhaul in the offseason, but as we sit here today, in the midst of a March-into-April hiatus from the NBA, only eight of the 15 players on the current roster (not counting Evan Turner, who has yet to set foot in Minnesota) were on the team to start the year. And that includes both two-way players and Nowell and Reid, who spent much of the first part of the season with the Iowa Wolves of the G League.

Let’s walk through the roster overhaul, position by position.