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
MIAMI, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 26: Malik Beasley of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /


Out: Andrew Wiggins, Robert Covington, Keita Bates-Diop, Treveon Graham, Allen Crabbe

In: Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, James Johnson, Jacob Evans III

Things get a bit murky when considering wings in the Timberwolves’ system, as both traditional 2s and modern-day 4s fall into the same category, but here goes nothing.

For instance, Covington began the season as the starting power forward, and while he spent some time at the 3, he was primarily a 4 this season. Hernangomez is one of the few players on the Wolves’ roster that effectively only plays one position, and he’s the new starting 4. But Johnson, despite seeing plenty of minutes at the 5, is a natural 4 and has spent time there in a Wolves uniform.

Wiggins and Covington were both sent out just prior to the deadline. Covington was part of a massive four-team deal that also sent out Bell, Bates-Diop, and Napier. The Wolves got back Beasley, Hernangomez, and Jarred Vanderbilt.

Beasley looks like a potential star at shooting guard, and depending on how the Wolves (or any other teams, for that matter) feel about his defense, he could get paid handsomely in restricted free agency this summer. Hernangomez has been solid as the Wolves’ new starting power forward, although he’s only had the opportunity to play next to Karl-Anthony Towns twice.

In short, the Wolves shipped out a pair of average (at best) shooters in Wiggins and Bates-Diop and got back a great one in Beasley and a solid-at-worst shooter in Hernangomez. Johnson is average from beyond the arc as well.

While it hurt to lose Covington, the Wolves were able to make up for that loss by acquiring a couple of even better shooters in Beasley and Russell.

The one thing that’s still lacking? Defense. Covington was the best defensive player on the roster all season long, and now that he’s gone, the Wolves’ overall defensive numbers have plummeted.

Will the improvement in shooting and athleticism be enough to make up for the drop in defense? Only time will tell.