The Minnesota Timberwolves have a pivotal offseason ahead of them as they need to make the correct moves to fill out the roster around the team’s two max-contract players.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have made the playoffs exactly once in the last 15 years and are currently in 14th-place in the Western Conference.
While the Wolves have not had recent success and this season has been disappointing, they have had bright spots and are looking to make a splash this offseason.
The Wolves have two first-round picks and three total picks in the top 33 this year’s draft. They are one of the few teams in the NBA that should have at least some flexibility in free agency.
Gersson Rosas has also shown that he is willing to improve the rosters through trades, which is also a possibility this offseason. Whether it be to get another impact player, get back into the first round of the 2021 draft, or create more cap room for free agency, Rosas has multiple options he can choose from this offseason when it comes to trades.
With all this in mind, let’s take a look at what should be the top priorities at each position for Rosas and the Timberwolves this offseason.
Re-sign Jordan McLaughlin
While it took Jordan McLaughlin a few games to acclimate to the speed of the NBA, he eventually proved that he is a capable backup to D’Angelo Russell. Because of Russell’s max contract, the Wolves need an inexpensive backup.
McLaughlin is a 24-year-old rookie, meaning his ceiling isn’t particularly high, but he has room to grow and still fits the Wolves’ timeline. Even with his early-season struggles, J-Mac sits with a somewhat surprising PER of 16.3, above the league-average of 15, per Basketball-Reference.
If the Wolves can sign McLaughlin to an affordable multi-year deal they should jump on it immediately. While McLaughlin lacks size and defense, he runs the offense efficiently and is willing and able to shoot the 3-pointer.
Re-sign Malik Beasley at all costs
Malik Beasley had limited playing time suiting up for the deep Denver Nuggets, but proved his worth once he was traded to the Wolves at the deadline. Like McLaughlin, he is a minus defensive player, but his offensive game more than makes up for it.
While he may not be a 20-point-per-game guy for a perennial playoff team, he is one of the best spot-up shooters in the game. He also showed he can make threes off the dribble, something he did not consistently do for the Nuggets.
The Wolves should be willing to match any contract Beasley may sign for this offseason. He just might be the third start the Wolves will need to be a perennial playoff contender.