The Minnesota Timberwolves need pro-ready players if they want to make a playoff run next season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have lots of young talent. From Karl-Anthony Towns to Malik Beasley, there is a lot of scoring present. What the Timberwolves do not have, though, are ‘glue’ guys that can come in and make in impact on both ends of the floor.
Finding relatively cheap players that can both put the ball in the basket and defend at a high level should be the top priority in free agency this coming season — especially if that player can do things from a variety of positions.
There are many bigger-name targets such as Serge Ibaka and Marcus Morris, but those players are likely going to get upwards of $15 million per year, a number that Minnesota simply will not be able to afford. Between adding D’Angelo Russell’s $30 million-per-season contract and the assumed re-signing of RFA Malik Beasley, the Timberwolves will probably be in the negative as free agency opens. That said, they will also have multiple exceptions that they can use to bring in players.
The player that best fits all of these needs is Justin Holiday, a two-way wing that currently plays for the Indiana Pacers. This past season alone, Holiday averaged about eight points per game in roughly 25 minutes per night.
Alone, that stat may not be impressive, but Holiday’s shooting numbers most certainly are. Taking about two-thirds of his shots beyond the three-point line, Holiday hit 42-percent of his long-range shots. Inside the arc, he hit 47-percent, with a free-throw success rate of 78-percent. He was objectively good with efficiency and has a very-high level of intelligence when it comes to shot selection. Holiday is also a good tertiary playmaker. His assist numbers are not high, but his turnover ratio is excellent for someone in his particular role.
The defense is also very good with Holiday. This past season, he averaged 1.2 steals and 0.6 blocks per game with only 1.8 personal fouls. He also had a defensive box plus-minus of 1.7 and carried 2.2 defensive win-shares as well.
Holiday is the definition of a 3-and-D wing. He is great at spot-up shooting and is a plus player on the defensive side of the ball. He is one of the most efficient low-usage players in free agency this year and should be more sought after than he currently is. For a team that is aiming to make the playoffs, he would fit right in.
Holiday would be a great fit next to both Russell and Beasley. He brings the spacing required next to Towns from the 2/3 position as well. He could compliment both Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver, and in general, just be a great complimentary piece to add on a 1-2 year contract worth the mid-level exception.