Minnesota Timberwolves acquire Ed Davis via trade with New York Knicks

The Minnesota Timberwolves have reportedly acquired big man Ed Davis in a trade with the New York Knicks.

Sure enough, the Minnesota Timberwolves didn’t rely solely on the free-agent market to shore up their frontcourt.

On the heels of re-signing Juan Hernangomez and rescinding the qualifying offer for Kelan Martin, the Wolves have reportedly added some veteran depth to their frontcourt in the form of Ed Davis, who spent the 2019-20 season with the Utah Jazz.

Minnesota Timberwolves acquire Ed Davis via trade with New York Knicks

Heading into free agency on Friday, the Wolves had some depth issues in the frontcourt.

The Timberwolves traded James Johnson to Oklahoma City on draft night in the trade that brought in Ricky Rubio. That meant that behind this side of Karl-Anthony Towns, the Wolves only had Jarred Vanderbilt (28 NBA games played), second-year center Naz Reid, and rookie Jaden McDaniels, who was just drafted No. 28 overall on Wednesday night.

Omari Spellman was the only other big man on the roster, and he was always expected to be traded this offseason. Now, he has.

Spellman never set foot in Minnesota following his trade from Golden State in February, save for his awkward presence at the introductory press conference. He played in seven games for the Iowa Wolves of the G League alongside former Warriors teammate Jacob Evans III, who appeared in eight G League games and two games with the Timberwolves in his stint in the organization.

Davis, on the other hand, is a 31-year-old big man who will likely sever as the primary backup to Karl-Anthony Towns and a mentor of sorts for Naz Reid, assuming the latter remains on the team for the 2020-21 season. While Davis doesn’t stretch the floor much, he may have a shot at some minutes at the 4 depending on matchups.

While Davis broke his leg early last season and only appeared in 21 games for the Utah Jazz, he played in 81 games for the 42-win Brooklyn Nets in 2018-19 — yet another tie to D’Angelo Russell and assistant coach Pablo Prigioni’s time in the Big Apple.

Davis is known as a strong defensive big man and a fantastic rebounder, and those are two things the Wolves desperately needed prior to his acquisition. Even if he’s lost a step over the past 12 months or so, Davis will provide stability and a veteran locker room presence that was left vacant following Johnson’s trade earlier in the week.

The Wolves will likely start Hernangomez and Towns in the frontcourt, with the ability to go small with Jake Layman or big with Ed Davis or Naz Reid off the bench. Anthony Edwards could also get some run at the 4 in extremely small-ball lineups.

Notably, the Wolves still have one roster spot open after moving on from Martin, Spellman, and Evans, bringing back Hernangomez and acquiring Davis.

Will they bring back Jordan McLaughlin, who is the lone Wolves player still sitting in restricted free agency? Or will they look for more veteran bench help?