Minnesota Timberwolves training camp depth chart: Wing
The way that president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas and head coach Ryan Saunders view their roster isn’t necessarily in the traditional positional boxes of shooting guard, small forward, and power forward.
Frankly, today’s NBA doesn’t really view positions in that way, either, although there is still the need for positional flexibility to ensure that, say 6-foot-5 Malik Beasley isn’t guarding a 6-foot-9 stretch-4 every time down the floor. But switchability is vital, and the Wolves had that in mind when assembling this group.
We’ll still break down power forward as it’s own position, however, because while some players in the wing category will play the 4 at times, the Wolves have at least a couple of players who are easily best-suited to stay at that spot.
As for wings, the Wolves have a presumed starter in Malik Beasley. There’s also this year’s No. 1 overall pick, Anthony Edwards, and last year’s No. 6 pick, Jarrett Culver. The Wolves’ first-round pick from two years ago, Josh Okogie, is the team’s best wing defender and longest-tenured Wolf behind Towns.
That’s four players, all of who will need to primarily guard opposing 2s and 3s, and all of who will require a chunk of playing time. And remember, Rubio and Russell are going to play together a fair amount, too.
Last year’s second-round selection, Jaylen Nowell, is still in the fold and has perhaps the best shooting and scoring upside of anyone this side of Beasley. Last season with the G League’s Iowa Wolves, Nowell scored 21 points per game on 44.1 percent 3-point shooting over 6.9 attempts per game. While his deal isn’t entirely guaranteed for the season, his scoring profile is impressive enough that he’ll likely stick around as long as the Wolves can avoid a true roster crunch.
The only other wing is Jake Layman, who primarily played the 4 last year but Saunders mentioned as a candidate to play more minutes at the 3 this season. Layman’s role is perhaps the one that is the most in flux, especially with the re-signing of Juancho Hernangomez and trade for Ed Davis.
Starters: Beasley, Rubio/Okogie
Key Reserves: Okogie, Culver, Edwards, Layman
Wild Card: Nowell
Let’s take a look at the power forward position.