Breaking down the Minnesota Timberwolves’ opening night roster and rotation

D'Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
D'Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, D'Angelo Russell, Ricky Rubio, Ed Davis
D’Angelo Russell, Ricky Rubio, and Ed Davis of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves made a few roster moves this weekend, presumably locking in their opening night roster.

It appears as though Minnesota Timberwolves have settled on their opening night roster.

After a flurry of moves across Friday and Saturday, the Wolves now have 14 players under standard contracts and two on two-way deals. All of the non-roster camp invitees have been waived, paving the way for them to be brought back with the Iowa Wolves of the G League.

That means that it’s time to look at the final roster construction and take a stab at what this rotation might look like.

The somewhat surprising release of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson also suggests that the Wolves could have their sights set on a significant move in the not-too-distant future, so that’s something to keep in mind as well.

Let’s start by looking at the point guard spot.

Minnesota Timberwolves Opening Night Roster: Point Guard

Starter: D’Angelo Russell
Bench: Ricky Rubio
Depth: Jordan McLaughlin (two-way), Ashton Hagans (two-way)

The Wolves will open the season with only two true point guards on regular NBA contracts, although both of their two-way slots are filled by point guards.

D’Angelo Russell is the starter and 2019 All-Star who is expected to be the Robin to Karl-Anthony Towns‘ Batman. He’s a dynamic offensive talent and an absolutely perfect fit with Towns as a solid shooter and creative passer.

If Ricky Rubio indeed comes off the bench to start the season, it’s not a stretch to suggest that he’s the league’s best backup point guard. He’s another fantastic fit with Towns, and while he’s nowhere near the scorer that Russell is, he’s an even better playmaker and significantly better defensively.

Russell and Rubio will play together plenty, as promised by head coach Ryan Saunders and as seen in the first two preseason games. It gives the Wolves the opportunity to have a playmaker or two on the court at all times.

This year’s two-way deals are being handled differently than past seasons, as teams will be allowed to have two-way players active for 50 of the 72 regular-season games instead of the old rule of 45 days throughout the season. That means that more often than not, McLaughlin will be available as the third point guard in the event of any foul trouble for Russell or Rubio.

If neither two-way player is with the team, a combination of Jarrett Culver, Jaylen Nowell, and even rookie Anthony Edwards would likely be charged with initiating the offense.

The Wolves have arguably the league’s best 1-2 punch at point guard in Russell and Rubio, and McLaughlin is clearly one of the league’s best third-string lead guards as well.

Now, let’s take a look at the wing position.