The Minnesota Timberwolves have had a heartbreaking season thus far, sitting with a record of 7-24 with several players who simply haven’t contributed as much as expected.
Plenty of the team’s struggles can be blamed on Karl-Anthony Towns missing the majority of the season so far, there have been players that simply haven’t been useful to the team. The players on this list are players that have been a liability on offense at times or struggled to fill their role on this team and could be trade options in the coming weeks.
Going forward, it may be prudent to replace some of these players for future draft picks or players that may benefit the Wolves’ long-term goals. The players on this list could be useful to other teams that might be looking for things such as defense or a veteran presence.
There is a chance these players could turn it around and improve their game, but for the moment they are a liability when on the floor and candidates to be traded.
1. Ricky Rubio
Until the past week, Ricky Rubio has played this season, has had what is easily the worst offensive season of his career. Prior to Sunday’s road win over the Toronto Raptors, Rubio was shooting just 19 percent from 3-point range and 35 percent from the floor overall.
After a couple of hot games, Rubio is up to 27.4 percent from deep and 36.9 percent from the floor — still numbers that would qualify as the worst of his career if the season ended today.
While the Wolves didn’t acquire Rubio for his shooting, he’s been turning the ball over, too, and the inability to shoot combined with a turnover problem is a deadly combination. His turnover rate has also improved this week, but still sits at 21.8 percent, which is his worst mark since the 2013-14 season.
Rubio’s basketball IQ and his passing are two of the things that make him a good player, but at times he has made inexcusable passes and it’s a big reason why this team is struggling.
Clearly, the teams’ record isn’t completely his fault but he was brought in to be a leader and he needs to start leading by example by making smarter decisions with the ball, shooting at something resembling a league-average level, and improving his defensive effort.