Minnesota Timberwolves: Finding the perfect fit with Towns and Edwards

Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns, Ricky Rubio
Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves talks to Ricky Rubio and teammates. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Evaluating the Minnesota Timberwolves best lineup this season

Let’s start with the Timberwolves’ best lineup this season.

Naturally, it features both Towns and Edwards. It also includes Beasley. What may be surprising to some is that it also features Rubio and Jarred Vanderbilt.

That five-man combination has played over 220 possessions together and boasts a plus-14.3 net rating and out of all lineups that have played 200 or more possessions, that group has the ninth-best net rating, per Cleaning the Glass.

Imagine that, the Minnesota Timberwolves have a top-10 lineup in the entire NBA. But, it makes sense with how the lineup is configured.

Beasley’s game is fairly scheme-proof and can fit into any lineup. He’s a great shooter and an above-average playmaker. Beasley doesn’t need the ball in his hands (41.5 percent on catch-and-shoot threes) if the Wolves want to let Edwards play on-the-ball more often but also can play with the ball in his hands (40.5 percent on pull-up threes, 12.2 percent assist rate) in short spurts as a secondary creator.

Lineups with Beasley, Towns, and Edwards are plus-6.9 per 100 possessions, and that’s a combination that can sustain.

Since D’Angelo Russell went out with an injury on Feb. 8, Rubio has shot 39 percent from beyond the arc. It’s unlikely that Rubio fits with that group if he doesn’t knock down triples at a high clip, but he also gives the Wolves an elite facilitator who can relieve some of the pressure from Edwards.

Going forward, however, Rubio isn’t the best fit for that group. He doesn’t fit the age trajectory and there are questions around if his 3-point shooting can sustain. But we can use that profile as a jumping-off point.