Evaluating the Minnesota Timberwolves’ roster from top to bottom

Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates his basket with Josh Okogie. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Anthony Edwards of the Minnesota Timberwolves celebrates his basket with Josh Okogie. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
3 of 3
Minnesota Timberwolves, Jarrett Culver
Jarrett Culver of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Players who should fall out of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ rotation

This short rotation leaves out a few important names, most notably Ricky Rubio.

The Spaniard had a rough start to the season but has picked things up under Finch. With Finch at the helm, Rubio is averaging 9.8 points and 7.7 assists per game, although he hasn’t been able to buy a bucket in the last four outings.

Rubio has become Edwards’ Mr. Miyagi and is integral to the 19-year-old’s development. Rubio is 30-years old, has never found a reliable jumper, and is owed $17.8 million next season. His name came up in several trade rumors this year at the deadline and it would be shocking if the Timberwolves don’t strongly consider moving on from the fan-favorite before next year’s deadline.

The short rotation also doesn’t include either Josh Okogie or Jarrett Culver. The former first-round picks have had their share of troubles this season. Both have missed time with injuries, and neither can seem to get in a rhythm offensively.

Although Okogie and Culver are two of the best wing defenders on the team, they completely cancel each other out if they share the floor. Neither young guard can be trusted to finish close games as Okogie is shooting just 35 percent overall and 26.7 percent from three, while Culver hits an anemic 21.4 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.

Neither can share the floor with Edwards, who is also struggling with his shot this season, so both have been relegated to bench duty where their lack of shooting ability constantly creates spacing issues on the floor. Both are signed through next season (Culver also has a team option for 2022-23) and the Timberwolves would be hard-pressed to re-sign either and will likely dangle them in upcoming trades or cut bait in a year or two.

Although they’ve been better as of late, the revolving door of Jake Layman, Juancho Hernangomez, and Jarred Vanderbilt as plug-and-play power forwards has mostly been a disaster for the Wolves.

Juancho can shoot (although not this season), Layman can cut, and Vanderbilt can defend, but each player being good at one thing does not account for a good power forward. Expect Layman and Juancho to be filler in future Rosas trade offers while Vanderbilt could stay and see spot minutes in case the Wolves don’t address their biggest need in the offseason.

Lastly, Jordan McLaughlin is as solid as journeymen point guards come, but how long do you expect Minnesota to keep him on two-way contracts and minimum salaries? Sooner or later another team is going to offer him some more stability and poof, and he’ll be gone.

The Wolves have nothing to play for the rest of this season, and unless the Magic, Pistons, and Rockets surpass Minnesota in the tankathon, they’ll have the best odds possible to keep their first-round draft pick this season.

Their focus to close out the season should be evaluating what they have on the roster. Finch shouldn’t be afraid to mix-and-match lineups to find what works and who plays well together.  With every player in the starting lineup 25 years old and younger, Finch shouldn’t hesitate to ride his young core and play them Thibodeau-like minutes down the stretch to see what he has to build on next season.

Next. 3 players affected by Malik Beasley's return. dark

There’s no time to waste with this team, even if the Timberwolves have already effectively been wasting time for 17 years.