The Minnesota Timberwolves are about as short-handed as possible as they prepare to host the Boston Celtics on Monday night at Target Center.
Minnesota Timberwolves have eight players in health and safety protocols
The Minnesota Timberwolves recently went on a four-game winning streak with some key players missing due to health and safety protocols missing the final two wins, including Anthony Edwards and Patrick Beverley.
Then, starting power forward Jarred Vanderbilt joined the list and the Wolves suffered a disappointing loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. Before Thursday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, Karl-Anthony Towns joined the list.
Now, over the Wolves three-day break bridging Christmas, D’Angelo Russell has become the Wolves’ eighth player on the list.
All five starters — Russell, Beverley, Edwards, Vanderbilt, and Towns — are on the list. Taurean Prince, Josh Okogie, and McKinley Wright IV are all in health and safety protocols as well.
Prior to Tuesday’s game in Dallas, the Wolves added Chris Silva and Rayjon Tucker from the G League on 10-day contracts. Neither one has played as of yet, but that may change on Monday as the roster continues to become thinner.
Including the duo of 10-day deals, the Wolves only have 10 total players who are able to suit up at the moment. That could theoretically change on Monday, as Edwards and Beverley should both be completing their 10-day mandatory quarantine following what was presumably a positive COVID-19 test. Per previous reports, the Wolves’ entire roster is vaccinated and most players have already received their booster shot.
Still, Minnesota would be able to add another player via the league’s hardship exemption if they so choose.
Expect to see more of Jaylen Nowell on Monday night against the Celtics; the guard only played 19 minutes on Thursday despite the short-handedness of the roster. He can both score and initiate offense, and with Jordan McLaughlin the only healthy true point guard on the roster, Nowell could get a significant opportunity to make his mark.
It’s also likely that Tucker sees his first NBA action of the season given how thin the backcourt has become.
Then again, Edwards and/or Beverley return on Tuesday, the roster will be in much better shape. Not only that, it’s always possible that some of the others who have been on the list for a little while, including Vanderbilt, Prince, and Okogie, could return sooner with a pair of negative COVID-19 tests spaced at least 24 hours apart.