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Comparing the Timberwolves’ roster to the Vikings

Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Jarred Vanderbilt
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Jarred Vanderbilt dunks against the Charlotte Hornets. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /

Timberwolves-Vikings Roster Comparisons: Top of the rotation

Let’s look at the rest of the Wolves’ rotation compared to the Vikings.

Jarred Vanderbilt is the Timberwolves’ Brian O’Neal

Vanderbilt has become a fan favorite just based on pure energy and hustle. Just like an offensive lineman, Vanderbilt goes underappreciated with all he does on the court.

It’s fair to say that rebounding is a lot like blocking in the NFL. It’s not necessarily sexy, but if you don’t grab boards, you are screwed. If you can’t block, you’re screwed. Vanderbilt is by far the best unknown player in the NBA and will one day get the recognition he deserves if he keeps this up, just like O’Neal who was finally given a pro bowl nod after a few great seasons.

O’Neal and Vanderbilt are also the nicest guys on the team and seem to always be smiling, those are some guys that are easy to root for.

Patrick Beverley is the Timberwolves’ Harrison Smith

Beverly is a defensive freak. He will go toe-to-toe with guys a foot taller than him — plus, he wears black Air Force 1’s, so he’s not to be messed with. Just like Harrison Smith, Beverley can do it all on defense, and it’s not just himself, he elevates everyone around him.

He gets in the head of opponents, he flashes up for a steal when you least expect him, and he is in your grill as soon as you touch the ball, much like Smith being in the backfield or waiting back for the pick.

Russell is the leader on offense, Beverly is the head honcho on defense.

Jaden McDaniels is the Timberwolves’ Danielle Hunter

This one is more of a young Hunter where we saw flashes and are over the moon of what he could potentially be, and his ceiling keeps getting higher.

Like Hunter, McDaniels is a bona fide mismatch no matter what. He is capable of defending the best player on any team, whether that be the point guard or the center. The excitement on Edwards was almost the same hype McDaniels got as he looked like a young KG for stretches.

Any time, any day, you try scoring on Hunter or McDaniels and you will be going back to the drawing board.

Naz Reid is the Timberwolves’ Cam Dantzler or Irv Smith Jr.

Dantzler and Smith Jr. were poised for break-out seasons before it all hit the fan.

After a phenomenal rookie season, Dantzler seemed to have the starting corner spot locked down, but he and then-head coach Mike Zimmer butted heads and he ultimately wound up in the dog house.

As for Smith Jr, everyone and their mother reported on the breakout campaign he was going to have based on his performance in training camp, then he needed knee surgery and we all had to wait till next season.

In a similar vein, the hype surrounding Reid was so astronomical that it became a thing to just tweet out his name. Trust me, search “Naz Reid” in your Twitter search bar and it will be thousands of tweets just saying his name. But like Dantzler and Smith Jr., this season has been something of a setback for Reid, including less playing time and worse shooting percentages.

Reid seems to be in a slump, but the hope for a bright future is still there. The way I would view Reid is a poor man’s Towns who could become a mid-class Towns if he got it all together.