The NBA Is not exactly swimming with front-court talent in the 2022 NBA Draft. So teams that seek help on the boards will need to be… creative. And that is where the Minnesota Timberwolves find themselves, needing frontcourt help and needing to add a bit of ingenuity to resolve that need.
We know that the Minnesota Timberwolves need help on the frontcourt, need help on the defensive side of the court, and are not in a great position to trade significant assets to meet that need. Finally, we know that current NBA Rumors are surfacing that suggest that the New York Knicks will be aggressively pursuing a trade for Minnesota Timberwolve PG D’Angelo Russell.
The biggest problem with the scenario in that rumored trade scenario, the Timberwolves do not get much value by adding the likes of Derrick Rose and Evan Fournier’s salary in exchange for that of D’Angelo Russell. In fact, that particular type of exchange is exactly what the Timberwolves wish to avoid. The reason for that is due to the fact that the expected win total after the trade projects five fewer wins for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
So that should be off the table.
Still, the Knicks do have an intriguing player in backup center/power forward Nerlens Noel who could be a nice addition to the Timberwolves roster. After all, Noel is a veteran of eight NBA seasons, is comfortable coming off the bench, is very good at rebounds, blocks, and steals. While he does not generate much on the offensive side of the court, his ability to create turnovers sets up high-quality fast breaks that end up putting up points quickly.
And because he is a veteran, he was a far most consistent court presence in the NBA Playoffs. The Timberwolves have picks and players to offer up in any potential deal, and if push comes to shove, the Timberwolves could look for Noel and more in exchange for Russell.
Is Nerlens Noel the missing link for the Minnesota Timberwolves? Perhaps not, but he could be another role player who could help the Timberwolves be even more competitive in 2022.