The Minnesota Timberwolves can score points. By scoring points, the team can win games. Well, can win games as long as the team scores more points than the opponent. You see, there is the other half of the basketball court where the Minnesota Timberwolves are less effective. That is defense, and the Timberwolves need help, significant help, in that department.
But should the team sacrifice offensive production for defensive potential? Or is this team walking a tight-wire, adding defense but not diminishing their point-scoring? And that’s the challenge for the Minnesota Timberwolves this off-season.
Where will this team even start? We know that there are plenty of players who could be intently monitored this year, and if some improvement is not forthcoming, will be playing for other teams. But many of those ‘step up or step away’ scenarios fall to the younger players. This roster also has some veterans who, through no fault of their own, may simply not be the best suited for the needs of this roster. And so it is up to the new Minnesota Timberwolves team president, Tim Connelly, to quickly decide where the team needs to be addressed, how rapidly to do so, and how dramatically to make those changes.
Jusuf Nurkic is a 6-foot-11 290-pound NBA veteran who has logged nine years in the league. And as a random coincidence would have it, Minnesota Timberwolves President Tim Connelly helped to draft him to the NBA with the Denver Nuggets. He was also part of the brain trust who eventually traded Nurkic to the Portland Trail Blazers in February 2019.
The Minnesota Timberwolves could really use an upgrade around the basket for many reasons. Rebounds, better rotation options for resting Karl-Anthony Towns, and even some help on the offensive side of the basketball court.
Nurkic has been a starting center since arriving at the Trail Blazers and has played in the NBA Playoffs in four of the six seasons that he has been with the team. He has been a rock-steady if only an unremarkable center for the Trail Blazers. While inconsistent shooting from three-point range, he is a master of hauling in rebounds, can attract attention near the basket and then pass out to the open shooter, he has a strong ability to knock down shots near the basket, and he even has that stealthy long arm to create the occasional turnover.
While he will have an active market, he is one of the better fits for the Timberwolves and a player that Connelly knows. He brings great defense, and a strong presence near the basket, and he could allow the Wolves to flex their roster to ensure that KAT gets plenty of minutes off to store up for postseason play.