Well, the Minnesota Timberwolves have not signed their own NBA Summer League backcourt star, Kevon Harris, but they have been busy nevertheless. You see, they continue to focus on perimeter shooters, and that trend continued as they have added a new name, A.J. Lawson. Lawson played for the Dallas Mavericks this year in summer league competition and played so well that the Timberwolves are signing him to a two-way contract.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are signing G/F AJ Lawson to a two-way NBA deal, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Lawson had a strong summer league for Dallas, averaging 15.6 points and six rebounds in five games.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 19, 2022
A.J. Lawson went undrafted in the 2021 NBA Draft but did compete for both the Atlanta Hawk and Miami Heat in summer league play last year. Lawson was born in Toronto, Canada, stands 6-foot-6, and weighs 179-pounds.
While Lawson did not win any summer league accolades, he most certainly raised some eyebrows. He was the star of the Dallas Mavericks summer league roster, averaging 29.5 MPG, 15.6 PPG, and 6.0 RPG. He shot 51.9 percent from the floor, 50.0 percent from the perimeter, and 84.6 percent from the free throw line.
Despite such a hot shooting hand, he even chimed in with 1.4 assists per game.
Why A.J.? Why now?
The Minnesota Timberwolves moved quickly to snap up because, quite frankly, other NBA teams were circling as well. The Dallas Mavericks were reportedly pondering offering their own two-way contract to Lawson, but the Timberwolves were more rapid in their decision-making process.
The Minnesota Timberwolves just got an absolute steal.
Not only is A.J. Lawson a high flyer, but he’s able to score at all three levels.
He was the G League’s most hidden gem last year, IMO. College Park, where he played, was stacked.
I expect him to get a contract upgrade. https://t.co/3HIe2piwUf
— Ben Creider (@BenCreider) July 19, 2022
That 50 percent shooting from three-point range was simply too good to pass up for the Timberwolves, who will have both Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns working in the paint. To create spacing, the Timberwolves will need multiple players who can be long-range artillery and let Gobert and KAT clean up any misses by rebounding and scoring.
The Timberwolves have been suspected of slotting forward Nathan Knight into one of two two-way contracts and pairing him with their drafted rookie, forward Josh Minott. Minott was selected with the team’s 45th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but his play was so outstanding that the team has since offered him a standard rookie contract.
That opened up a two-way contract for Lawson.
The Timberwolves should have one more unclaimed roster slot, and I expect that to be filled by either a point guard or center. Stay tuned. The Minnesota Timberwolves with President Tim Connelly at the helm are certainly not boring.