The debate over whether the Minnesota Timberwolves are better or worse off without PF/C Karl-Anthony Towns continues to be waged among fans as opinions are plentiful during the Timberwolves’ struggles on the season. But if you want to go beyond the raw emotions, opinions, and frustrations, the Timberwolves have struggled to win anytime in their history without Karl-Anthony Towns suiting up. Those are simply the facts.
For all intents and purposes, the Minnesota Timberwolves committed their foreseeable future to Karl-Anthony Towns when the team signed him to a Super-Max contract. That was not a knee-jerk reaction. A big who can play in the front court, but can sink perimeter shots consistently, are as good as gold in the NBA.
The Timberwolves roster will transform once more
But so is a front-court player who can bring the basketball up, set the plays, and distribute the basketball to the open shooter. Right now, power forward Kyle Anderson is proving to be nearly as valuable to the Minnesota Timberwolves roster as anyone. But when Karl-Anthony Towns returns and resumes his spot on the Timberwolves’ starting-5, what of Kyle Anderson? And for that matter, who becomes the point forward or point guard for the team going forward?
When reports became public that PG D’Angelo Russell was struggling running the team as the point guard, the Timberwolves wasted no time in patching that pothole by repurposing Kyle Anderson, an incredibly versatile player, as the team’s point forward. But if KAT is on the floor, and Slo-Mo is on the bench, that means that the Timberwolves will need to redirect that role to a player who is on the basketball court.
Of course, the obvious solution is to restore PG to D’Angelo Russell’s role. But that won’t fix things. Backup PG Jordan McLaughlin can handle the load when he is healthy again, but he is the backup.
In the end, the Minnesota Timberwolves roster will likely transform once more, giving point duties to D’Lo until the first rotation, then sliding the role to either McLaughlin or Anderson, whoever happens to be on the basketball court at the time.
Of course, if the Timberwolves add a starting caliber PG, that problem goes away. Stay tuned, as the NBA Trade Deadline could mean changes for quite a few teams.