Last season, the Minnesota Timberwolves finished eighth in offensive rating, with one of the NBA’s very best offenses over the second half of the season. This season, however, they are just 18th despite great scoring years from D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards.
Part of that drop can be attributed to the long-term injury to Karl-Anthony Towns, the team’s best offensive player last season. Malik Beasley was their best shooter last year and went to the Utah Jazz as part of the Rudy Gobert trade. Some role players, such as Jaylen Nowell, have taken a step back.
The Minnesota Timberwolves might need to find a way to jolt their offense.
Minnesota has been playing much better as of late, winning seven of their last 10 games, and can start looking ahead to the playoffs. How can they juice the offense and give themselves the best opportunity to keep up with some of the powerhouse offenses in the Western Conference?
One such option is a player rumored to be available from another West contender, the Denver Nuggets. The one area where the Wolves do have depth this season is at center, with five playable centers and not enough playing time for them all. Luka Garza and Nathan Knight would have infinitesimal trade value, Karl-Anthony Towns literally cannot be traded until this summer, and Rudy Gobert isn’t going anywhere.
That leaves Naz Reid, a talented player heading to free agency that is a prime candidate to be moved. Can the Timberwolves work out a trade with the Nuggets to give them the backup center they need, and in return add a talent offensive player to improve one of Minnesota’s weaknesses? Let’s take a look.