5 Minnesota Timberwolves who may not be back next season

Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves News Timberwolves Roster Nathan Knight
Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

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Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Nathan Knight has had plenty of opportunities this season. Of 61 games, he has made 33 appearances. Unfortunately, when he shows up, he has not made much of a positive impact on the Timberwolves’ chances of success.

So far this season, he has averaged 8.1 minutes, 3.8 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 0.4 assists. Despite his low season average, he has erupted four times this season to put up 10+ points in a game. Each time he has done so, the Timberwolves have won. That could be a bit misleading, as his surge in production has tracked with the games in which the Timberwolves get commanding leads. The lone exception to that trend this season was his breakout game against the Houston Rockets when Knight converted 25 minutes into 19 points, four rebounds, and a +/- of +23 for the game.

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Has Knight already hit his ceiling?

He returned to the court the following game against the same opponent and in 16 minutes of playing time, scored just four points, hauled in four rebounds, and dished out one assist.

This is Knight’s third NBA season, and in each year he has averaged around eight minutes per game and 3.8 points per game. The third season for NBA players is typically when that player erupts for significant improvement, but that ‘overdrive,’ simply has not kicked in for Knight. Is he a certain casualty? No.

While the team can likely bring Knight back on a minimal contract, the question becomes more about dolling out minutes and opportunities. Knight appears to have hit his ceiling, and the Timberwolves have both Matt Ryan and Josh Minott waiting in the wings. Does the decision to extend Knight, even for cheap, make sense in light of the fact that the team has two younger players vying for playing time?