5 Minnesota Timberwolves who may not be back next season

Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /
7 of 8
Minnesota Timberwolves News Timberwolves Roster Austin Rivers
(Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Player II

Much like the previous scenarios, the Minnesota Timberwolves signed free-agent shooting guard Austin Rivers to add backcourt depth and restore perimeter shooting to the team. So far, Austin Rivers has been what the Timberwolves hoped to get, and perhaps better than, for the season. One of the invaluable impacts of this veteran shooting guard is his willingness to step up and talk about the team and his teammates on any open microphone.

His quotes about his teammates, and about the team, have been headline fodder about the Minnesota Timberwolves both in the good times and the bad times. That has not only placed him into an informal leadership role about the team but has had a tremendously positive effect on Timberwolves fans who have been a bit nervous this season.

Does Rivers have one more NBA season in him?

On the basketball court, Rivers continues to be only a minor-impact veteran. He has appeared in 46 games, starting in 10 contests, and has averaged 20.8 minutes, 5.4 points, 1.7 rebounds, and 1.5 assists. He was red hot as a perimeter shooter in December 2022, hitting nearly 47 percent from long range. In 2023, his marksmanship has fallen to below 33 percent from that distance, leading to the Timberwolves coming up short in some games.

Rivers is playing in his 14th NBA season, and while he has all the heart in the world, he continues to regress in terms of NBA production. His points per game have fallen to the lowest they have been in his NBA career, and you have to wonder if he has one more NBA season left in him. If the Timberwolves do extend him, it will likely be for the minimum. But even at that price, I’m not convinced that it happens.