The Minnesota Timberwolves struggled to create any chemistry among the team’s starting five with the rapid and rampant stream of injuries that plagued almost all key rotational players at one time or another. After all, seven games competing together is hardly worth mentioning, as the team swapped out former point guard D’Angelo Russell and added veteran point guard Mike Conley Jr.
The lack of chemistry and continuity was further complicated by the fact that Karl-Anthony Towns, a key contributor on this roster, suited up for just 29 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves last year. That’s a hard pill to swallow, as that happened immediately after he signed his Super-Max Extension, a deal that makes him one of the highest-paid players in the NBA.
The extension seemed to be fitting at the time, but the Minnesota Timberwolves trade for center Rudy Gobert added another highly compensated to the Timberwolves roster. And with the emergence of Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels, the Timberwolves’ financial situation has narrowed from a one-way street to a tightrope.
Super Max to silence
The team cannot keep everyone from last season, not with the new NBA/NBPA regulations being ratified for the 2023-24 NBA season. And so, the team will need to be surgically precise in any approach to reassembling the team for a new campaign. How can the Timberwolves make it all work?
Well, the Timberwolves will surely need to focus on return on investment. That means, for the money invested, who delivered at a level in excess of their compensation? And on the flip side, who delivered less than their compensation level? If the sample size is purely based on last season, then the glaring underperformance came from Towns. How poorly did he deliver? At a salary of over $33 million, he was paid $1.17 million per game.
Another way is to rethink the pieces that the team brings back for the 2023-24 NBA season, and that could translate into trading away a key contributor for the chance to upgrade the Timberwolves roster overall.