How are you feeling today? Are you ready to tackle the role of Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations today? Why am I asking you this? Well, the Minnesota Timberwolves have some important decisions to make regarding whether or not to re-sign Timberwolves free agents. And we have been presenting the decisions necessary to reassemble the Timberwolves roster recently with featured stories about:
As you can see, there is plenty of work to do, and we have more pending Timberwolves free agents to cover. In this article, we will focus on the other ‘big guy’ on the team, a player whose contract contains a team option to bring him back for the 2023-2024 NBA season. But the option denotes that there is a choice to do so.
Nathan Knight is a versatile 6-foot-10 253-pound towering player who can slide into the rotation to absorb minutes either as a power forward or as a center, depending on the immediate need of the team on any given day. The team has the option to bring Knight back for one more season at a cost of $1.997 million. So now the question is, will the Minnesota Timberwolves do so?
Why Timberwolves may not re-sign
The Timberwolves’ frontcourt has some promising players, including young players like PF Matt Ryan, 2-Way backup center Luka Garza (yet to be featured), and backup center Naz Reid (yet to be featured). While the Timberwolves had plenty of injuries in the 2022-23 NBA season, in any normal year, the Timberwolves roster could experience quite a log jam for minutes with so many young promising players who all need court presence to develop.
But Nathan Knight, as versatile as he is, seems to have already plateaued for the Timberwolves. That was apparent when the Timberwolves lost PF Karl-Anthony Towns to injury, and occasionally lost C Rudy Gobert as well. On those occasions, the team turned to Naz Reid, Matt Ryan, and Luka Garza to handle the bulk of the minutes.
Why Timberwolves should re-sign
I don’t know that the Minnesota Timberwolves have enough onramps this year to shoo away anyone who can play for less than a cool $2 million per season. And there are still positive flashes that should keep Nathan Knight on the Timberwolves roster. For starters, he has solid shot accuracy, hitting 56.8 percent of his shots from the floor, and 36.4 percent of his three-pointers last season.
And let’s not act like he did not deliver when counted on. In 2022-23 games where he played 10 or more minutes (10 games), he averaged:
8.6 PPG | 3.3 RPG | 1.1 APG | 0.6 SPG | 0.4 BPG
While that is not the type of production that screams more minutes, is it enough to scream don’t bring this guy back? We know that injuries can happen pretty rapidly and to multiple players on the roster simultaneously.
What will it be then? The Timberwolves have a pretty solid contract for young PF Josh Minott that will cost the team $1.7 million in 2023-24, so Knight’s price of $1.99 million is in the ballpark. When money gets tight, the greatest challenge is finding players who can fill niche roles on the roster for bargain prices.
Nathan Knight can fill a niche role on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster for a bargain price. I think that is exactly what this team should allow him to do.