Timberwolves Mike Conley Jr. brings more than veteran leadership to team

Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /

While the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to find and sign players to the Timberwolves roster for another NBA season, let’s pause a moment and examine one of the areas where the Timberwolves are most vulnerable to injuries for the 2023-24 NBA season. When we do that, it’s impossible to ignore how thin the Timberwolves are behind veteran point guard Mike Conley Jr.

Of course, Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch is no stranger to a void at the point guard position. He had to manufacture the role among other players when former PG D’Angelo Russell was uncomfortable in that role.

And despite how crazy as it may sound now, the Timberwolves did a pretty good job of quilting elements of the role from other players like backup point guard  Jordan McLaughlin, shooting guard Anthony Edwards, and most of all point forward Kyle Anderson.

Mike Conley Jr. checks so many boxes on the Timberwolves roster

But not having Conley on the basketball court hurts the Timberwolves in more ways than simply having a veteran field general on the floor. Conley is a skilled marksman at sinking those corner threes, and it was his arrival that helped the Timberwolves to improve the entire team’s perimeter shooting:

But the most important reason to love Mike Conley Jr. is his motivation to elevate the play of everyone on the basketball team. He is not a player who wants to make NBA headlines. Rather, he wants to chalk up any victory in the team’s record. And that is a pretty rare quality in modern NBA players, who know that the biggest paychecks go to the most proficient scorers.

Without Conley, the Timberwolves’ trade for Rudy Gobert would be at far greater risk of falling short and perhaps even failing altogether. Without Conley, young shooting guard Anthony Edwards would be far more responsible for defensive assignments and would be compelled to pass the ball more. Without Conley, this team would struggle to identify a true veteran leader on the roster.

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Minnesota Timberwolves Mike Conley Jr. is more than veteran leadership. He is the glue that not only holds the Timberwolves roster together but also makes the Timberwolves’ front office appear to shine as well.