Okay, the Minnesota Timberwolves may be sending everyone mixed signals at the moment. And it’s simply one of many challenges that Timberwolves fans face in the limbo between the annual NBA Draft and the start of a new NBA season. You see, the team is trying to assemble an optimal roster, one that can carry this team through the choppy waters of an 82-game marathon, as well as a Timberwolves roster that has enough left in the gas tank that when the NBA Playoffs arrive, this team can sprint to the finish line.
Right now, a quick review of the Timberwolves’ depth chart leaves questions for both categories. While the team has a strong starting five, the decision not to guarantee the 2023-24 NBA salary for PF Taurean Prince is going to cut the Timberwolves roster deeper than you might imagine.
Even if the Timberwolves leverage the extension to Naz Reid by toggling him between the center and power forward roles, and shifting Josh Minott back to the reserves tier, the Timberwolves have just seven seasoned veterans who can truly be counted on to step up for the team in the postseason.
Timberwolves Depth Chart: Under construction
Of course, regardless of how the team handled Taurean Prince’s contract, there is still a void in the Timberwolves’ depth chart at the backup point guard position. But by not-guaranteeing Prince’s $7.44 million, that opens the door to whether or not the team will retain the services of PG Jordan McLaughlin or PF Nathan Knight. Of course, should the team part ways with either or both, that will open one more roster spot.
Right now, that seems to be where the Timberwolves’ front office is focused.
Rotation PG SG SF PF C
Starters: Mike Conley Anthony Edwards Jaden McDaniels Karl-Anthony Towns Rudy Gobert
Backups: TBD Wendell Moore Jr. Josh Minott Kyle Anderson Naz Reid
Reserves Jordan McL. Ryan Clark* Leonard Miller *
Nathan Knight** TBD
Three Two-Way Contracts: C Luka Garza (tendered) and F Matt Ryan (tendered), 1 contract TBD
* denotes rookie to be signed
** Team rescinded team option
While you can argue over the promotion of forward Josh Minott to a backup role at small forward, keep in mind that he was drafted with Wendell Moore Jr. a year ago, and is likely the first player due for consideration. Of course, if rookie Leonard Miller pans out, Josh Minott could have one helluva battle for playing time this year. And also keep in mind that rookie guard Ryan Clark is rehabbing, and is unlikely to compete for the Timberwolves in any meaningful role this season until on or about the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline.
While the Timberwolves did re-sign Naz Reid, who will likely enhance his minutes by playing in both the center and the power forward role for the team, the team’s decision to part ways with Taurean Prince has placed a new quandary into the team’s rotations.