Summing up the Wolves’ FA strategy
The Minnesota Timberwolves made a surprising trade for Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, a trade that forced the Timberwolves to empty their roster and vault, sending five players and four first-round draft picks to the Jazz for Gobert.
That changed everything for the Timberwolves, as the team had to restock the roster, but had less time and preparation to do so. That is why the team tapped so many former Nuggets players to add to the Timberwolves roster in free agency. So what has transpired for the Timberwolves this season?
- Naz Reid – 3 years $42 million with a player option in year 3… Naz Reid.
- Nickiel Alexander-Walker – 2 years $9 million
- Taurean Prince
- Jaylen Nowell
- Nathan Knight
- Austin Rivers
- Shake Milton – 2 years $10 million with a team option in year 2
- Troy Brown Jr. – 2 years $8 million with a team option in year 2
- Leonard Miller – Pick 33
- Jaylen Clark – Pick 53
- Luka Garza – Not signed, but a qualifying offer was extended
- Matt Ryan – Not signed, but a qualifying offer was extended
Overall, Timberwolves President Tim Connelly did a nice job maneuvering their cap sheet. Not only did the team retain key free agents like center Naz Reid and wing Nickeil Alexander-Walker, but the team still left funds in the till to address team needs.
Heading into free agency, it was apparent the Timberwolves needed help at backup point guard. Incumbent point guard Jordan McLaughlin has shown flashes of brilliant play in the past but is coming off a disappointing year. Newcomer Shake Milton brings the Timberwolves a big 6-foot-5 guard who is a plus defender and can initiate the offense with or without the basketball. He does a great job taking care of the ball with a near 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio and can help stretch the floor with a respectable 37.8 percent accuracy on his three-ball shooting.
Losing PF Taurean Prince hurts, as it leaves a hole in one critical skillset, namely the corner three-point shot. Last season, Prince shot 43 percent from the corner. And in a pinch, he could slide into any frontcourt position. Forward Troy Brown Jr. is a pickup that eases the loss of Prince. He is still young, 23 years old, and was a former first-round pick.
His main skillset though? The corner three. Troy Brown Shot 40 percent from the corner last season. The Timberwolves have rebounded nicely so far: