Minnesota Timberwolves Depth chart after Day 1 of free agency frenzy

Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves Timberwolves Depth Chart Timberwolves News Coach Chris FInch Shake Milton Troy Brown Jr.
Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /

Where has the Timberwolves depth chart been upgraded?

The Minnesota Timberwolves, like any NBA team, does not enter the offseason with the intention of staying where they were, not in simply bringing guys back simply for continuities sake. While there are clearly obvious benefits for doing so, the impact on moving the needle for a team is negligible.

PG Shake Milton over Austin Rivers

For starters, the team’s move to secure Shake Milton appears to be a two-headed upgrade at the backup point guard role. Milton is younger than Austin Rivers, aligning far more cleverly with that of teammate star shooting guard Anthony Edwards. And while Shake Milton may not be a fully tested point guard, the ball-handling abilities of veteran Kyle Anderson and rookie Leonard Williams undoubtedly contributed to this move.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker over Jaylen Nowell

It was clear from the moment that Nickeil Alexander-Walker arrived at the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline that he has leaped over Jaylen Nowell on the Timberwolves depth chart. Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch appreciates players who mix it up on the defensive side of the basketball court, and NAW is a natural at it. But the true stamp of approval came in the NBA Playoffs when NAW was given the nod to start for the injured Jaden McDaniels over veteran Taurean Prince in four of the five contests.

Troy Brown Jr. / Kyle Anderson over Kyle Anderson / Taurean Prince

This one is a bit more difficult to discern, as my initial reaction is to favor the idea that Kyle Anderson has the roster flexibility to play at either the 3- or the 4-position and that swapping Troy Brown Jr. for Tauteran Prince all but locks Slo Mo up as the Timberwolves power forward. But there are reasons to like this.

The Timberwolves get a younger, less expensive player in Troy Brown Jr who not only can hit perimeter shots as accurately as Prince but whose ability to rebound dwarfs that of his predecessor. Rebounding is an under-the-radar need for the Timberwolves, and his depth chart enhances the Wolves’ board work instantly. And the Timberwolves will love the additional wing defense that Troy Brown provides for this team.

The Timberwolves will likely slide either Josh Minott or Leonard Miller in as the reserve power forward, leaving a still rehabbing Jaylen Clark as a player still to be working into the depth charge as he continues his months-long rehab from an Achilles Tendon injury.

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The Timberwolves will cover the center by rotating KAT to the five, and can always get PF minutes from either Naz Reid or Josh Minott as well.