Timberwolves free agent focus: Two-Way Luka Garza

Mandatory Credit: Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Timberwolves have sorted through some difficult decisions regarding resolving the future of Timberwolves’ free agents. But some players simply do not seem to pose as much of a heart-wrenching decision whether to re-sign or not. One such slam dunk decision seems to be the decision to re-sign center, Luka Garza.

On the surface, this is about as easy of a decision as they come. Was there any player who worked harder or stepped up more from anonymity to fill a necessary role for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2022-23 NBA season? And yet, after all of that, nothing is ever a slam dunk in the NBA.

Why Timberwolves may not re-sign

The Minnesota Timberwolves have limited funds and limited roster slots, particularly in the front-court center position where Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, and now Naz Reid are all slotted to play significant or rotational minutes for the team this season. With no obvious slot in the team’s  roster and limited time to share in developing such a promising young man, the Timberwolves could view Luka Garza as a player likely to be signed elsewhere, and not

Why Timberwolves should re-sign

Insurance policies are not purchased out of knowing what will happen, but out of the realization of what could happen. While the Minnesota Timberwolves may not be viewed as a team in dire need of a 6-foot-10 243-pound young center, don’t mistake the subtle reasons why this team needed to re-sign Garza.

Passionate, hard-working players are as easy to find as a needle in a haystack. So, once located, it’s foolish to let them walk away.  Young players who have natural gifts for the game of basketball can be found, but players who work intensively to hone those gifts and forge their optimal competitive selves are few and far between.

Garza is not just another big body-banging brute whose sole purpose is to rebound and score on easy layups. Truth be told, Luka Garza is another Minnesota Timberwolves marvel who can score from the perimeter (35.9 percent accurate), can score a lot of points in a short amount of time (6.46 PPG on just 8.7 MPG), and has a surprisingly effective way of stiffening the defense when needed most.

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Recommendation: Re-sign

Luka Garza proved multiple times through the 2022-23 NBA season that he has ‘the stuff,’ to make an impact on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster, particularly as a high-octane scorer who can put up points without a lot of runway distance needed.  While Garza may not have the same level of opportunity to contribute this season, don’t discount his importance to the Minnesota Timberwolves roster.

If, as expected, the Timberwolves are willing to trade one of their two All-Star centers in either Rudy Gobert or Karl-Anthony Towns at the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, then an obvious player to promote to a standard NBA contract is Luka Garza, who would slide in behind Naz Reid as a reserve and rotational player.

Update: The Minnesota Timberwolves have resigned Luka Garza

Even as I prepared to publish this article, there was an update that indicated that Luka Garza had indeed agreed to sign on with the Minnesota Timberwolves on a Two-Way contract.

This is huge news, as it allows the Timberwolves not only to face the 2023-24 NBA season with one more solid contributor but opens options when the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline arrives.

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The Timberwolves may not be signing the most recognizable names in the NBA. But the team is making wise and effective personnel decisions.