If the Minnesota Timberwolves lose either All-Star center Rudy Gobert or All-Star center and/or power forward Karl-Anthony Towns for any extended period of time in the 2023-24 NBA season, does the Timberwolves roster have a Plan B?
While the return of backup center Naz Reid adds plenty of depth to the Timberwolves roster, is he better suited in a prolonged starting role? Or is he better off the bench, sparking the Timberwolves’ offense? And even if he does come in off the bench to start, who backfills his role in terms of rotational minutes?
Well, there may be a simple answer to that, and it presented itself today.
The Orlando Magic have released 7-foot-2 220-pound center Bol Bol.
The Orlando Magic waived Bol Bol, team says.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 4, 2023
Bol Bol may never be an NBA All-Star performer, but he is a young skyscraping center who is just 23 years old, and he has his best playing days ahead of him. He was released from the final year of his current contract with the Orlando Magic which was due to pay him $2.2 million. Now he is a free agent.
While he may not move the needle for the Minnesota Timberwolves this season, he could be a wise investment nevertheless. So why would the Minnesota Timberwolves consider signing him to a team-friendly deal?
He brings solid depth
In terms of the latest Minnesota Timberwolves depth chart projections, the only two question marks are how the team will handle the ongoing rehab for rookie shooting guard Jaylen Clark, and how will the team fill the 15th and final roster slot. Adding a center of Bol Bol’s caliber gives the Timberwolves an almost unbridled resiliency to injury.
Bol Bol has competed in 123 NBA contests and started in 35 of those games. Many of his strengths and weakness parallel those of Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert, albeit not in such a game-impactful way. He is a dominating rebounder and can block shots effortlessly. But he does show some promise as a player who can score from anywhere on the basketball court, and he stands 7-foot-2 and weighs 220 pounds.
He would develop rapidly by pairing with Rudy Gobert
The opportunity to pair a young skyscraping NBA big with the best rim protector in the league is too good to be true, isn’t it? He is designated as a power forward, but his role in the positionless NBA overlaps the roles of both power forward and center. Best of all, He has so much to learn at his craft, lessons that Gobert is uniquely qualified to teach him.
If the Timberwolves truly want to wrap the roster around the likes of young Anthony Edwards, then Bol Bol could be one more piece to that puzzle. The Timberwolves already have Naz Reid (PF) and Jaden McDaniels (SF) locked up, and Bol Bol could be another young gun to enlist in the Timberwolves’ posse.
Timberwolves POBO Tim Connelly is quite familiar with him
He was drafted in the 2019 NBA Draft with the 44th overall pick, a pick that was traded to the Denver Nuggets and then President Tim Connelly. Since that time, Bol Bol has flashed the potential to be among some of the best players in the NBA. But consistency has not been his strong suit.
On this Timberwolves roster, he would be free from pressure to produce and could develop at his pace. And opportunities would continue to come, as the Timberwolves will need to manage game minutes for Rudy Gobert throughout the 2023-24 NBA season.
A low-risk high-reward signing sounds about par for the course for the Timberwolves right now.