The insurmountable mountain range of financial hurdles that have stood as an impenetrable barrier that had thwarted the plans of the Minnesota Timberwolves from a realistic hope of re-signing backup center Naz Reid has not disappeared. Rather, a navigable pass that allowed the Timberwolves to re-sign Reid appeared, and it became the ticket to making both the Minnesota Timberwolves team and Naz Reid incredibly happy.
But if the Minnesota Timberwolves already have a solid starting 5, why would the presence of Naz Reid be that significant? I mean, are the Timberwolves just that greedy?
In a word, no. In professional basketball, the key to winning is not just the best five players, but the best well-rounded bench. And the team has already shown just how vital frontcourt depth can be for this team.
So how did the Minnesota Timberwolves pull off this miracle? It began when the NBA salary cap for the 2023-24 NBA season exceeded expectations, significantly. More money gave the Timberwolves front office just enough wiggle room to pivot their strategy from committing guaranteed money on team options for returning players to a strategy of locking up key players and adding complementary pieces from the 2023 NBA Free Agency market.
Suddenly a deal to re-sign Naz Reid became doable
That, in turn, allowed the Timberwolves to rethink their funds’ distribution, as Timberwolves expert capologist explains below:
The Timberwolves were never hiding their cards this year . . . This is a team that truly wanted to try again. And the messaging began as far back as the NBA Trade Deadline. Rather than trade a quite popular Naz Reid and his expiring contract to ensure getting something back, the TImberwolves stood firm behind the idea that the team could and would be able to re-sign Naz Reid.
And even when the team had to make difficult decisions to part ways with Taurean Prince, and likely Jaylen Nowell, the team remained committed to the belief that they could reassemble the Timberwolves roster with most of the key contributors intact.
In the end, it came down to faith. It was just as likely that the NBA salary cap could have come in below projections, which would have forced the Timberwolves to pivot to a new strategy. But the team was confident.
This year, the Timberwolves not only boast a much more cohesive starting five, but the Timberwolves bench is even more impressive than that of a year ago. And even if injuries are a factor this season, the Timberwolves’ roster appears to be deeper and more capable of absorbing playing minutes for a prolonged period of time.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are a new team this season. This is a new roster, but all of the painful lessons from last season are baked into this team as well. While it could go either way, I really believe that the Minnesota Timberwolves have taken a huge step forward this off-season.
Best of all, despite the absence of a first-round pick, the Timberwolves’ young talent and future is brighter than ever.