II: Ensures that the Timberwolves roster starts the 2023-24 NBA season healthy
While the Timberwolves may be willing to invest a second-round draft pick into a first-round talent due to injury, that is different from accepting a handicap to the season by assuming the risk of starting off with just 14 healthy players. That’s a significant handicap to a team that has had to overcome injuries from nearly Day 1 all the way through Round 1 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs.
Would the Minnesota Timberwolves have advanced to Round 2 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs if both center Naz Reid and small forward Jaden McDaniels had been healthy and suited up? Well, it certainly makes an intriguing thought exercise, doesn’t it? While we have no way of any satisfying conclusion over those wudda’, cudda’, shudda’ scenarios, we can take comfort that it was Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s outstanding play in the 2023 NBA Playoffs that prioritized his signing this off-season.
Timberwolves roster challenges
Are there any guarantees of a healthier Timberwolves roster this season? Unfortunately, no. Thankfully, Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly is a quick learner and has already improved the fit and depth of the Timberwolves roster for this season. While that is not a guarantee that injuries will not occur, it is far better insurance and insulation against adversity if it happens again.
Even with an open roster slot and an open Two Way contract (currently reported to have been offered to but unsigned by forward Matt Ryan), the Timberwolves roster already has the feel and appearance of a more robust group of players.