It’s not easy being a young player on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster right now. But for forward Josh Minott, the path to a long and successful NBA career just got a little steeper. While he played rock-solid basketball during his stints with the G-League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves, last season, he really did not see much playing time in rotation with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
And this year, it will be even more difficult. After all, with no injury projection for Karl-Anthony Towns, the team will be hard-pressed to have as many minutes to dole out to the bottom half of the Timberwolves roster.
Still, this is Josh Minott’s second season in the NBA, a year when the game slows down and players who will claim long basketball careers step up and get noticed. So far, whenever he is given an open microphone, he is not backing down. In fact, he has been bold and confident so far.
Well, we know how to say his name now.
Minott has some work to do
What about on the basketball court? Has his bold proclamations and newfound confidence resulted in better-than-expected production? Let’s compare his past two NBA Summer League performances to get a feel of whether he has improved his on-court presence, and by how much.
Josh Minnott 2022 PF 26.6 M | 12.2 P | 41.7 3P% | 8.6 R | 1.6 A | 1.6 S | 1.6 B
Josh Minnott 2023 PF 27.6 M | 16.4 P | 12.5 3P% | 5.6 R | 1.0 A | 0.8 S | 1.6 B
While he has been more effective at scoring points, there is no appreciable improvement in his defense. Of course, comparing five summer league games to five previous summer league games is an admittedly small sample. While small, it doesn’t support the proclamations that Minott made about stepping up this season.
I wouldn’t be in a rush to rule him out. The Minnesota Timberwolves will train and compete in preseason games, which will afford Josh Minott more opportunities to step up. It’s a Catch-22 right now. Minott must demonstrate the ability to step up to earn more playing time on this talented Timberwolves roster. But he will need more playing time to demonstrate that he can perform better.
There are a lot of new faces on the Timberwolves roster, and for all intents and purposes, this team will need to identify their top eight or nine players to set their postseason rotations. After those boxes are checked, this team will work on developing reserves and optimizing their bench.
Where does Josh Minott fit into all of this? We know that he may be cycling between the Timberwolves and the Iowa Wolves again this season, simply to ensure that he gets enough playing time to stay competitive.