Minnesota Timberwolves money matters: How finances dictate future

Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves Taurean Prince Timberwolves roster Shake Milton Leonard Floyd
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

A monarch moves west

And that opened the door for the Los Angeles Lakers, a team that has been acquiring almost any former Timberwolves player, to sign Timberwolves power forward Taurean Prince to a deal. Entering his eighth season, Prince had proven to be a versatile backup on the Timberwolves roster. But due to two seasons with injuries, he was not as dependable for the Wolves as hoped for.

When a window closes, a new door opens. The Lakers’ willingness to poach Prince from the Timberwolves left them vulnerable to some of the same, and the Wolves were quick to return the favor by signing former Lakers forward Troy Brown Jr. to a team-friendly deal. Brown is as versatile as Prince, but he has a much more significant presence in terms of rebounding, an area the Timberwolves definitely are paying attention to this season.

Pivoting to PG needs

That leaves the lack of a point guard presence behind veteran PG Mike Conley Jr.  Although the team did resign reserve point guard Jordan McLaughlin to a new contract, the team was less than satisfied with McLaughlin showing up for just 43 of the team’s 82 games. Many of the missed games fell at a time when the team truly needed a viable player to assume the role dictated by a discontented D’Angelo Russell.

The Timberwolves believe that they have filled two roles with one player by signing veteran point guard/shooting guard Shake Milton. While there may have been better pure point guards, the Timberwolves’ financial situation dictated the price point for their next backup point guard. That is not to say that Shake Milton is somehow bottom-shelf stock. Quite the contrary, his versatility and competitive edge are just what the Wolves need.

Milton is the type of player whose presence and value expand to match the needs of the team. When the Philadelphia 76ers needed Milton to step up into a starting role, he stepped up his game as well. In fact, some of his best games during the 2022-23 NBA season occurred when he was playing as a fill-in starter. The Wolves believe that if he gets the opportunity to compete running the floor on a regular basis, they can harness that edge for truly positive results.