Two-Way Players: 2021-22
The Minnesota Timberwolves finally struck pay dirt through the use of Two-Way contracts and tried once more to find needles in the haystacks in the 2022-22 NBA season. This time, the Timberwolves sought two more 2021 summer league standouts in PF Nathaniel Knight and PG McKinley Wright IV. In S/L, Knight averaged 23.3 MPG, 13.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 3.2 APG. Wright averaged 26.0 MPG, 7.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.2 APG, and 2.0 SPG.
But when the regular season started, Wright would only appear in five games for the Timberwolves, averaging just 3.0 MPG and 1.0 PPG.
Knight would fare much better, chalking up 37 appearances with two starts. Although he only averaged 7.2 minutes, he connected for 3.7 points per game as well as 2.3 rebounds. That was enough to land him a standard contract with the Timberwolves the following season.
The last season for the Minnesota Timberwolves with Two-Way contracts found the team signing players who were summer league stars from other team’s roster. Forward Matt Ryan competed for the Boston Celtics, while center Luka Garza competed for the Portland Trail Blazers. Due to a rather injury-riddled 2022-23 NBA season, the Timberwolves leaned heavily upon their Two-Way players.
The 6-foot-7 forward Ryan appeared in 22 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging 8.2 minutes, 3.4 points, 0.6 rebounds, and 0.6 assists. But one item of note, Ryan’s perimeter shot was incredibly accurate, connecting on 38.8 percent of his attempts.
But the best story of the Timberwolves Two-Way contracts is arguably that of center Luka Garza. This 6-foot-10 243-pound center appeared in 28 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves and parlayed an average of just 8.7 minutes per game into 6.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 0.6 assists per game. He also boasted a fine perimeter shot for an NBA center, scoring on 35.9 percent of his attempts from the perimeter.
All in all, the Minnesota Timberwolves have converted several players from the origins of Two-Way contracts to standard contracts, and it appears likely to happen again with center Luka Garza. What do you think? How well have the Timberwolves’ Two-Way contracts performed? Let us know in the comments section on our Facebook page.