Austin Rivers or Shake Milton?
The Minnesota Timberwolves certainly relied upon the veteran leadership of guard Austin Rivers throughout the 2022-23 NBA season. But the production of Rivers did not warrant his playing a significant number of minutes on the Timberwolves roster. So, without minutes, the ability to lead the team waned rapidly.
Even so, the Timberwolves certainly have plenty of young, hungry, and talented players on the roster who are all vying for more playing time. While some or even many could pan out this season, the Timberwolves cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that this team is already competing for a berth in the NBA Playoffs and seeks to advance beyond Round 1.
That takes experienced players.
Shake things up a bit
To give the Timberwolves a recharge on the backcourt, without sacrificing experience in the NBA Playoffs, the Timberwolves roster added combination guard Shake Milton. Milton played several seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers. While he never cracked the Sixers starting lineup for more than a temporary basis, he repeatedly proved that he could handle more minutes and a larger role when he got the chance.
Milton is more than just a warm body for the Timberwolves. In a worst-case scenario, he is a backcourt rotational player with a sharpshooter’s ability to sink shots from the perimeter and help to keep the starters fresh. In a best-case scenario, he becomes the Timberwolves backup point guard and builds tremendous chemistry with star SG Anthony Edwards to dominate the NBA for the next decade.
But if his performance falls somewhere in the middle, he can still be one of the first players off the bench to spark offense and can slide into multiple roles when doing so.
Ultimately, the Timberwolves have three new faces on the roster for the 2023-24 NBA season. While they will need time to gel with the team, each has an upside that could help carry this team to new heights.