The Minnesota Timberwolves are shuffling the deck. No, we’re not to the roster moves just yet. Rather, we are looking at the moves occurring in the front office. Is it all just window dressing? Or do these moves mean streamlining or better quality decisions for what happens on the basketball court? That’s what we are here to discuss.
Even though the Timberwolves roster was barely able to scratch and claw their way into the 2023 NBA Playoffs, by all rights even that modest achievement should have been far out of reach for the team. This was a newly assembled roster of players who needed more than one preseason game to gel, and yet that was the extent of their preparation to align everything for their 2022-23 NBA season.
While it was an NBA season filled with injuries, adversity, and unanticipated challenges, it was also an incredible testbed for the Timberwolves to trial alternative options. So what did the Timberwolves do with that hard-fought experience? Several strategies have been taken as a result, to be honest:
It was clear that the Timberwolves roster strategy has been leaning more towards those players who can deliver solid minutes in an NBA rotation in more than one position. The Timberwolves add premium value to a player who can step up over the course of an 82-game season and effectively compete in positions that are not their natural position
Double down on defense
While the Minnesota Timberwolves reached the 2022 NBA Playoffs off the performance of this team’s ability to score points, Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly has been quietly chipping away at improving the team’s defense. The Timberwolves made a breakthrough at the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline by adding PG Mike Conley Jr. as well as SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker.
Outscoring opponents can involve two strategies: Putting up more points on the scoreboard or limiting the opponent’s ability to put points on the scoreboard. The Timberwolves are attacking both strategies now.
Perimeter shooting is still a priority
Regardless of whether the new players are young or seasoned veterans, the Timberwolves roster wants perimeter shooting as a priority. The team fell short of the mark early in the 2022-23 NBA season, but with a retooled Timberwolves roster, that is unlikely to reoccur this season.
All in all, the Timberwolves’ strategy is both simple and straightforward. And that is what gives the team a much greater chance of success this season.