There was no debate over the Minnesota Timberwolves starting five players last season. Long before the 2022-23 season ever arrived, the performance of point guard D’Angelo Russell, shooting guard Anthony Edwards, small forward Jaden McDaniels, power forward Karl-Anthony Towns, and just acquired center Rudy Gobert was expected to be among the NBA’s best, even from the team’s worst skeptics.
The questions arose when pivoting to focus on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster and the bench for the 2022-23 NBA season.
It helped nobody when the Timberwolves’ roster suffered numerous and lengthy injuries. Not only did the team lose Karl-Anthony Towns for 53 games, but lengthy injuries to Taurean Prince (28 games) and Jordan McLaughlin (39 games) crippled the Timberwolves bench and the ability to generate points in games that were already burdening the starters.
Wolves need a better bench this season
Compounding the problem was the influx of new faces who had to learn all about their new coaches and new teammates. While many were veterans who were added to suit a specific role, not everyone was able to meet expectations.
If the Minnesota Timberwolves are to win this season, the team must do more than sit back and watch the starting five players cook. This team needs a true boost off the bench. Now the question is, does the Timberwolves bench have that sort of offensive firepower to put up a ton of points? Does the Wolves bench have the type of smothering defense to halt opposing teams’ rallies?
While we certainly can list out the questions today, we really do not know the answers, and won’t, until the start of the 2023-24 NBA season. But we can make some intelligent guesses, particularly when it comes to how players on the Timberwolves depth chart may impact the team as they come off the bench this season: