More cuts to Timberwolves roster: Who goes and who stays?

Mandatory Credit: Aaron E. Martinez-USA TODAY NETWORK
Mandatory Credit: Aaron E. Martinez-USA TODAY NETWORK /

It’s that time of the Minnesota Timberwolves season to make some tough decisions. From the end of preseason activities, the Timberwolves coaching staff regroup and reach a consensus of who goes and who stays. The problem with that consensus is that it is never conducted in a perfect world with unlimited and ideal data.

Players are compared with dissimilar minutes of playing time, dissimilar lineups, and even in imperfect game scenarios. But that is the case for all 30 teams at this time of year.  And some teams have opted to release former Timberwolves players, complicating the decisions that will finalize the Timberwolves roster heading into the 2023-24 NBA season.

The Timberwolves had previously reported waiving forward Matt Ryan and backfilling his Two-Way contract slot with G Daishen Nix. We now have reports that the Minnesota Timberwolves have cleared all Exhibit-10 contract holders, including the is-he-or-isnt-he contract of G Tyrese Martin.

That means that the Timberwolves are back to 14 players on standard contracts, and three players on Two-Way contracts:

Timberwolves depth chart

  • 4 Point guards:  Mike Conley Jr. | Shake Milton | Jordan McLaughlin | Two-Way contract Daishen Nix
  • PG Summary: The Minnesota Timberwolves need to identify a successor to veteran PG Mike Conley Jr.  To that aim, the team has added point guards who can facilitate, shoot from the perimeter, and defend the perimeter as well. We should also mention that Euroleague star PG Matteo Spagnolo is an option to come to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 2024-24 NBA season.
  • 4 Shooting guards: Anthony Edwards | Nickeil Alexander-Walker |  Wendell Moore Jr | (Two-Way) Jaylen Clark (injured, returning on/about January 2024)
  • SG Summary: The Timberwolves love to use their shooting guards on both ends of the basketball court.  Led by 22-year-old Anthony Edwards, the group could be one of the keys to a successful Timberwolves season.
  • 3 Small forwards: Jaden McDaniels | Troy Brown Jr. | Leonard Miller
  • SF Summary: With the status of starting small forward Jaden McDaniels up in the air regarding both his injury status and the progress of his current contract extension, this is a group to keep a close eye on. Troy Brown Jr. has not gotten a lot of press, but he is a defensive dynamo. And rookie forward Leonard Miller, while slotted at the 3, could very easily find minutes in all five NBA positions.
  • 3 Power Forwards: Karl-Anthony Towns | Kyle Anderson | Josh Minott
  • PF Summary: There is an epidemic of NBA Rumors and trade scenarios regarding the inevitable trade of All-Star PF Karl-Anthony Towns at the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline. While that is the consensus, it is by no means the best option for the Timberwolves. The Wolves will get plenty of mixed contributions at the 4 from a number of players.
  • 3 Centers: Rudy Gobert | Naz Reid | (Two-Way) Luka Garza
  • C Summary: While there is a great deal written about the Minnesota Timberwolves center position, two of the three players that the national media attributes to the center position will play a majority of minutes as power forwards: Karl-Anthony Towns and Naz Reid. I hope that the Timberwolves upgrade the contract of backup center Luka Garza, and then use that open Two-Way contract to sign another developmental player.
  • Open roster spots – (1) 15-man roster
  • Contract Summary (17)
    (3) Two-Way contracts: C Luka Garza, SG Jaylen Clark, PG Daishen Nix
    (14) Standard contracts: C Rudy Gobert, C Naz Reid, C/PF Karl-Anthony Towns, F Kyle Anderson, F Josh Minott, F Jaden McDaniels, F Troy Brown Jr, F Leonard Miller, SG Anthony Edwards, SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG Wendell Moore Jr., PG Mike Conley Jr., G Shake Milton, PG Jordan McLaughlin

And so, prepare for the 2023-24 NBA season. And by all means, stay tuned. Even after all of the roster moves, the Timberwolves front office is not done yet.

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