1 Mistake Timberwolves must avoid at all costs this summer

As the front office looks to improve Minnesota's roster this summer, there is one crucial mistake they will have to be wary of.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Kyle Anderson, Minnesota Timberwolves
Karl-Anthony Towns, Kyle Anderson, Minnesota Timberwolves / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

Over the course of just a few short seasons, the Minnesota Timberwolves transformed from a play-in squad to a bona fide title contender. They held the top spot in a loaded Western Conference all season, and proved their legitimacy with their deepest playoff run in 20 seasons. By all accounts, the Wolves are here to stay.

It is important that we do not forget how Minnesota got here. Through careful planning and patience, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly was able to build this roster into one of the most loaded teams in the association. The top-end talent of Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert has gotten them to the top.

But as the Timberwolves' front office moves forward and prepares to make moves to further improve this team, they must remembers that the star players were far from the only reason Minnesota got as far as they did this past season. The bench's depth and the quality of role players subbing in for the stars was every bit as important a factor in the Wolves reaching the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 20 years.

Naz Reid, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Kyle Anderson and other crucial role players were also big reasons for Minnesota's success. Their fit alongside the starters was carefully considered, and that is not something that should be forgotten.

The Timberwolves must avoid sacrificing their depth

Retaining the depth of this team will be of massive importance as the Wolves look to take another step up and compete for an NBA championship next season. If you are still not convinced this aspect of team-building is essential, all you have to do is take a look around the league where some of the other big-name stars play.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns are both great examples of why depth matters. The Suns gave away important building blocks like Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson and Landry Shamet in exchange for acquiring the likes of Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal. On the surface, one might see the big name value of Durant and Beal and assume it was clearly a good move.

But we are seeing the results of Phoenix's actions in the here and now. They gave away all their depth and draft picks in exchange for a top-heavy roster, and now they are looking like one of the league's biggest disappointments. It was rather poetic that a much better-constructed roster like the Timberwolves beat them handily in the playoffs.

Then there is the Lakers. Los Angeles had a legitimate championship-caliber roster just three years ago with most of the pieces from their 2020 Finals team left over, but they were yet another victim of choosing high-end talent over depth. They traded away Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and other important players for a supposed star talent. The result was them missing out of the playoffs the following season.

For a team like Minnesota, it could be easy to get caught up in the moment. The Timberwolves have not had the type of success they are currently enjoying for 20 years, and making a blockbuster move to try to win a championship immediately may end up being a trap. Management will need to stay focused and avoid sacrificing depth at all costs this offseason.