The Minnesota Timberwolves are atop the Western Conference and looking like a serious contender, but not every player is living up to expectations. Anthony Edwards is becoming a superstar, while Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert appear to have worked out playing together. Mike Conley is a key leader and glue for Wolves, but they need their role players to step up if Minnesota plans on making a deep playoff run.
The Timberwolves could make a trade to upgrade their roster but are light on assets after paying a massive freight for Gobert. The Western Conference is loaded and the defending champion Nuggets are still the favorites. Minnesota can make a run, and the franchise’s easiest path is making it work with their current roster.
These players are not living up to expectations thus far and must play better if the Timberwolves are going to make a serious title run in 2024.
4. Jordan McLaughlin
Trading for Mike Conley has been massive for the Timberwolves. The veteran point guard is an outstanding playmaker, leader, and offensive engine. Without him, Minnesota would not be first in the West, and they desperately need a reliable backup. Conley is 36 years old and played 51 or fewer games in three of the last six seasons.
McLaughlin is the nominal backup on their roster, but he has appeared in just 13 games this season. Anthony Edwards and Kyle Anderson have handled the playmaking duties behind Conley as the six-foot guard has been glued to the bench. McLaughlin has not done much when given a chance. He is shooting 38.1 percent from the field and averages just 1.7 points and 1.5 assists per game.
If Conley misses time someone has to step up. Jordan McLaughlin has been a reserve point guard for four years, and the Minnesota Timberwolves need him to play better whenever his number is called.