Timberwolves' path to a championship got simpler with latest free agent signing

One of the latest free agency moves from around the association will play perfectly into Minnesota's hands.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Karl-Anthony Towns
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Karl-Anthony Towns / David Berding/GettyImages

The Minnesota Timberwolves have not been as busy in free agency as many teams around the NBA, which was to be expected. The Wolves already have one of the most complete rosters in the league that propelled them to a top-three finish in an extremely competitive Western Conference. On top of that, new contracts will be kicking in that will likely make them a second apron team.

It was always going to be difficult for Minnesota to make significant upgrades to this team, but management made it clear they did not mind having to deal with those circumstances. The priority has always been ensuring the top guys on this roster stuck around, and the team would incur whatever small losses came beyond that.

But outside of focusing on bringing back their own high-level players, the Timberwolves have been keeping their eyes peeled for other moves around the league, and President Tim Connelly is waiting to swoop in with a savvy trade offer. One development Minnesota's front office has to be thrilled to see is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope signing a three-year, $66 million deal with the Orlando Magic.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope signed with the Magic

Caldwell-Pope will be taking his talents to central Florida, and there is no denying the impact he brought to the Denver Nuggets over the previous two seasons. Initially joining the 2023 NBA champions on a two-year deal in the summer of 2022, KCP provided a major lift to Denver's backcourt.

Playing alongside Jamal Murray, he brought a high-level defensive prowess along with a cerebral approach that fit perfect next to the genius of Nikola Jokic. A lockdown perimeter defender and timely three-point shot-maker, Caldwell-Pope was a massive piece to the Nuggets' puzzle, and they may not be in possession of a championship trophy without his services.

Now, Denver's mission of winning a second championship will be that much harder. Jokic is still likely the best player on the planet, but his task of leading the Nuggets to the mountaintop for a second time was already going to be more difficult before this development. Minnesota already proved they can take down Denver, and Oklahoma City has made significant upgrades as well.

Add in KCP's departure, and it is clear that the Timberwolves' path to a championship just became that much simpler. They have already made it through the Nuggets in the playoffs once, and now that achievement becomes significantly easier to replicate.