After a successful 2018 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves roster currently looks as follows:
Point Guard: Jeff Teague / Tyus Jones
Shooting Guard: Jimmy Butler / Josh Okogie
Small Forward: Andrew Wiggins / Keita Bates-Diop
Power Forward: Taj Gibson
Center: Karl-Anthony Towns / Gorgui Dieng / Justin Patton / Cole Aldrich
*Note – Aldrich can be cut by June 30th and he would only be guaranteed $2 million of his $7 million dollar salary. Saving $5 million in potential cap space.
As you can see, there is still somewhat of a log jam at the center position on the Timberwolves roster. With Cole Aldrich more than likely to be cut or even possibly traded, that narrows it down slightly. Meanwhile, last year’s first round pick, Justin Patton, is set to miss significant time after yet another surgery on his foot that he broke heading into last season. This leaves the team with only Towns, Gibson, and Dieng as options to play as a 4 or 5, which is still is important even in today’s NBA.
Jeff Teague will return as next year’s starting point guard with Tyus Jones returning as his primary back up. We could very well see Thibodeau resign Derrick Rose after his small stint with the team this past season. If this signing is made, it would almost indefinitely eat into Jones’ minutes which many fans would be upset to see.
Thankfully, the Timberwolves acquired two prospects who are profiled as 3 and D wings, the primary need for this roster. Josh Okogie and Keita Bates-Diop both appear to be great assets for a team looking to build quality depth behind their main stars in Butler, Towns, and Wiggins.
Not only did these two picks fill a direct need, they also give Tom Thibodeau and Scott Layden flexibility heading into the next free agency period. Now, we can make a push for the right fit and not feel desperate to overpay for that player’s services.
Here’s a look at some free agents who would fill a need for the Timberwolves:
- Kentavius Caldwell-Pope
- Avery Bradley
- Wayne Ellington
- Nemanja Bjelica
- Will Barton
- Marco Belinelli
- Joe Harris
- Luc Mbah a Moute
Any of these players would be great additions to the Wolves’ roster. I don’t see Bjelica wanting to resign back in Minnesota due to Thibodeau’s refusal to give him meaningful minutes. However, if we use a large majority of our Mid-Level Exception, which is worth about $8 million, the Wolves could easily make a move for one of these names listed. Potentially even two if the Wolves are able to shed more salary with a trade of either Gorgui Dieng or Andrew Wiggins.
With free agency only a week away, expect the Timberwolves to make a few more moves before they settle on a roster that Thibodeau is comfortable with heading into the 2018-19 NBA season. Whether we see a major move of Andrew Wiggins or Gorgui Dieng, only time will tell. Nonetheless, the team has the chance to complete a much more polished and well rounded roster than they had the season before.