Evaluating the Minnesota Timberwolves 2020-21 Roster
After years of mediocre performances with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns as their main players, the Minnesota Timberwolves decided to shake it up. The center is still part of the team, but the other star was traded for D’Angelo Russell.
The organization is hoping to finally start winning and build a group of players that can compete in the near future. I analyze the Timberwolves roster for the 2020-21 NBA season to see if that’s truly the case.
Minnesota Timberwolves Roster for the Upcoming Season
As it stands, the current players are on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster for the 2020-21 NBA season.
- Ricky Rubio
- Malik Beasley
- Jordan McLaughlin
- Ashton Hagans
- D’Angelo Russell
- Anthony Edwards
- Jarrett Culver
- Jaylen Nowell
- Josh Okogie
- Jake Layman
- Ade Murkey
- Juancho Hernangomez
- Jaden McDaniels
- Jarred Vanderbilt
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
- Karl-Anthony Towns
- Naz Reid
- Ed Davis
The current group of 18 players will be reduced to 15 for the start of the season. It’s more important to note that the Timberwolves are giving signals that there won’t be any more trades, so that’s going to be the core moving forward.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the main strong and weak sides of the roster.
Timberwolves Starting Lineup Assessed
The Minnesota Timberwolves made plenty of changes, so the starting lineup is not 100% clear at this point. I believe that Ricky Rubio will get the nod as the team’s main point guard after his return to the franchise.
The Spaniard is a pass-first play, which makes him an excellent fit alongside D’Angelo Russell, who’s going to start at the shooting guard spot, and Karl-Anthony Towns at the center. The last two spots are where the uncertainly lies.
We might see the top draft pick, Anthony Edwards, in the small forward position, and Juan Hernangomez should be the last man starting, according to the early indications.
That would put the Timberwolves in an awkward position. The team will have excellent offense with two elite scorers in Russell and KAT, complemented nicely by Rubio’s playmaking and the rookie’s explosive style when it comes to attacking the basket.
The problem is that the defense will likely suffer big time, and the Timberwolves simply don’t have elite players on the other end of the floor. Towns and Russell don’t seem interested to play defense, Rubio and Hernangomez are average at best, and Edwards was known for his offense in college.
That’s going to be a big problem, and I expect to see plenty of wild games from the Timberwolves. If you like betting on NBA totals, you will probably see high lines in Minnesota’s fixtures next season.
Minnesota Timberwolves Depth for 2020-21
I believe that the Timberwolves bench might be better next season, and I see several players who should receive big minutes. Josh Okogie is one of the few strong defenders on the roster, and that’s enough of a reason for him to spend some time on the floor.
I believe we’ll see Malik Beasly often as well, and he will serve as the main offensive guy when the starters are resting. The guard averaged over 20 points after his arrival last year, and while I don’t think that’s sustainable as part of the second unit, something like 13-15 per game from the bench would be enough.
Ed Davis and Naz Reid will split some minutes in the frontcourt, providing athleticism and rebounding. None of them is particularly good offensively, but the Timberwolves have enough players that can score the basket.
The likes of Jarrett Culver, Jake Layman, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson should receive some minutes too. They can contribute on the offensive end mostly, which is once again a concern.
The overall impression is that the Timberwolves have enough scoring and rebounding, but Okogie is the only guy that’s good at guarding the opposition.
Can the Timberwolves Improve?
I don’t want to be too harsh to the Timberwolves, but I think they are not prepared to improve dramatically in the upcoming season. The team should be better offensively, and that’s a good start, but you need to play defense to win in the NBA.
There are no elite athletes on that end of the floor on Minnesota’s roster right now, and that’s a concern. The best approach for the organization would be to build some chemistry between Russell and KAT while testing the skills of the young players on the roster.
See how they perform, make a decision on who deserves to stay, and move the rest, looking for some pieces that can help defensively.
That’s the optimal approach for the upcoming season based on my Timberwolves roster analysis.
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