The Wolves Have A Lot Of Guards and Not Enough Shooters|Zone Coverage
The Minnesota Timberwolves left Wednesday’s draft with a great deal of lineup churn underneath the scenes, though they just added one veteran player.
While practically all Wolves fans are delighted to see Ricky Rubio return (myself consisted of), the move is in fact a really unexpected one, and it will have implications for a number of players currently on the roster– ramifications that we will just comprehend when the season starts. Merely put, the Wolves have a lots of guards now, and there simply will not suffice minutes to go around.
This is the list of players the Wolves have presently under contract that I would consider to be a guard: D’Angelo Russell, Ricky Rubio, Anthony Edwards, Jarrett Culver, Josh Okogie, Jordan McLaughlin, Jaylen Nowell and Jacob Evans.
Likewise, extremely importantly, Malik Beasley is not technically under agreement, but he is a restricted complimentary agent since twelve noon today, and the crown jewel of the Robert Covington trade from February.
So, yes, the Wolves already have actually 8 guards presently under contract, with the strong capacity for Bealsey being the 9th one (10, if you count Wednesday two-way signee Ashton Hagans).
So, let’s do some home cleaning. Let’s just presume that Evans, McLaughlin, Nowell and Hagans are non-factors, all of which appear to be quite safe assumptions. Another almost ironclad presumption: Russell will begin and play roughly 32 minutes a night. Barring a trade, something has gone catastrophically bad if this isn’t the case.
So, under those sets of assumptions, the Wolves have 66 minutes up for grabs at their two guard positions, and these are the gamers contending for those minutes:
And, oh yeah, this guy might likewise be returning:
So yeah, if anyone has a crystal ball, do not hesitate to tell me how in the world these 4 gamers are going to fit into this backcourt’s staying 66 minutes of playing time a night, never ever mind if Beasley is restored. Somebody is plainly an odd man out, and it likewise plainly will not be Edwards or Rubio. My suspicion is that Culver is on thin ice, and Okogie is currently beyond him on the outdoors, searching in.
Even if the plan is to move on from Beasley and start Edwards at little forward, that’s far from a long-lasting solution, and arguably shouldn’t even be deemed a short-term one, either. If Edwards starts at little forward, he’ll right away be not just one of the fastest beginning small forwards in the NBA at 6’5″, he’ll also likely be one of the worst-shooting ones, too. And, what marginal benefit would these downsides bring the team? The right to begin either Rubio (an enhanced shooter, however not one I ‘d be all set to fully trust yet) or Culver (one of the worst boundary shooters in the NBA last season) opposite of DLo.
If your idea is to revive Beasley since his shooting would be more crucial than ever, congratulations, the Wolves just paid a ton of cash and invested a first overall choice into a group that’s going to begin 4 of the worst defenders at their position in the whole NBA on opening night.
When you’re examining a scenario where either Beasley or Edwards is likely to be the group’s second-best defender (pending whoever is signing at power forward), you’ve really screwed up. If the Wolves go this route, they would require to sign Cthulhu to begin at Power Forward to plug all of these protective holes.
So, not only exists inadequate minutes to walk around, there isn’t even a fit that makes sense with the five guards that the Wolves have actually put together in simply the time given that Gersson Rosas took over. Worse yet, unless Culver is going to be utilized as an expensive freight expense in a sign-and-trade, the Wolves weren’t able to dump any of these gamers on draft night, their last great opportunity to flip existing properties into other players prior to the season begins.
Then, you have the Beasley scenario.
And even if someone is able to develop a minute allowance that they more than happy with, that does not mean that this was carried out well by the Timberwolves brass. These relocations are almost certainly going to end with Josh Okogie or Jarrett Culver racking up DNP-CD’s, while the other plays nightly spot minutes that transmit to any potential trading partner that, no, this player is not in the long-term plans of the team.
In other words, the message from the organization and voices around the team has been Gersson is wise and he knows what he’s doing because the moment Rosas was hired as the President of Basketball Operations in 2018. After 2 drafts, the Wolves are staring at a guard-heavy lineup that doesn’t properly worth shooting enough, and doesn’t value defense at all, and a cap sheet that is might quickly go from, “There are some expensive gamers here,” to massively bloated in a single swipe of the pen from Malik Beasley. So yeah, I’m beginning to question what the plan is here.