Minnesota Timberwolves Offseason Option #2
Best case scenario for Option 2 would be to sign two or three above-average guys with playoff experience and a proven track record that fit the team needs of defense, toughness, and shooting. These would be players who are rotation players at the beginning of their prime years that could be signed for reasonable salary deals and wouldn’t cripple the long-term financial plans of the team. Here are my top 3 free agent targets for Minnesota:
- Tony Snell
- Joe Ingles
- JaMychal Green
Tony Snell (6’7” 202 lbs Age 25) is the definition of the modern day wing stopper/3-point shooter. He shoots 3’s at a 40% rate (51% in the playoffs!) and has the length and tenacity to guard positions 1-3. He would be such a perfect fit on the Wolves alongside Wiggins to take the defensive burden off him. He will likely cost around $10-12 million per year. He’s currently employed by the Milwaukee Bucks who have a lot of salary cap and contract extension concerns so he may slip through the cracks.
Joe Ingles (6’8” 226 lbs Age 29) AKA Slow Mo Joe came out of nowhere (OK Australia) to turn into one of the best role players in the league the last two years for the Jazz. The lefty actually led the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage for most of the year, finishing at 44%! He also played terrific defense and averages 1.8 steals per 36 minutes with an impressive 4+ assists per 36 minutes. Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give “No Hablo Ingles” is that he was always on the floor during crunch time. In fact, he’s always the inbounds guy for the Jazz at the end of games, which means the coach trusts him unconditionally to make the right pass in the clutch. He hasn’t cashed in for any sizeable paycheck yet in the NBA so he’ll want to get paid this offseason. Nobody knows how much he’ll command but it will certainly be in the $8-$12 million range.
JaMychal Green (6’9” 228 lbs Age 26) is a late bloomer who started at power forward this year for the Memphis Grizzlies. He played college ball at Alabama and even spent some time in the D-League. This past year in Memphis he average 9 points and 7 rebounds per game (12 points and 9 rebounds per 36 minutes). But his efficiency stands out. He shot 3’s at a 38% clip and shot 55% on two point attempts with a free throw percentage of 80%. He had the highest Offensive Rating of anyone in this group with an ORtg of 117 (points per 100 possessions). His defensive rating was right behind Ingles at 107 (points per 100 possessions). His advanced stats are also kind with a Win Share rate of 5.8 and VORP of 1.4. Nerd alert! Green might get an absurd offer from a desperate team, but realistically he should get $12-$15 million per year.
Option 2 Starting Lineup:
Kris Dunn / Tyus Jones
Gorgui Dieng / Nemanja Bjelica
1st Round Draft Pick
With $36 million in cap space, the Timberwolves could theoretically squeeze Snell, Ingles, and Green into their salary cap. It would be a monumental upgrade at every position of need and would create one of the best bench units in the league with Dunn, LaVine, Ingles, Dieng, and the #7 overall pick (Jonathan Isaac hopefully). That is a legitimate team. The starting 5 gets a major defensive upgrade with Snell and Green. Wiggins and KAT continue to carry the offensive load with Rubio orchestrating.
Option 2 is a long-term play valuing bench strength and role players vs. big money stars. The beautiful thing about signing those 3 guys is that they’re all veterans with playoff experience (of which the current Timberwolves have none) and winning attitudes.
Now that you’ve read about both options, which would you vote for?