The Timberwolves are one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NBA nowadays, featuring All-Star caliber prospects in Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, while the addition of Tom Thibodeau has also boosted their chances to contend in the foreseeable future.
Still, the need for some veteran help was made quite obvious when the young Wolves constantly fell short late in the games, blowing leads and struggling to win games they’ve actually dominated from the jump ball.
So, in one of the most aggressive moves we've seen in a while, Thibs sealed a reunion with his favorite guy at the Bulls, Jimmy Butler, in exchange for a couple of prospects to help Chicago in their rebuilding process.
But, even if Butler’s presence is definitely a huge improvement for Minnesota, they still need a couple of extra pieces to put together a contending team, and today we’ll talk about what they need to do if they want to thrive next season.
5. P.J. Tucker
As stated before, the Timberwolves really struggle in late-game situations, blowing a lot of late leads last season mainly due to growing pains and not knowing how to slow the game down to hold leads.
The inclusion of swingman P.J. Tucker from the Raptors could be the first step in remedying this issue, as the small forward has been around the block a couple of times, having playing stints in Israel, Ukraine, Italy, Germany, and Phoenix, adding some much-needed tenacity and maturity on the defensive end, something Minnesota have been missing since KG retired.
4. J.J. Redick
The Timberwolves currently have one of the most interesting squads in the NBA, although spacing and three-point shooting continue to be an issue, even with Butler’s addition, as he hasn’t been much of a consistent scorer from beyond the arc throughout his career.
So, adding Redick into the mix will definitely provide a much-needed sniper from three-point territory, while allowing the Wolves to go small with Wiggins at the 4 and Towns at the 5 to try and matchup with those fast-paced offenses we see nowadays in the Association.
3. Zach Randolph
Zach Randolph has been a hell of a player for the Memphis Grizzlies, spending the past eight years of his career in Tenessee, playing a major role in the Grizzlies' WCF run in 2013.
But, as the Junkyard Dog's career winds down, Memphis is looking to move on, as they do not have enough cap space to keep Randolph if they wish to re-sign some of their younger talent. The Timberwolves could really use a player with the experience of Randolph's, as he has spent a whopping 16 years in the league, and has tried and tested playoff experience on top of that.
He may not be offering much in terms of on-court performance, but his wisdom will be invaluable to the young players on the Wolves roster.
2. Tony Allen
Another member of the Memphis Grizzlies, Tony Allen has enjoyed a long career as a defensive specialist, something the Wolves, especially Andrew Wiggins, could use help with. With Memphis focusing on making their roster younger, re-signing Allen is not their top priority.
Minnesota tried a strategy like this before, bringing in small forward Tayshaun Prince to provide leadership off the bench in the 2015-16 season. With Prince not playing in a single game last season, Tony Allen could come in and replace Prince's role as the defensive wizard the young players can look up to.
1. Paul Millsap
Millsap is one of the free agents that’s going to draw more interest during the summer, as he’s one of the best two-way power forwards in the league right now, even if his prime is coming to an end, and he could be a very interesting asset on a team like Minnesota.
Millsap could thrive alongside Towns while Gorgui Dieng shifts to the team’s second unit, putting together a much more complete squad in Minny and giving Millsap a better shot at contention than he’ll get in other places with that kind of talent around him.