Timberwolves

Were Are Minnesota's Biggest Roster Holes Post Gobert Trade?

Photo Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves executed one of the most controversial trades in recent years when they traded for All-Star big man Rudy Gobert. In this trade, Minnesota gave up five players, three of which were in the rotation last season. So what are the biggest holes currently in their roster, and who would be solid pickups to fill those gaps?

Even before trading for Gobert, the Timberwolves had massive holes on their roster. Two of them were paint defense and rebounding on both sides. Improvement in those categories was expected but not quite to the magnitude of obtaining someone like Gobert. Aside from minor rumblings on Gobert being linked to the Wolves, he wasn’t a name many had high on their lists. Therefore, this trade was that much more of a shock to NBA fans everywhere.

When news of the trade broke, many fans and media didn’t like the value Minnesota gave up for Gobert, and rightfully so. However, Gobert’s impact can sometimes go unnoticed despite being the league leader in rebounds per game (14.7) and field-goal percentage (71.3%) last season. Gobert doesn’t only excel at punishing players in the paint. He also can set picks and roll hard to the basket while being one of the more feared players in the league.

Any team that trades five players for one will create holes on the roster. In Minnesota’s case, there are three main holes that they will need to address to contend next year.

Point Guard Depth

After trading Patrick Beverley, the Wolves only have two true point guards on the roster: D’Angelo Russell and Jordan McLaughlin. Given Russell’s injury history, it’s risky only to have one backup point guard. Sure, guys like Jaylen Nowell and even newly-added Bryn Forbes could initiate the offense, but that’s not their natural spot.

There is no shortage of offense on the Timberwolves. Therefore, when looking for a potential backup, a player who can move the ball off the bench in a third-string situation is really all that’s required.

Rajon Rondo is one name that comes to mind, and he’d likely only demand the veteran’s minimum. Rondo would bring in great playoff experience, similar to Beverley, and his ability to see the entire floor. Rondo, who’s won two rings as a facilitator on great teams, has a career average of just about eight assists per game. He would be a perfect fit when looking at the makeup of this team.

Not only would Rondo be a great fit on the team, but Facundo Campazzo could also be a name to look out for. While I may not be a big fan of Campazzo’s, he still knows how to swing the ball around and hit his teammates in very flashy ways, and with his history in Denver with Tim Connelly, Campazzo landing in Minnesota may not be that unexpected.

Shooting Off the Bench

Minnesota has already brought in Forbes, a career 41% three-point shooter, to fill the hole Beasley left. However, bench shooting is still a concern. Kyle Anderson is a great veteran presence, but he probably won’t consistently hit outside shots, at least to the magnitude of someone like Beasley or Prince.

Old friend Juancho Hernangómez may be perfect for filling this particular gap. The Wolves traded Hernangómez last offseason. He has become a movie star since then, but one thing has remained the same – Bo Cruz can shoot. Not only that, but he also stands at 6’9” with some great rebounding and back-cutting chops.

Depth At the 4 and 5

The Wolves needed depth at the 4 and the 5 before the Gobert trade, but it is still something they need to round out before this upcoming season. Currently, Anderson and Josh Minott are the only natural 4s in Minnesota. I’m high on Minott, but Minnesota still needs to add depth at that position. A guy like Hernangomez would be a great pickup, but I’d like to focus more on adding depth at the 5.

While Naz Reid is more than a solid big off the bench, he still lacks some defense skills that we’ve been hoping to see from the 22-year-old. The Wolves also have Nathan Knight, who they tendered last week and will stick around next season on a two-way deal. But similar to Reid, he doesn’t excel on the defensive end.

Free-agent big men DeMarcus Cousins and Gorgui Dieng have drawn interest from the Timberwolves in recent days following the Gobert trade.

However, Dieng has signed a one-year deal with the San Antonio Spurs. Cousins would bring in a tough big off the bench and some great NBA experience. While he may be somewhat of a wild card, his aggressive nature and will to win may benefit a still very young Wolves roster.

Since the Spurs took Dieng off the list of bigs still available, Dwight Howard is another big worth looking at. Howard may be way past his prime but can still bring valuable skills to a winning team, those being his still very good hops and ability to grab the ball of the hoop. Additionally, his impressive resume and knowledge may be beneficial to a guy like Karl-Anthony Towns or even Gobert, for that matter.

The holes are for sure present on the Wolves roster currently. Maybe they are not as severe as some are making them out to be, but there nonetheless. These holes are not impossible to address, despite all the money that the Wolves have tied up in Towns and Gobert.

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The story of this off-season for the Minnesota Timberwolves was its blockbuster move to acquire three-time Defensive Player Of the Year Rudy Gobert. While it may be […]

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