Luka Garza is Somehow Returning to the Minnesota Timberwolves

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been rather quiet to start free agency, over the past day or two, and for good luxury tax reasons. But on Monday morning, they were able to return one of the fabase’s favorite bench players on a reported two-year league minimum contract, do-it-all offensive big man, Luka Garza.

Garza, from the University of Iowa, is 25 years old and two years removed from being one of the most dominant basketball players in recent Big Ten memory, averaging 24 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game as a Junior and Senior.

Minnesota Timberwolves returning a potential undercover stud in Luka Garza

Garza has only gotten better, since turning pro, which is why he can’t really be allowed to play in the G-League anymore. In nine games with the Iowa Wolves two seasons ago, Luka averaged over 30 points and 10 rebounds per contest, between both the regular season and “Showcase Cup”. Last year, Garza played in just three G-League games (all in the Showcase Cup), where he averaged 36.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.

While he seems to pile up huge numbers everywhere else he plays, Garza has been unable to find the floor the NBA floor with the Minnesota Timberwolves. After playing his rookie season in Detroit, where he averaged over 12 minutes per night, in 32 games played, Garza has received just 6.9 minutes per game with the Timberwolves, averaging a measly 5.3 points and 1.8 rebounds (82 total games).

If you stretch the 6.9 minutes per game, that Garza has averaged in his young career as a Timberwolf, out to 36 minutes per night, he would have averaged 29 points and 9 rebounds last season. What does that mean, in reality? Maybe nothing.

But it sure seems like the former Hawkeye’s lack of playing time in Minnesota has a lot more to do with those ahead of him on the depth chart, namely Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert and Naz Reid, rather than an inability to hoop at the NBA level.

Related: Timberwolves Connected to Veteran Sharpshooter in NBA Free Agency

That’s why many NBA insiders thought Luka would find more money and more playing time outside of Minnesota. Instead, the Minnesota Timberwolves seem to have convinced him that returning yet again will be worth his investment, and I hope they are right.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: