NBA Insider Reveals Interesting Timberwolves Free Agent Targets… but Money is a Problem

Malik Beasley, Milwaukee Bucks
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Most likely, Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has shown his 2024 offseason hand already. There is no pressure from ownership to get under either of the two luxury tax aprons.

Instead, there is a push from the top-down, to do whatever it takes (within reason) to return as much talent from the 2023-24 roster, as possible. Chatter of a Karl-Anthony Towns trade has mostly died out and rumors regarding anyone else never really got going.

They shipped Kyle Anderson to Golden State, via sign and trade, and lost Monte Morris to Phoenix. Luka Garza is coming back and they signed veteran sharpshooter Joe Ingles via free agency. He’ll be an improvement on offense, compared to Anderson, but probably a step back on defense.

Now, Minnesota has one roster spot remaining and their PoBO is trying to fill it with a useable bench veteran who is worth more than the minimum contract, but is willing to take a paycut in order to chase a ring with the Timberwolves.

Minnesota Timberwolves still targeting another shooter to fill out roster

So far, that’s proven to be easier said, than done. Nonetheless, he reportedly has some targets still in his crosshairs. According to Jon Krawczynski (The Athletic), those names include (one of us) Gary Trent Jr, Lonnie Walker IV, Doug McDermott and… a possible return of Malik Beasley.

The Wolves still have one open roster spot to fill. They can only offer a veteran’s minimum contract to players such as Gary Trent Jr., Lonnie Walker IV, Doug McDermott or Malik Beasley, all of whom would help address needs. Whether any of those players, who have all had success in the league, would take a minimum contract to come to Minnesota remains to be seen.

NBA insider Jon Krawczynski on possible Timberwolves free agent targets (The Athletic)

There’s one major similarity between all of the names that Jon K mentions above. They are all wing shooters, which tells you what kind of player Chris Finch would like to take that final roster spot.

Gary Trent Jr, Malik Beasley would be ideal options for Minnesota Timberwolves

Gary Trent Jr, an Apple Valley native, is only 25 years old. In 2023-24, he averaged over 13 points per game and shot nearly 40% from three. Two years ago, as a 23-year-old averaging over 18 per game, Trent Jr. appeared on his way to getting a max contract extension. Instead, his play has fallen off a bit the past couple years, leaving him now as a high-end minimum contract option, according to Jon.

Former Wolf Malik Beasley falls into the same category as Trent Jr, and if we assume the latter will get more money elsewhere, Beasley might be Minnesota’s best option. He has the best three point percentage of all four players, and would seem more likely to settle for a veteran minimum deal. Like Trent Jr, Malik Beasley doesn’t like to play much defense, but he does rebound at a higher clip than the others too.

PlayerAgeTmGGSMPFGAFG%3PA3P%eFG%TRBASTSTLBLKPTS
Doug McDermott32SA/IND64014.14.4.4333.6.410.5990.91.10.30.05.5
Gary Trent Jr.25TOR714128.111.9.4266.4.393.5312.61.71.10.113.7
Lonnie Walker IV25BRK58017.48.5.4234.7.384.5282.21.30.60.39.7
Malik Beasley27MIL797729.69.1.4436.9.413.5983.71.40.70.111.3
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/4/2024

Lonnie Walker IV, Doug McDermott feel like the more realistic options…

Lonnie Walker IV looks like a Gary Trent Jr // Malik Beasley Lite, on paper. He’s also just 25 y/o, and doesn’t do much outside of scoring. But his best offensive season came in 2021-22, when he averaged 12.1 points per game. Last year, he averaged just 9.7.

The most veteran target listed is Doug McDermott, who’s from Grand Forks, ND. The 32 y/o is coming off of a season where he averaged just 5.5 points per game (64 games), by far the worst of his least productive season since 2014-15… when he was a rookie.

Related: Could Ricky Rubio Return to Minnesota Timberwolves?

At first glance, Dougie Basketball might look like the least attractive option, but he may also be the most realistic. He’s older, and coming off of a season that legitimately fits a veteran minimum player, vs three mid-20-somethings who probably believe they are worth more than that.

But man… after taking a look at Malik Beasley’s numbers again. I would love a reunion. We’ll make sure there aren’t any Parade of Homes events going on anywhere near him, if he returns. Can we put that in his contract?

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