Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Minnesota Timberwolves (Last Year: 29-53)
2016-17 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Gorgui Dieng/Nikola Pekovic
PF: Karl-Anthony Towns/Nemanja Bjelica/Kevin Garnett/Adreian Payne
SF: Andrew Wiggins/Shabazz Muhammad
SG: Zach LaVine
PG: Ricky Rubio/Tyus Jones
NBA Free Agents:
SF-Tayshaun Price (UFA)
SF-Damjan Rudez (TO)
2015-16 Team Salary: Approximately $63.6 million
NBA Offseason Team Needs:
1. Three-Point Shooter:
The Timberwolves finished 25th in the league in three-point shooting percentage, so they could use a perimeter sniper to come off the bench. Sitting with the fifth pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Minnesota is in a good position to land either Oklahoma's Buddy Hield or Jamal Murray from Kentucky, who are two of the best outside shooters in the 2016 NBA Draft. If the Timberwolves go in a different direction with their first-round selection, they must turn to free agency to add some outside-shooting help.
2. Sidekick for Towns:
While Towns appears to be the real deal, the Timberwolves don't have a true frontcourt running mate to pair with Towns moving forward despite having a decent amount of depth. Gorgui Dieng is better suited in a reserve role, and Nikola Pekovic can't stay healthy, while Kevin Garnett is likely entering his last year in the league. If Minnesota can land another big to pair with Towns and upgrade the talent inside, it will help the club get one step closer to competing for a playoff spot.
I actually love what the Timberwolves did last summer when they brought in Garnett, Tayshaun Prince and Andre Miller. Even though all three guys were on the last legs as NBA players, they brought needed experience and leadership to the locker room of a young team. With Prince a free agent and the team releasing Miller late last season, adding another veteran to help Garnett and first-year head coach Tom Thibodeau with the development of this young team would be smart.
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