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Wolves claim Tyrone Wallace despite shooting needs

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Tyrone Wallace may not be a shooter but he can fill the team’s other needs.

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

In the excitement of acquiring Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and Mo Harkless, the Los Angeles Clippers waived guard Tyrone Wallace. The Timberwolves saw Wallace on the waiver wire on Monday evening and claimed him.

For those of you unfamiliar with Wallace, he was the 60th pick in the 2016 draft who worked his way up through the G-League to earn a roster spot for the Clippers the past two seasons. As a 6’5’’ point guard, Wallace will bring a high energy to the Wolves’ bench for roughly 10 to 15 minutes per game.

If you like Josh Okogie, you should like Wallace. In fact, the two have fairly similar numbers throughout their careers. Wallace has a penchant for playing passing lanes and intercepting lazy passes. Having a 6’10’’ wingspan helps a lot when it comes to be a pest on the defensive end.

Let’s talk about the shooting

The biggest flaw in Wallace’s game is his shooting. There’s no disputing his inability to hit shots beyond the arc as Wallace is a career 23.7 percent 3-point shooter. Wallace has been most effective shooting at the rim and between 10-16 feet. If there’s any reason for optimism, it may be his 37.5 percent efficiency on corner 3’s. Otherwise, you’re probably not going to get excited when you see Wallace launch one from behind the line.

You’re probably wondering why the Wolves, a team bereft of 3-point shooting, would add another non-shooter after drafting Jarrett Culver and acquiring Jake Layman and Noah Vonleh. there are several reasons for this including:

  • Shooting is at a premium in the NBA. The teams that have shooting want to keep their shooters. Top shooters don’t often hit the market and they don’t last long when they do. Unfortunately, the Timberwolves never seemed to be in position to take advantage of such an opportunity.
  • Adding shooters is costly. For the teams that aren’t fortunate to have shooting, it will cost them to add shooters. Veteran J.J. Redick just received a two-year and $26.5 million deal and Kyle Korver is still a trade asset making $7.5 million next season at this stage in his career. Getting guys like Troy Daniels to take a discount, like the Lakers did, is rare and difficult.

Given the Timberwolves’ limited financial assets, they haven’t had the means to add a top shooter this summer. Between a weak draft class and trying to stay under the luxury tax line, the Wolves have had to get creative to overhaul the roster. The 2020 roster is shaping up to be young and energetic.

Making the best of their situation

The addition of Wallace could be a further indication of how the Wolves plan to compensate for their lack of shooting. Vonleh, Culver, Layman and now Wallace all bring size, youth and energy to the floor. Given that each of these players is fairly young, the Wolves may be hoping these and other players on the roster improve their 3-point shooting.

Regardless, this should be a team that could play hard enough each night to make teams give up in mid February. They may be more pesky and scrappy than a team that bombs their opponent into submission each night from beyond the arc.

As much as we all want shooting, adding shooters to this roster was going to be difficult. It may still happen and Gersson Rosas sounds like he’s still looking for improvements, but it seems that the Wolves are making the best of what they have. Wallace is just another example of the identity Rosas is trying to forge for this franchise.