As the Timberwolves roster is currently constructed, Josh Okogie and Jarrett Culver are critical pieces to whatever Gersson Rosas and Ryan Saunders are building. Obviously, Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell are at the top of the Wolves food chain, but right behind them, it’s Okogie and Culver. Towns and Russell are the max contract guys, Okogie and Culver are the past two first round picks. It’s kind of that simple.
On this week’s podcast, I focused on Okogie and Culver — digging into how they do and how they do not effectively insulate Towns and Russell. In the episode, I asked Rosas, Saunders and Okogie (via Zoom) about what this team needs to do around Towns and Russell — and I found their answers to be illuminating.
(I also asked Tre Jones a few questions via Zoom at the NBA’s media availability for Combine participants.)
(If you can’t access the Spotify player, click here to listen to the latest episode.)
A few Okogie- and Culver-related stats from the 2019-20 season
- Of the 209 players that attempted 100-or-more catch and shoots 3s this season, Okogie ranked 209th in effectiveness (26.6%), Culver ranked 201st (29.3%).
- Of the 24 different pairings of Timberwolves who shared the floor for 350-or-more minutes this season, Okogie and Culver had the team’s worst net-rating — being outscored by 8.8 points per 100 possessions in the 434 minutes they shared the floor.
- Saunders all but stopped playing Okogie and Culver together after the trade deadline. In the 14 post-deadline games, Okogie and Culver only shared the floor for 17 minutes.
- That all said, Okogie and Culver’s lack of shooting did not prevent the offense from being elite while they shared the floor with Towns. According to CleaningTheGlass.com, the Wolves were a 98th percentile offense when Towns, Okogie and Culver shared the floor. When Okogie and Culver played without Towns, the Wolves were a 4th percentile offense.
In the pod, I go through a couple possible rotation adjustments that might be coming to assist Okogie and Culver in being able to share the floor together next season — including shifting Okogie to power forward and drafting a defensive-minded point guarded (like Tre Jones).