In the last 18 months, the new Timberwolves regime has drastically reshaped the roster several times over. Long gone are the TimberBulls along with Tom Thibodeau, while the Bahamas good-time crew has been scattered to the winds. With the incredible turnover, it is worth checking in on how the former Timberwolves are doing now and what their future may hold.
Jimmy Butler - The catalyst for the Timberwolves implosion needs little introduction. After a near-Finals run with the 76ers, Butler has been happy to lead the Miami Heat to the 4th seed in the East and have a strong case for another Conference Finals run.
Andrew Wiggins - Wiggins had a better spurt for the Warriors, playing hard on defense and knocking down shots from deep. However, this was still the team that had few NBA-caliber starters and continued to lose down the stretch. Next year will be a brave new world for Wiggins as the Warriors try to figure out how he fits in with Steph, Klay, and Draymond.
Robert Covington - The Houston Rockets have been able to play center-less basketball in large part due to Robert Covington. He is a perfect fit on this Rockets team and in the 13 games he played on the Rockets before the season’s suspension, he was launching 8 threes a game while playing incredible defense.
Tyus Jones - There was much chagrin when the Timberwolves failed to match the Memphis Grizzlies’ offer sheet for Tyus Jones last offseason. After all, $8 million a year seemed like a fair price for a stellar back-up point guard whose advanced stats indicated he may be capable of more. However, Jones’ had a slow start in Memphis and was struggling from beyond the arc. But just before the All-Star break, Jones started showing signs of improved guard play and looks to be a solid addition to the Grizzlies core. In hindsight, the Wolves’ asset management makes sense, as Jordan McLaughlin has been a great backup point guard and will likely be cheaper than Jones, but it’s good to see Jones succeeding with the Grizzlies.
Taj Gibson - Taj Gibson had a quick exit from the Wolves after two solid seasons. He signed with the New York Knicks for $9 million a year as one of 15 power forwards on the roster. Gibson’s minutes understandably decreased substantially in New York, but his per 36 and per 100 numbers show he has been just as dependable. Maybe the rumors of Tom Thibodeau taking over the Knicks will become true and Taj will have to get back into shape for his starting spot.
Gorgui Dieng - Losing Gorgui Dieng at the trade deadline was perhaps the saddest moment of the transaction furor. Of course, his contract created problems, but Dieng was such a long-time fan-favorite. Sure he may have traveled too often, but his long trebuchet threes were such an expression of joy. Or when he crabwalked through the lane for a thundering slam. Dieng only played 12 games for Memphis, but he was playing nearly 20 minutes a game and appeared to be playing well. It will be exciting watching him in the NBA’s return as Memphis fights to hold onto the 8th seed.
Jeff Teague - When Teague was sent to the Hawks, there was probably a palpable sense of relief on both sides, as Teague so clearly did not fit with the new vision for the Wolves. In Atlanta, Teague has settled into a backup role, but will be facing an uncertain free agency this summer. With an unclear salary cap picture and few teams without cap space, it will be interesting to see where Teague lands.
Dario Saric - After being shipped to the Suns for Jarrett Culver, Saric had an up and down year in Phoenix. Saric was reportedly shopped for a first round pick at the trade deadline and may not be part of the Suns’ long term plans. It is unclear where that will leave Saric as a restricted free agent, as he will also be facing an uncertain summer.
Anthony Tolliver - After spending a year bombing away threes on the Wolves, Tolliver bounced around a bit in this past year, playing for Portland, Sacramento, and Memphis. Tolliver “recently” signed a ten-day contract with the Grizzlies on March 2nd, but the NBA’s suspension has frozen this contract and it is unclear if he will be playing with the team when the season restarts.
Luol Deng - Deng was surprisingly competent during his stint with the Timberwolves, but he was clearly on his last legs. Deng has since re-signed with the Bulls and promptly retired.
Jerryd Bayless - Bayless was traded to the Wolves as part of the Jimmy Butler trade. His stint with the team is better left unsaid and Bayless has since left the NBA to play with the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Jordan Bell - Bell was dealt in the frenzy of the trade deadline to Memphis (as were seeming half of the Timberwolves). He has only played 21 minutes for the Grizzlies and it remains to be seen what will happen with Bell after this season as he on one year contract
Treveon Graham - Graham is in a similar spot to Bell, as he got limited run on the Hawks and is on a one-year contract. However, Graham’s theoretical 3-and-D skill set suggests he will find a landing spot somewhere.
Noah Vonleh - Vonleh was sent to the Nuggets as part of the deal that brought back Malik Beasley and Juan Hernangomez. He played only 17 minutes for the Nuggets and will also be facing an uncertain future.
Keita Bates-Diop - KBD got limited run on the Nuggets, playing 18 minutes over two games, but he will still be on his rookie contract for two more years assuming the Nuggets pick up his qualifying offer in the 2021-2022 season. As that final year is just over $2 million, it is a fair bet that KBD will remain part of the Nuggets for the foreseeable future.
Evan Turner - Just kidding, Evan Turner is still on the Timberwolves