As of right now, the Minnesota Timberwolves are currently down Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, Jarred Vanderbilt, Taurean Prince, and McKinley Wright IV due to health & safety protocols. That is a long list of players, but noticeably missing from that list are energetic defensive-minded guards in Patrick Beverley and Josh Okogie.
Wolves were back at practice this afternoon. Chris Finch said they had 11 players, Josh Okogie and Patrick Beverley were back, but the team was still without Anthony Edwards and Taurean Prince.— Alan Horton (@WolvesRadio) December 26, 2021
That is a huge breath of fresh air for Minnesota, who was barely able to cobble together a minimum NBA requirement to play their game against the Utah Jazz on Thursday. Although Edwards, Prince, and Vanderbilt were still missing from practice, it could be important to note that Ant was placed in protocols the same time as Prince. Their official “10 day mark” is tomorrow. The surprise here was Pat Bev returning to practice, as he was placed on leave just 6 days ago, the same time as Vando while Okogie started his leave 7 days ago. You would imagine that those three will be back sooner than later.
Meanwhile, being down KAT and Vando has left the Wolves extremely shorthanded in the frontcourt. Naz Reid is Naz Reid. Nathan Knight has been admirable in his replacement duties. However, more help is still needed. After having last NBA game on May 12, 2019 (Playoffs vs. the 76ers), 9-year NBA veteran Greg “Moose” Monroe has finally been re-summoned!
The MOOSE has returned to Minnesota! Welcome Greg Monroe. pic.twitter.com/6V2CmqvndM— Wolvescast (@wolvescast) December 26, 2021
Monroe was most remembered for his time playing with the Detroit Pistons. He was drafted 7th overall in the 2010 NBA draft behind a pair of fan-favorite Wolves players, Evan Turner (2nd) and Wes Johnson (4th). It appeared as though Monroe was destined for a successful NBA career as a big man who could get buckets as an offensive hub from the post for Detroit (14.3 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.8 stocks), but it didn’t take long before his Al Jefferson-inspired career arc left him wandering the league as a journeyman, playing for 4 teams in 2 years.
He’s currently playing for the Capital City Go-Go and averaging 10.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.8 stocks per game. It’s unlikely Monroe will get much playing time, but he will at least prove to be a valuable body in practice as he probably won’t be ahead of someone like Chris Silva on the depth chart. However, it’s still fun to reminisce!
Naz Reid was also ruled out due to health & safety protocol shortly after the Monroe announcement. This signing makes all the more sense now that the frontcourt consists of just Jaden McDaniels (kinda), Nathan Knight, Chris Silva, and... Jake Layman??? Not great.