Forbes, a career 41.3% 3-point shooter, will be relied upon to fill some of the shooting void left behind by Malik Beasley, who was part of the package Minnesota sent to the Utah Jazz in exchange for three-time All-Star Rudy Gobert.
Current Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly traded for Forbes in January last season, when Connelly was running the Denver Nuggets, as part of a three-team deal with the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs.
The former Michigan State standout scored 8.6 points on 42.4/41.0/92.1 shooting splits, 1.0 assist, 0.9 rebounds, and 0.3 stocks in 17.4 minuets per game across 35 contest for the Nuggets last season.
A 2021 NBA Champion with the Milwaukee Bucks, Forbes played in 20 games that postseason, averaging 6.6 points on 41.1/37.1/75.0 shooting splits and 1.4 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per contest. During that run, Forbes accomplished a feat that Timberwolves fans will find amusing.
Never forget when Bryn Forbes out scored Jimmy butler in a playoff series pic.twitter.com/b8iAR1BSsd— Aki (@AkiD48) July 2, 2022
This is undoubtedly a good get for Connelly and his front office. Forbes is a proven playoff contributor who has shown a willingness to fill a specialist role as a consistently lights out shooter. He has maintained a season-long 3-point shooting average north of 38% in every season beyond his rookie year, a remarkable show of consistency over a span of six seasons.
I can’t even remember the last time the Wolves brought in a legitimately useful player on a rookie contract, let alone someone who may end up playing rotation minutes for a good chunk of the season.
Forbes last season connected on 57 of 121 (47.1%) catch-and-shoot 3s and on 33 of 84 (39.2%) fires off screens, per InStat, but struggled to consistently hit shots in hand-off situations, in which he shot 8/30 (26.7%). Given his contract and fit on the team behind Anthony Edwards and Jaylen Nowell, he likely will not be asked to give Minnesota any type of off-dribble creation.
He is fantastic at getting his shoulders and feet square to the hoop when running off screens, and has a quick trigger to match, making him a guy who can benefit from running off screens from strong screeners and new acquisitions in Gobert and Kyle Anderson.
Forbes has good spacial awareness and floats well around players posting up, too. Should he share the court with Karl-Anthony Towns in post-up situations without Gobert on the floor, he figures to make life easier for KAT as a playmaker with his back to the basket or in face-up situations. He stays shot-ready, makes sure his teammates see him, and has a quick, repeatable shot motion.
He was quite good when paired with DeMarcus Cousins, who thrived he was a member of the New Orleans Pelicans with Anthony Davis under then-offensive coordinator Chris Finch. Obviously he is a much different player now than he was then, but the familiarity is there.
Lineups featuring Forbes and Cousins were 4.3 points per 100 possessions better than their opponents (74th percentile), carrying an offensive rating of 116.8 (83rd percentile) and a defensive rating of 112.5 (51st percentile), per Cleaning the Glass. Notably, they graded tremendously well in eFG% (56.3%, 90th percentile), offensive rebound rate (33.2%, 97th percentile), and offensive rebound rate allowed (21.3%, 97th percentile). Their connection pops out on film, too.
While Forbes won’t set the world aflame, he is an excellent value signing that both fills a need and fits around the current core of Wolves’ players.