The Minnesota Timberwolves are suddenly a team players want to play for, and they may still be in line for some free agents.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have not made the playoffs since losing in the Western Conference Finals in 2004, but with a proven head coach in Tom Thibodeau and at least one budding superstar in Karl-Anthony Towns the future is bright. A draft night trade for Jimmy Butler bolstered the outlook for next season, and veteran guard Jamal Crawford chose the Timberwolves over other teams in free agency.
Amid a report Kyrie Irving has asked the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade him, Minnesota surfaced as one of his four preferred landing spots. He looks like a bad fit on the surface, with free agent signing Jeff Teague in place at point guard and unable to be traded until at least December. If Irving wants to be “the man” on a new team, he won’t clearly be that guy with the Timberwolves.
But the Timberwolves are still in the market to add some depth in free agency, and Ian Clark is reportedly on their radar.
Clark has spent the last two seasons with the Golden State Warriors, and he averaged 6.8 points per game over 77 games last year. He had a minimal role in Golden State’s backcourt, but he made over 37 percent of his 3-pointers last season and his per-36 minute numbers over the last two years show promise (16.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals).
One need Minnesota has not really addressed this offseason is 3-point shooting. They were last in the league in attempts (21 per game) and 20th in percentage (34.9 percent) from beyond the arc last season. While Crawford will help, to compete on a higher level in that area with the NBA’s best teams he’s not enough.
Clark can play both guard spots, with some tilt toward two-guard last season. He might be a better fit for the Timberwolves than Irving too, since he’s used to accepting a role among stars and being productive when he gets an opportunity.