The Minnesota Timberwolves announced their 2014 training camp roster this week with little to no surprises. The team has eighteen players on the camp roster and will need to cut that down to fifteen for opening night, 10/7 in Indianapolis to take on the Pacers.
Here is a look at the roster by position and probable depth chart heading into training camp:
- PG: Ricky Rubio, Mo Williams, JJ Barea
- SG: Kevin Martin, Zach LaVine, Corey Brewer, Brady Heslip
- SF: Andrew Wiggins, Chase Budinger, Shabazz Muhammad, Glenn Robinson III
- PF: Thaddeus Young, Anthony Bennett, Robbie Hummel
- C: Nikola Pekovic, Gorgui Dieng, Ronny Turiaf, Kyrylo Fesenko
Several players on the roster can and will spend time at multiple positions. The five players at the end of each position are also the most likely to not make the roster and you can make an argument for and against each one.
First and foremost, the team still needs to find a new home for JJ Barea. If the team can’t find a team willing to part with him for a second round draft pick and/or another expiring contract, it would behoove Glen Taylor to eat the money and simply buy out Barea. There is absolutely no reason for him to be in the locker room for the 2014/15 season. With Mo Williams as the veteran, backup PG and some minutes likely going to Zach LaVine as well, Barea simply doesn’t need to spread the cancer around the club, particularly with so many young, impressionable players on the roster.
Brady Heslip is the next most likely candidate to miss the opening night roster. He and Kyrylo Fesenko are the only two without guaranteed contracts. Barring injuries to players ahead of them, in particular Heslip, it is very unlikely either make the cut. In Fesenko’s case, there is still a longshot chance that the Wolves are looking to find a new home for Nikola Pekovic to make the rebuild 100% official. However unlikely this is, there is still a chance.
The other player that Flip Saunders could be looking to move is Kevin Martin, who had a disastrous first season in Minnesota last year. After a strong first two months, Martin’s game fell off a cliff. Again, in the spirit of a true rebuild, Martin (and his contract) should expect to have a new home at some point heading into this year’s trade deadline.
Who do you think misses the opening night roster for the forthcoming season? Remember, training camp is from Tuesday, September 30th through Sunday, October 5th – highlighted by the midnight “Dunks After Dark” event on Monday, 9/29.