Minnesota Timberwolves: Ironing out the Timberwolves Training Camp roster

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 16: Melo Trimble
ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 16: Melo Trimble /

The season opener draws closer and closer for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Before they meet the Spurs on October 18th, the Wolves need to solidify their final roster.

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced that 17 players will be in their training camp this season. Most NBA teams have 14 to 15 players on their final roster when the regular season begins. With that common number in mind, the Timberwolves will need to make a few cuts before the season starts. It may not be as obvious as some casual observers may think. Many of the players on the fringe of the roster could be interchanged with one another. First, take a look at the Wolves training camp roster:

There is no need to get into the obvious roster spaces, reserved for guys like Andrew Wiggins, Jimmy Butler, and Karl-Anthony Towns, among others. In fact, much of this roster is set, in my opinion. However, there is a group of four players on the training camp roster that have their roster spaces in question. Those players, to me, are Anthony Brown, Marcus Georges-Hunt, Amile Jefferson, and Melo Trimble. All of which are worthy of a potential roster spot. Obviously, it will come down to who performs in training camp and the three preseason games.

Brown is the ‘veteran’ of those four, this being his third season after playing at Stanford until 2015. Despite a very young NBA career, Brown has played for three different teams already. His rookie season was spent with the Los Angeles Lakers, playing in only 29 games. Much of that campaign was spent in the Lakers’ D-League (now G-League) affiliate. In his 29 games in the NBA, he averaged four points per game on 31 percent shooting.

He then spent last season in New Orleans as well as Orlando after being waived by the Pelicans. In all of 2016-17, Brown averaged just under four points a game on 36 percent shooting. He signed a two-way contract with the Timberwolves in August. This means his salary is dependent upon whether he is playing in the NBA or in the G-League.

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Coming out of Georgia Tech, Marcus Georges-Hunt went undrafted last season. He kicked around with the Celtics, Heat, and eventually the Orlando Magic. He only appeared in five games last season. To be fair, much of his playing time last season was in the D-League. Georges-Hunt was even voted a D-League All-Star and was All-NBA D-League Third Team. He signed on with the Wolves in August as well.

Amile Jefferson and Melo Trimble are the rookies in the group of four. Both were undrafted, which is surprising given the college careers they had. It was perhaps more surprising in Trimble’s case, after a tremendous career at Maryland. Trimble averaged nearly 16 points per game at Maryland on 43 percent shooting. In his three year span, he led the Terrapins to three NCAA tournament appearances.

As for Jefferson, going undrafted was a little less of a shock. He was never an eye-popping player at Duke. His statistics do not necessarily paint an accurate picture either. Jefferson averaged seven points and six rebounds per game in his five season at Duke. He was also marred by injury throughout his Blue Devil career. Jefferson is a tremendous leader however, and is frequently the hardest working player too. Not to mention, he is a winner, with a national championship and five NCAA tournament appearances to his credit.

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With all of that being said, I would assume the players who miss the final roster cut will be put into the G-League. One of these is Jefferson for sure, who is not ready for the NBA by any stretch. I also foresee Georges-Hunt starting the season in the G-League and being recalled to the Timberwolves at some point. Minnesota may even flip-flop him and Anthony Brown at times. To start, I would guess Jefferson and Georges-Hunt will be Iowa Wolves instead of Minnesota Wolves.

That leaves the Timberwolves with Melo Trimble and Anthony Brown on the NBA roster to start the season. Like I said in the beginning, there is a chance the Wolves only keep 14 players active. In that case, I would still like to see Trimble on the NBA roster.

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There is still plenty of time to iron all of this out. The Timberwolves are in a good place as they have very few cuts and re-assignments to make compared to other teams. Let’s just hope the roster solidified in October is one that can live up to the expectations.