When Corey Brewer was last in a Minnesota Timberwolves’ uniform, during the 2010-2011 season, he had the look of a bust after being selected seventh overall in 2007. But he revived his career last season by averaging 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game for the Denver Nuggets in 82 games played (two starts). That prompted the Timberwolves to bring him back as a free agent this summer, and he has stepped right into the starting lineup at small forward with Chase Budinger (knee) sidelined.
Brewer scored in double figures for the fourth time in five games against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night, and set a season-high with 18 points (7-for-14 from the floor) along with one rebound in the game. Is he now a potentially valuable piece for fantasy basketball owners?
Budinger underwent a second surgery on the knee that limited him to 23 games last season, and he appears on track to return to action in late November as long as he avoids setbacks when he presumably begins to practice with the team sometime soon. I would expect Budinger to have his minutes restricted in his first few games back, so Brewer could conceivably start and see a lot of playing time in every game through the end of the month.
Brewer appears to be a good fit alongside a couple of excellent passers (Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love) and a very good perimeter shooter (Kevin Martin) in Minnesota’s starting lineup, and as long as he can make the most of his opportunities offensively and maintain a strong presence on the defensive end coach Rick Adelman would have a hard time taking him off the floor a lot regardless of who is healthy.
Brewer’s fantasy upside is not great, since he is unlikely to stand out in any single category consistently and is not a primary offensive option for the Timberwolves. But with a solid amount of playing time could come under-the-radar production at times, and there are a lot of worse ways to fill a final roster spot in deep leagues.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.