The Minnesota Timberwolves entered this season with high hopes, but an avalanche of injuries has kept their best players from being on the floor together. Any hopes of making the playoffs are long gone by this point with a 20-35 record, so it’s once again time to look forward to next season.
Even with injuries thinning their depth, the Timberwolves have some clear-cut shortcomings on their roster. They are the NBA’s worst three-point shooting team (30 percent) entering Saturday’s action, and a lack of a proven scorer at shooting guard and small forward has hurt their overall offensive production (95.2 points per game-tied for 19th in the league). Could someone with a championship ring be on their radar heading into next season?
Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN-Twin Cities has reported the Timberwolves may pursue a trade for Los Angeles Clippers forward Caron Butler this summer. Butler is averaging 10.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and one assist in 58 games this season, and was reportedly almost traded to the Washington Wizards at last month’s trade deadline before Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling nixed the deal. For his career, over 11 NBA seasons with five teams, the soon to be 33-year old Butler is averaging 15.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game in 710 career games.
Butler will be in the final year of his contract next season, which could make him an appealing trade target for a lot of teams this summer. The Timberwolves have to have a fairly aggressive short-term plan with Rick Adelman in place as coach and the possibility forward Kevin Love leaves as a free agent when he can after the 2014-2015 season. For that reason Butler looks like a good fit, depending on what it would take to get him in a trade. At the very least, he offers the kind of offensive skills that Minnesota currently lacks and desperately needs if they hope to bring an end to their postseason drought.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.