Minnesota Timberwolves Must Target Shooters in NBA Draft, Free Agency
The dominant narrative of the 2012-2013 NBA season for the Minnesota Timberwolves has been their problems with injuries. Almost everyone on their roster, especially the players most would deem as important, have missed significant amounts of time this year with injuries. However, something else that’s going on in Minnesota is that they are the worst 3-point shooting team in the league.
Minnesota shoots just an even 30 percent from beyond-the-arc this season, the worst percentage in the league by 2.1 percentage points. That’s partially due to the lengthy absences of Kevin Love and Chase Budinger, the team’s best long-range shooters, but it’s also because they don’t have many shooters on their roster as a whole.
Given their difficulties in 3-point shooting, the Timberwolves need to be looking ahead to free agency and the upcoming draft for players that could potentially fill the role of a shooter for their team. They don’t necessarily need someone who can become a superstar, but they do need someone who can at least come off of the bench and knock down some shots from deep.
Looking at the players that will become free agents this offseason, there are a few players that stick out as potential targets for the Wolves. The challenge in finding players, though, is that the Wolves will also be looking to lock up Nikola Pekovic, so they can’t spend too much money on a shooter.
Two players that really stand out are Kyle Korver and Anthony Morrow. Both players shoot over 41 percent from three for their careers and both will be relatively cheap because they are shooting specialists. Korver’s cost will likely be a little higher, but Minnesota should be able to afford either of those players if they can sway them.
However, if the Wolves elect to find a shooter in the draft, they also have some viable options there. Minnesota is going to be in the draft lottery and will most likely have a pick around the eighth or ninth selection. Their first option should obviously be Ben McLemore, who shot over 40 percent from 3-point range this year and may be the most talented player in the draft.
Chances are that McLemore won’t fall to the Wolves, though. In that case, Minnesota should really keep an eye on Gary Harris and C.J. McCollum. Harris shot 41.9 percent from beyond the arc this season and is still very young and has a lot of upside.
McCollum is a senior coming from a mid-major school and coming off of a broken foot he suffered early this season. However, he’s proven that he can absolutely score the ball and was shooting over 50 percent from long range before his injury this season.
The Timberwolves have options in both the draft and free agency, depending on where they prefer to look. With how badly they’ve shot the from long range this season, they desperately need someone to help stop the bleeding.
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