Last Word On Basketball

Power Forward Options for the Timberwolves

CHICAGO, USA - OCTOBER 26: John Collins (20) of Atlanta Hawks in action during the NBA game between Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks at the United Center on October 26, 2017 in Chicago, United States. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

According to a report by Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to improve at the power forward position. More specifically, targeting John Collins and Aaron Gordon.

The Timberwolves currently have the worst record in the NBA. Typically, that indicates a team should be selling, but that isn’t the case here.  The midseason coaching change, injuries, suspensions, youth, and general lack of continuity in the franchise have simply reflected onto the court. These rumors are simply Minnesota’s President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas continuing to build on his vision.

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Power Forwards for the Timberwolves

John Collins

Collins is an athletic forward that plays for the Atlanta Hawks. Last offseason he turned down a $90+ million contract extension, as he was looking for a max deal. His play this season hasn’t gotten him any closer to that contract, making him an option for trade.

While Collins may be the best name on the target list, he doesn’t plug any gaps for the Timberwolves. His skills are primarily three-point shooting, rebounding, and rim running. He would certainly help stretch the floor and give Karl-Anthony Towns more room on his post-ups, but the defense is concerning. Collins doesn’t have the same lateral quickness as some of the other options, and this could force Head Coach Chris Finch to play him in drop on pick and rolls. This makes him difficult to play alongside Towns or Naz Reid in the scheme Finch is aiming for.

If the T-Wolves were to acquire Collins, they would be responsible for his contract extension. Minnesota is currently only $2 million under the luxury tax, and giving Collins the max contract he’s looking for would make three max players on the roster, without a clear path to the playoffs.

Aaron Gordon

The Orlando Magic have a log jam at power forward. Jonathan Isaac, though injured, has gained favor in the organization. Neither Gordon nor Issac are multi-positional, which forces the Magic to make a decision. The Timberwolves have also been linked to Gordon in the past.

On the court, Gordon is a jack-of-all-trades. He has the shooting, defense, switchability, and passing to integrate easily and quickly in Minnesota. He would participate on defense as a switchable defender and helper that can compensate for the other starters. On offense, he would be best at taking advantage of opportunities to shoot, pass, or drive as they flow through the offense. As the second option in Orlando, his numbers look unimpressive. In a reduced role, where Towns and Russell could produce better looks, Gordon could flourish.

Gordon would be easier to acquire than Collins and would be cheaper long term. He is paid $18 million this year on a descending contract that pays $16 million next year, offering the Timberwolves a little more room to play with. The Magic are reportedly asking for multiple first-round picks for Gordon, but as the offers roll in, they’ll come down to more realistic offers.

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