The Minnesota Timberwolves have shown that they were serious about building a title-contending team around the face of the franchise, Karl-Anthony Towns, when they traded for D’Angelo Russell before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. However, despite having two of the fastest rising superstars in the league, the Timberwolves obviously still need to make major roster upgrades in order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and contending for a championship title. This year’s free agency may not be as star-studded as the previous offseason, but there are still intriguing targets for the Timberwolves, including Paul Millsap of the Denver Nuggets.
Millsap is currently playing the final year of his contract with the Nuggets and set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Though he’s already on the downside of his NBA career, Millsap would still be a great addition to a team that’s in dire need of a frontcourt boost like the Timberwolves. According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, Millsap would be a “seamless offensive fit” alongside Towns in Minnesota.
“He is a seamless offensive fit beside KAT and begins to give the Timberwolves a defensive identity,” Favale wrote, referring to the Nuggets veteran power forward. “Crowder or Grant may be the more intriguing long-term get, but Millsap can shimmy between covering 4s and 5s without overextending himself.”
Millsap may have already shown some decline in his statistics in recent years, but when he’s given enough playing time and a significant role on the offensive end of the floor, he can still perform at a high level. Aside from giving Towns a formidable frontcourt partner, the potential arrival of Millsap in Minnesota would also boost the Timberwolves’ offensive and defensive efficiency that currently rank 23rd and 21st in the league, respectively. This season, the 35-year-old power forward is averaging 12.0 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 44.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Having a floor-spacing big man like Millsap would be beneficial for ball-dominant superstars like Russell and Towns, as it would make it easier for them to penetrate to the basket or kick the ball out when they are trapped by the opposing team’s defense. With Towns offering a similar offensive skillset as his current frontcourt partner, Nuggets superstar Nikola Jokic, Millsap likely won’t have a hard time building chemistry with KAT in the Timberwolves’ frontcourt.
However, as of now, it remains unknown what type of contract Millsap would be looking for in the 2020 NBA free agency. For a player of his caliber, it would likely take more than the full mid-level exception to convince him to join a non-contender like the Timberwolves this summer.