Minnesota Timberwolves: Roster review after Jimmy Butler trade

The Minnesota Timberwolves will sport a new look during the 2017-18 NBA season. Adding Jimmy Butler to the starting lineup makes for a matchup nightmare.

There is no doubt that the Minnesota Timberwolves improved during the 2017 NBA Draft. The Wolves were the talk of the night after a trade that brought Jimmy Butler to Minnesota.

The trade was a great deal for the Wolves, who only had to send Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the seventh overall pick in the draft to the Chicago Bulls. In addition to Butler, the Wolves received the 16th overall pick that wound up being center Justin Patton.

A deal this favorable for the Wolves did not seem possible, but they were able to pull it off. The direction of the Chicago Bulls is now very clear. Jimmy Butler did not like the way his situation was handled but the Bulls did him a big favor sending him to a team on the rise.

Although Butler improves the team instantly, the Wolves have not addressed their No. 1 priority for this offseason. They need to improve their bench and add depth. Last season Minnesota finished the year with one of the worst benches in the NBA. The starters played too many minutes and could not finish games because they were exhausted.

Luckily for the Wolves, free agency is right around the corner. Furthermore, the Wolves are in a good position with up to $17.1 million in cap space if they renounce all free agency cap holds other than Patton, per Spotrac. They could add another $4.2 million to that amount by cutting Jordan Hill, who has a non-guaranteed salary for 2017-18.

If they can add a couple of quality players that can come off the bench, they will be in a very good position come next season.

Lets take a look at the lineup prior to free agency

*Upcoming free agents are marked with an asterisk

Starters

Bench

The starting lineup is a force that can take down any team in the NBA on a given night. Unfortunately, that will not be enough by itself. Even the additions of Butler, Patton and keeping all four free agents is not enough to have a good bench. The Minnesota Timberwolves must pick up some good free agents.

The first things they should do is immediately cut ties with Brandon Rush,  Omri Casspi and Adreian Payne. Those are three players they do not need that will make space for arrivals that will make the team better. If the Wolves can convince Shabazz Muhammad to stay for a good price, that would be ideal. If not, there are other forwards available such as James Johnson they can target.

The most important bench addition will be adding a shooting guard. The Wolves need someone who can shoot well off the bench.  J.J. Redick is a player that comes to mind, and he would take this team to the next level coming off the bench.

This is going to be a fun season to watch the Minnesota Timberwolves play. The anticipation for this team has been high for the last couple seasons. It is starting to look like their time has finally come.

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