The Minnesota Timberwolves now operate under the philosophy that no stone goes unturned while looking for improvements to the roster. This is something that exists in just about every NBA front office, but certainly has been far more prevalent since Gersson Rosas took over as the team’s President of Basketball Operations early into the offseason.
This way of thinking can bring forth moves both major and minor. It injected the Wolves into the chase of D’Angelo Russell on a large scale and also led them to claim Tyrone Wallace off waivers from the LA Clippers.
Wallace is on a non-guaranteed contract that carries a partial guarantee this month and becomes fully-guaranteed in January, should he be on the team still. With the Wolves currently having 16 guys under contract and his being the only one that isn’t guaranteed, Wallace has an uphill climb to making the roster.
Wallace is a big guard – standing at 6-foot-5 – that’s entering his third year in the NBA. In his first season with the Clippers he was on a two-way deal and played well enough to interest LA in keeping him after he became a restricted free agent. They waived him this summer in order to make room for some major moves (hello, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George).
For Wallace, the best-case scenario starts with him making the team out of training camp. This might cause a bit of a headache for the Wolves, but if he plays well enough in camp it wouldn’t give the organization much of a choice but to hang on to him.
So far in his career he’s shown that he’s a fringe NBA player that may need a perfect environment to reach his ceiling. Wallace was the last pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, so finding as much success as he has in the NBA thus far is a success story in its own right.
Even if he makes the roster, minutes would be difficult to come by once the season gets underway. Both Jeff Teague and Shabazz Napier will play over him at point guard and Jaylen Nowell will be trying to crack the rotation in some capacity, too. Without injuries to at least one of the aforementioned players, it’s tough to imagine Wallace finding meaningful minutes.
From a team outlook, there really isn’t a worst-case scenario with Wallace because his deal can be voided at minimal cost financially whenever the team deems it necessary. For Wallace himself, the worst-case scenario is him getting cut.
With there already being 15 guaranteed contracts, Wallace is likely to find himself as a casualty of the roster crunch. Teams can have up to 20 contracts during camp, but then must get down to 15 by opening night – plus a pair of two-way contracts.