The Minnesota Timberwolves had a great season, racking up 42 wins and elevating their play in the postseason. The young Wolves fought their way through the playoff gauntlet in the Western Conference, eventually falling to the Dallas Mavericks in five games in the Western Conference Finals. Now, with NBA free agency on the horizon, they must keep some of their key players to continue to grow next year.

This year was a big breakthrough for the T-Wolves, and they will be looking to build on their success going into next season. The organization’s next goal is to finally make it to the pinnacle of the NBA and hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy next summer. To do that, the Timberwolves need to start by keeping as much of their team together as possible this offseason. Several valuable contributors will be free agents, and the front office will need to be strategic in who they try to keep around.

What are the Timberwolves’ goals?

One of the most critical goals for the Timberwolves this offseason must be keeping the core of the team together. That should take precedence over adding outside contributors.

The Wolves have arrived and announced themselves to the rest of the league as a team to be feared for the next half-decade. Minnesota already has a superstar in Anthony Edwards, a dynamic wing who is a legitimate three-level scorer who can also terrorize opponents on the defensive end and create for others.

Minnesota already has an elite sidekick for Edwards in veteran big man Karl-Anthony Towns, a lethal sharpshooter with a polished post presence who can space the floor from the four or five spots. Towns is more natural at the 4, which works out because the Wolves also have an elite rim protector in Rudy Gobert to hold down the center spot.

While the team should certainly work to make some minor upgrades, primarily to their bench unit, they really need to keep the core of the roster together so that the team can grow into a true contender while maintaining continuity and cohesiveness.

That is why the most important objective for Minnesota this offseason must be retaining several of their free agents who are critical to the team's success.

Unfortunately, it’s rare for any team to be able to re-sign all of their free agents during any given offseason. The T-Wolves have one advantage in that none of their free agents are star players who project to receive a contract that would break the bank, but the front office still needs to be fiscally efficient in how it chooses to allocate its financial resources to put the best team possible on the court this fall.

Kyle Anderson

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kyle Anderson (1) drives on Houston Rockets forward Jeff Green (32) in the second quarter at Target Center.
Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Anderson presents a unique dilemma for Minnesota’s front office this offseason. Anderson is an incredibly valuable player who serves a niche role as a tertiary playmaker and an efficient scorer, albeit on below-average to average volume.

Anderson is a quality shooter, although he somewhat lacks creation skills and primarily requires his teammates to set him up for open looks. For a team with a player like Anthony Edwards, who is one of the best pure creators in the league, though, Anderson’s role is essential. Every team needs low-maintenance guys who are happy playing off of the star and taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.

On paper, Anderson sounds like the perfect fit for any team, especially a team in Minnesota’s position. So, why is it a difficult decision to re-sign him? This past season, Anderson’s performance saw a drastic decline. He struggled to shoot, which severely harmed his efficiency. Even more worryingly, though, Anderson’s playmaking fell off a cliff, and that has been his calling card throughout his career in the league. If Anderson can’t convert open looks for himself and can’t help create looks for his teammates, he’s essentially a useless player.

However, Anderson started to improve his play as the season went on, and it became apparent that the eye injury he suffered had lingering effects that lasted longer than anybody had anticipated.

Provided that Anderson is back to his old self, the Wolves should be thrilled to welcome him back with open arms.

Monte Morris

Morris is an unheralded yet quietly important player for the Timberwolves. He doesn't play a ton of minutes, he won't start many games unless something has gone seriously wrong and he won't put up any eye-popping counting stats. That being said, Morris fills a critical role as a player who can come in off the bench and space the floor with decent efficiency.

He might not be a valuable overall scorer, but last season nearly half of his shots were three-pointers and he converted those at a rate north of 40%. For his career, he's making just under 40% of his threes, so this rate is sustainable.

Morris shouldn't command much more than the veteran minimum in free agency, which should make it easy for the wolves to keep in if they choose to.

Both parties should recognize the value of their relationship. Morris found a niche that fits him in Minnesota and the Timberwolves have a valuable glue guy who can keep things steady as part of the team's bench unit. A reunion on a reasonable salary is the best option for both the player and the team.