Grading Kyle Anderson’s 2-year, $18 million deal with Timberwolves in 2022 NBA free agency
The Timberwolves are coming off a successful season in which they made it to the playoffs for the first time in four seasons. Minnesota was knocked out by the Memphis Grizzlies after their 46-36 regular season. The growth of Anthony Edwards and the intensity of Patrick Beverly have brought a newfound life to the franchise. The Timberwolves will not be content with just making it to the playoffs moving forward.
As the team looks to take the next step, they will need to add valuable role players to surround their core. They took a step in this direction in free agency by adding Kyle Anderson to the roster.
Grading Kyle Anderson deal with Timberwolves in 2022 NBA free agency
Grade for Timberwolves: C+
Minnesota was fairly weak on the wing heading into free agency. They began by inking Taurean Prince to a deal and now added Kyle Anderson. Malik Beasley and Jaden McDaniels will also contonue to play a role in the rotation. If the Timberwolves hope to have playoff success they need wings who can match up with opposing stars. The concern here is that they are still a little thin in this category.
Kyle Anderson began his career with the San Antonio Spurs after being drafted 30th overall in the 2014 draft. The UCLA product has a unique style of play that earned him the nickname “Slow-Mo” for a reason. Anderson had a slow start to his professional career but grew into a starting role in his fourth season in San Antonio.
Following his time with the Spurs, he signed a 4-year $37 million deal with the Grizzlies with the hopes he could take the next steps in his development. To some extent it was a success, but he had some up and down seasons in Memphis. Anderson’s best year came in the 2020-21 season where he averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.2 steals. He took a slight step back this year but was still an effective role player nonetheless.
The addition of Kyle Anderson is an upgrade for the Timberwolves, but not their missing piece. He is a capable defender and this will likley be his biggest role. Anderson has impressive size at 6’9″ with a 7’3″ wingspan. If he can become the lockdown perimter defender the team needs the signing will be a major success. However, his lack of footspeed and below average perimeter shooting are a concern. The 28-year-old is a solid rotational piece who will provide positive minutes, nut there is still work to be done on the Timberwolves roster.
Grade for Kyle Anderson: B+
The Timberwolves are a nice landing spot for Kyle Anderson. He will be counted on as one of their main rotational wing pieces and be able to deliver. He provides and element that the team needs and will likley be leaned on more than he was in Memphis. The contract may be slightly less than he had hoped but it is still a solid paycheck for a primarily bench player. Expect Slow-Mo to find his stride with Minnesota and help elevate the team’s defensive ability.
Minnesota has been attempting ot change the culture of the organization in recent years. Their desire to win is clear and the attitude must reflect that. Adding Anderson will help change this as he has 47 career playoff games already logged. The foundation of winning habits that were laid during his time with the Spurs are infections and he is a good lockerroom guy to have. While being 28-years-old means he is still in the prime of his career, Andreson will be looked at as a veteran leader in the clubhouse. The two-year agreement also ensures that Anderson has the flexibility to go elsewhere if he does not enjoy his time in Minnesota.
It will be interesting to see how Minnesota rounds out the rest of their roster, but the addition of Kyle Anderson is a solid place to start. It is tough to put a value on players who do the little things in the way the former Grizzlies standout does. Expect the Timberwolves to take a leap forward this season and for Anderson to play a role.