The Minnesota Timberwolves have added Anthony Tolliver to the roster for a reported two years and $4.5-ish million.
Or by the looks of the video Anthony put out there on Thursday, he’s chosen to take his services to Minneapolis.
I actually love this signing because I think it provides some much needed depth to a frontcourt that I’m not convinced is all that deep. We know that Kevin Love should be a fixture for the Wolves interior, considering he’s probably the best rebounder in the entire league. But that didn’t stop him from having his minutes yanked around inexplicably last season. And the team has committed to letting Nikola Pekovic and Darko Milicic find their way around the paint for a full season.
And of course there is Michael Beasley and whatever he can give the Wolves on a nightly basis. However, we don’t really know what to expect from Beas.
What Anthony Tolliver brings is a nice little insurance policy in case things don’t quite work out with any of the mentioned above. Tolliver is a guy that is probably best used as a stretch-4 but thanks to Mr. Don Nelson’s Wonder Emporium from Warriors World last season, he proved he can fill in adequately as a center despite only being 6’8”.
Offensively there is plenty to like about Tolliver. While his percentage wasn’t great (33.1%) from three-point range last year, he showed the ability to step out and keep the defense honest. He took too many in just 44 games with the Warriors but in a more controlled offense with some structure you can really use his range as a threat. He also moves very well without the ball and finds open spots in the halfcourt. In the event he gets paired with Kevin Love or Darko Divac, I think their passing ability can get him a couple of easy baskets on cuts.
Tolliver also handles the ball well and is a mismatch in the Wolves favor when he does have to play center. He can put the ball on the floor and is strong enough to absorb contact and still finish the play. He doesn’t have to give the Wolves much on offense. If all goes well, his playing time will be sporadic.
Defensively, I’m a little concerned still. A lot of this could have had to do with the fact he was playing center in the Nellie Ball Variety Show last season but Tolliver was abused in the post defensively. He gave up 55.6% shooting on plays he defended the post, according to Synergy Sports. But again this was Tolliver playing out of position last season. Against power forwards, he could be a much better defender and possibly not give up such easy baskets.
The Wolves now have a pretty full roster with 15 guys technically under contract. Having a little more personality with Tolliver on board should make this a fun group of guys.
Let the countdown to him joining the Knicks in two years begin…