By: Alex Berg
Admittedly, I have to give the disclaimer that I irrationally love a handful of NBA “role” players. Hollis Thompson, who was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers Wednesday. My first instinct was: “The Wolves need him!” After rationally thinking about it, I still think The Minnesota Timberwolves should take a flier on the 25-year-old out of Georgetown.
For those unfamiliar with Thompson, he is a career 38.9 percent shooter from behind the 3-point line and has an EFG of 51.9 percent. Those numbers would rank third and fourth, respectively, on Minnesota’s roster this season -- and Tyus Jones’ limited sample size is above him in each category.
Thompson would be a welcomed addition on a bench that has, putting it very nicely, struggled. Because Brandon Rush has only played 121 minutes this season, the Wolves have had no choice but to give both Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine over 36.5 minutes per night. Adding Thompson could give both Wiggins and LaVine a couple extra minutes of rest each game and also give Tom Thibodeau another option when Shabazz Muhammad is having an “off” night.
Thompson, although not a great defender, would probably be an improvement over what Minnesota currently has at the wing positions. Over his 256 career NBA games, he owns a DBPM of -1.3. That is at least 1.5 higher than the DBPM of LaVine, Wiggins and Muhammad.
One concern with the former 76er is that he hasn’t really improved over his four-year NBA career. Back when Philadelphia was tanking -- err, I mean processing -- in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons, Thompson logged started 68 games and shot over 40.0 percent from behind the arc. Since, his 3-point shooting has dipped below the 40.0 clip over the last 108 games and his defensive metrics have also dropped over his last 108 games.
A change of scenery could be good for Thompson. In Minnesota, he would likely be on the floor with Ricky Rubio or Kris Dunn, both pass-first point guards, at all times. Considering he would also probably share the floor with LaVine, Wiggins or Muhammad; Thompson would be cast away in the corner and only asked to shoot open 3-pointers. That might not be a bad thing.
I’m fully aware my long-lasting appreciation for Thompson makes me biased here, but considering his skillset, availability and the woeful Timberwolves bench; the team might be wise to give Thompson a call.