The Minnesota Timberwolves just signed guard Lance Stephenson to a 10-day contract Tuesday morning. With the Wolves looking for a replacement for the injured Zach LaVine they knew they needed a player that could not only create his own shot but needed someone who was willing to work twice as hard on the defensive end.
But, if the Wolves are smart this signing could open the door to other possibilities. According to rumors, the Wolves are currently shopping Ricky Rubio but their roadblock as been the inconsistent play of rookie PG, Kris Dunn. Stephenson has the tools to play both backcourt positions and will allow the Timberwolves to place Rubio on the block. If the team can get back a first rounder or a decent post player like Jahlil Okafor of the Philadelphia 76ers and still get to keep Dunn and Stephenson heading into the second half then this was the best 10-day contract in Wolves history.
Stephenson has playoff experience, having been with the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Indiana Pacers. What the Wolves need is a player that can distribute, play defense and make the occasional perimeter shot. Rubio, while his handles are one of the best in the NBA has failed to deliver on the defensive end and had provided no points from the perimeter.
The Wolves are explosive with players like Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns but there is a toughness that’s missing. And for those that have followed Stephenson’s career, he’s known to get inside the heads of opposing players.
This is a great move for the Wolves, it’s cheap, smart and depending on which direction the team is looking to go in, it could be the start of a bright future.