Cole Aldrich Comes Home. What Does He Bring to the Wolves?
With all the crazy money being thrown around this free agency period, being able to get a legitimate 27-year-old bench center in Aldrich for only 7.33 million a year is a great get for the Wolves.
Aldrich had been up and down between the NBA and D-League over the first few years of his career, but after carving out a role with the Knicks in the 2014-15 season, Aldrich signed with the LA Clippers. Averaging 13.3 minutes per game, he was a key bench big for the Clippers throughout the regular season, giving Deandre Jordan needed rest during games. For the season, Aldrich, a low-usage player, averaged 5.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, along with one block per game.
He is a good get analytically as the advanced stats show his non-box score stat value. Last season, Aldrich's best value came defensively as his defensive plus-minus was 5.8 but was contrasted by an offensive plus-minus of -1.0. However his win shares were both positive as defensive contributions outweighed his offensive contributions 2.0-1.4.
So how does he fit with the Wolves? In my off-season checklist piece, I mentioned that the Wolves need to sign a fourth big man in addition to the big man they would trade Rubio for. Although I didn't include Aldrich in the few players I mentioned, Aldrich fills the need of someone who could come in for Towns at the five or play next to Towns when he spends time at the four.
Also, this signing of a defense-first back-up center is no surprise given the track record of Tom Thibadeau teams. The Minnesota bench mob, as the bench units of his best teams in Chicago were called, is starting to take shape.