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Roster Review | Tayshaun Prince
SF | 6-9, 212 lbs
2015-16 season: 77 games, 44 starts, 19 MPG, 2.9 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 44.5 FG%, 68.4 FT%
It’s true that Tayshaun Prince played way more than anyone thought he would last season, his first with the Wolves. Much of that had to do with interim head coach Sam Mitchell trying to balance the team’s offensive and defensive talent.
Mitchell played Prince early and often, hoping he would help the Wolves start out games solid defensively. It also enabled the Wolves to play Andrew Wiggins at the shooting guard position, making it easier for him offensively.
Eventually the Wolves would start Zach LaVine at shooting guard, moving Wiggins to small forward and Prince to the bench. But it’s worth noting that Prince had a defensive box plus/minus of -0.2. That’s not great, but he was better than LaVine (-2), Wiggins (-2.5) and Shabazz Muhammad (-4.2).
Prince was one of the NBA’s premier defensive wings throughout the 2000s and while he’s not what he once was, he’s still a very cerebral player who helps young players understand what it takes to be successful on that side of the ball.
Offensively, there’s not much left to Prince’s game. He still runs the floor and can hit the occasional midrange shot, but the lifetime 36.7 percent 3-point shooter had just 23 attempts last season and hit just four.
At this point in his career (a very successful career that includes an NBA Championship and four All-Defensive Second Team selections), he’s a positive presence on any team who can give the occasional 15-20 minutes here and there.
Top Three Games Of The Season
3.) Dec. 28 at San Antonio Spurs
In this 101-95 road loss, Prince was one of four players with a positive +/-. In 30 minutes, he finished with 10 points, two rebounds and two blocks. He shot an efficient 5-for-6 from the field.
2.) Jan. 17 vs. Phoenix Suns
In this 117-87 blowout home win, Prince started and played nearly 27 minutes, finishing with six points, four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal. He shot a perfect 3-for-3 from the field.
1.) Dec. 30 vs. Utah Jazz
Prince finished with eight points, four rebounds, two steals and an assist in this 94-80 win over the Jazz. In 25 minutes, Prince shot a nearly-perfect 4-for-5 from the field.
Top Offseason Objectives
After 1,017 games and 31,576 minutes played, rest is probably a safe bet for Prince. And let’s not ignore the fact that he played all four years of college basketball as well. At 36, he’s not going to come in and shock us all with a new development to his game. He’s an above-average defender, who knows where to be on both ends. Offensively, he’s not going to give you much at all, but he’s going to make the extra pass and will hit the occasional midrange baseline shot.
And if you’re lucky, maybe he’ll do something like this:
Role for 2016-17?
Prince told us during his last session of media availability last season that he was not retiring and was open to returning back to the Wolves. Prince’s role, wherever it is in 2016-17, will be as a mentor and a player who can play when called upon. He admitted that he didn’t anticipate playing in 77 games last season, while starting 44, but not once did he complain. The fact that he lasted throughout the whole season speaks to how good of shape Prince has kept himself in throughout 1,017 career games.
They Said It…
“Obviously the sky’s the limit with some of the progress that these young guys are showing. Obviously you see the promise in what KAT, Zach and Wigs (have). They key is to continue to build around those guys and find the right fits. If you do that, you will continue to move in the right direction,” – Tayshaun Prince on the future of the Wolves.