We continue with the bottom of the Western Conference with a look at the Minnesota Timberwolves. To look at the Eastern Conference go to the NBA page, click here to look at the previous teams Pheonix Suns / Memphis Grizzlies.
The T-Wolves had a quiet offseason. They made very minimal Free Agent moves, while the only big losses were letting Tyus Jones walk out the door and Derrick Rose going to Detriot. The team traded Saric to move from 11 to 6 in the Draft and get Jarrett Culver. Culver hopefully will bring some grit and defense to that locker room, but counting on a rookie to do that is a bold move.
G: Jeff Teague
G: Jarrett Culver
F: Andrew Wiggins
F: Robert Covington
C: Karl-Anthony Towns
Bench: Josh Okogie, Shabazz Napier, Jordan Bell, and Jake Laymen
The team on paper looks like it should be good, it has looked like that for years. Robert Covington is one of the most underrated players in the NBA, his incredible defensive ability should continue to help the team on that end. This team lacks depth and will need to hit big on some signings during the year. Losing Tyus and Rose was a huge hit to the bench. The biggest issue with the roster construction is how much they rely on their big. Anthony Davis, Demarcus Cousins, and many of the other best bigs in the NBA consistently miss the playoffs. In the modern-day NBA, playing through a big with little guard help seems to be a recipe for failure.
Prediction: 30-52 (13th in West) / Miss the Playoffs.
This team got worse with almost every other team in the West got better. They have been underachieving for years, and at this point, it looks like Wiggins will never develop into the player many had hoped. Towns can be a beast on the inside but seems to be soft and unable to be the leader this team needs. Fans in Minnesota probably don’t want to see this, but it might for them to start looking at the front office to blow things up.
The future of this team is one of the toughest to look at in the NBA. They have their core signed for a long time, and it does not seem to be working. KAT is a special talent and still very young, so moving on from him is not an option. Wiggins has a huge contract and although young, many in the league have given up on him. Minnesota is not a free agent destination and has very little cap flexibility. The team can keep bringing in rookies, but if Wiggins and KAT don’t become leaders and hard-working players, it will be hard to build a culture. At what point is Wiggins hurting young players more than he’s helping the team, time will tell. At some point, the Wolves will have to look at buying him out despite his talent if his motor gets in the way of rookie development since that is the only way this team has to grow.
*Everything in this article was discussed with Louie Snyder