Minnesota Timberwolves Team Previewby Jarbree Briggs October 7, 2021 0 comments
The Minnesota Timberwolves finished the 2020-2021 NBA season with a 23-49 record. The Timberwolves selected Georgia guard Anthony Edwards with the No. 1 pick. Minnesota struggled with injuries all year long, with their key players out missing several games in a competitive Western Conference. Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch was hired midseason after the Timberwolves fired Ryan Saunders. Last season marked the third straight season the Timberwolves missed the playoffs.
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The Timberwolves made no big moves due to salary cap space. Their two big signings have been Nathan Knight and McKinley Wright IV on two-way contracts. Though it may not make an impact this season, it could be a factor in the future. Minnesota had no draft picks due to their protected pick from the Andrew Wiggins for D’Angelo Russell trade but will have their first and seconds round picks next year and future picks from previous trades. The team signed Argentine-Italian forward Leandro Bolmaro, who was drafted in 2020 but signed this season after playing for FC Barcelona.
A minor trade was made by shipping out former lottery pick, Jarrett Culver and Juan Hernangómez to the Memphis Grizzlies for Patrick Beverley and later trading Ricky Rubio to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Taurean Prince. In a bizarre move, general manager Gersson Rosas was fired before training camp and was replaced by Vice President of Basketball Ops Sachin Gupta becoming the first executive of Indian origin to lead an NBA franchise. On a positive note, it’ll be a new era in Minnesota. Owner Glen Taylor sold the Timberwolves for $1.5 billion featuring an ownership group that includes entrepreneur Marc Lore and former MLB player Alex Rodriguez. They will have a full stake in the team in 2023.
The Starting Five
PG – D’Angelo Russell
SG – Malik Beasley
SF – Anthony Edwards
PF- Jaden McDaniels
Health is the keyword for the Wolves starting five this season. It’ll be a full season for Towns and Russell, as they both have missed games due to injuries. The duo only played a total of 25 games together since Russell was traded in the 2019-2020 trade deadline. Fans will be seeing an exciting year and see progress and promise for the young wolves. Former first overall pick Edwards will be coming into his sophomore year hungrier than ever and prove the league he should’ve won Rookie of the Year after losing the awards to Charlotte Hornets’ LaMelo Ball.
The Timberwolves bench has loads of young talent. You can expect to see a rough and tough bench with the addition of Beverley. Beverley will bring a defensive impact where Timberwolves lacked last season. Expect Josh Okogie to be the X-factor for the team, who brings great wing depth off the bench his offensive skill set would match well with coach Finch’s playbook.
One Potential Move to Make
If the Philadelphia 76ers lower their asking price, Timberwolves fans should be on the lookout for a possible Ben Simmons trade. However, Minnesota could wait till the season starts to strike a deal with the 76ers. The disgruntled guard wants out of Philadephia after struggling with the team during the 2021 playoffs. Simmons would be a great fit to the core the Timberwolves are building but it could cost them one of their stars to get him.
Last season, they showed their strides by posting a 16-20 record after the all-star break. This season, the wolf pack will try to develop their young core and compete for a playoff spot. In the last decade, the Wolves haven’t been the most entertaining, but the new decade should be pretty fun when competing in the already tough Western Conference. Health and chemistry will be a factor with a full season with Towns, Edwards, and Russell.
Season Prediction: 35-47, Fourth in the Northwest Division
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