The Timberwolves have all the pieces to be something special this season.
Since Kevin Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics back in 2007, Minnesota has for lack of a better terms have been bottom feeders in the NBA. Yes, Kevin Love was a force of the team for 2008 to 2014, but that did not translate into wins. However, year after year of losing may start paying off as they’ve assembled some quality young talent in the past two seasons.
In a trade involving the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kevin Love was sent to the Cavs for number one overall pick Andrew Wiggins. Coming out of Kansas, Wiggins was seen to be a “one of a kind” talent. His athleticism along with his motor made him a special talent and from day one on the Timberwolves, Wiggins put his imprint on the league. His length and quickness made it clear that he had star potential, coupled with young playmaker Ricky Rubio, the Wolves had a couple strong building blocks.
Rubio’s injury help young guard Zach LaVine get more minutes, which allowed him to develop into a solid guard. Not to mention he is one of the most exciting dunkers the league has seen in a while. LaVine showed flashes of greatness and will bloom into a really good player, with Tom Thibadeau as the head coach, Zach should improve on the defensive end of the floor and put that other worldly athleticism to use.
That being said, the Timberwolves lucked into getting the number one pick last season that turned into Karl-Anthony Towns. Not only is Towns already one of the best bigs in the league, but he has the upside to be a top-five player in the entire NBA in coming years. He is a quick big man that has a great back to the basket game, a good handle, great rebounding skills and he is a really solid three point shooter. Oh, he is also a true seven footer. Towns averaged 18 and 11 last year (which has not been done by a rookie since Shaquille O’Neal). KAT has the chance to make his an All-NBA team in just his second season!
The luck continued in this years draft. Getting the number five pick, Minnesota got slashing guard Kris Dunn from Providence. Dunn is a tough guard that will be competing for the starting spot this year. He, along with LaVine, Wiggins, and Towns are the future of the NBA. Thibs went from an older group in Chicago to being in charge of a young, athletic group of kids that have the potential to wreak havoc on the defensive end.
With all this youth, the Wolves will need a coach that can both guide them in the right direction along as get the best out of them. Enter coach Tom Thibodeau. Not only is Thibodeau the mastermind that unlocked the old Derrick Rose (who won the MVP in 2011), but he is the perfect coach for this young squad. Thibodeau is known to push his players to the limit and get the best out of them. For proof, just look at his record in Chicago (255-139 in the regular season).
The best thing that the Timberwolves have going for them is youth. A team with this many good players, and they all are under the age of 22, has a very bright future!
Also, with both Wiggins and Towns, Minnesota has two cornerstones that could (and probably will) be future superstars in the league. Just wait on it!
PS: What a heck of a career Kevin Garnett. Congratulations on your Hall-of-fame career and congrats on your retirement.