Well that escalated quickly.
While debatable, it could be said that the Timberwolves had the best offseason. From acquiring superstar Jimmy Butler, to retooling their bench, Minnesota could do no wrong this summer (sorta.) Minnesota as a whole had a solid summer (Shoutout to the Lynx for winning their fourth WNBA Championship in seven seasons.)
This season will be one to remember for the Timberwolves. With the teams new “Big 3,” Minnesota has a change to make the playoffs for the first time since Kevin Garnett was put up hall of fame numbers. Karl-Anthony Towns is one of, if not the best big man in the NBA and there is now a solid blend of youth and vets. Bring over Jeff Teague, Jamal Crawford, and Taj Gibson will be solid teachers to an already good young core.
Minnesota’s Achilles heel last season was they could never finish games. They would play three great quarters, just to fall apart in the fourth and watch quality wins slip through their hands. Players like Butler, who was quietly one of the most reliable players last season in crunch time, should help right the ship, along with bring a level of defense that the Timberwolves missed. Surprising under coach Thibodeau and with Towns, Minnesota was one of the worst defensive teams in the league. This should be corrected this year.
Losing pass first point Ricky Rubio should not be as bing of a lose seeing as the team picked up Teague. While he is nowhere near the passer Rubio is, he is a better scorer, which will bold well for the starting five.
And that brings us to the first problem with Minnesota. Outside of Teague and Crawford, this team will struggle scoring the ball. Butler is not a known scorer and asking Towns to create his own shot on a nightly bases will do more damage than help. Three point shots will also be a huge problem. When Towns ( a center) is the teams best shooter from three, you have a problem.
Now let’s address the biggest question mark of this offseason, Giving Andrew Wiggins a 5 year, 148 million dollar Supermax extension. If he can grow into the player the former number one overall draft pick was projected to be, this contract will make more sense. But as things stand now, this is a terrible more for Minnesota. Not only did they not have to give him an extension until the end of the season, Wiggins is statistically one of the worst defenders in the entire NBA. This means his offense if out of this world like James Harden right? Absolutely not! While he does average nearly 24 points a game last year, he shot 45 percent from the field and 36 percent from three (and doesn’t even average three assists.) No, those are not terrible numbers, but they aren’t Supermax numbers either.
Last season, many people (including myself) thought Minnesota had the pieces to make the jump from trash to promising, but that did not happen. This year however, if they have a bad season with the bevy of talent they have on this team, there will be serious questions coming Tom Thibodeau’s way.
Regular Season Prediction: 50-32