2016/17 Season In Review: 31-51, 13th seed in the Western Conference

Key Offseason Acquisitions: G/F Jimmy Butler, PG Jeff Teague, PF Taj Gibson, SG Jamal Crawford

Key Offseason LossesPG Ricky Rubio, SG Zach LaVine, PG Kris Dunn

2017-18 Projected Starting Lineup: Jeff Teague, Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, Taj Gibson, Karl-Anthony Towns

2017-18 Season Outlook: The Minnesota Timberwolves have spent the last few seasons rebuilding, which by design doesn’t lead to wins. They were a team for the future. Well, the future is now and the Timberwolves have to make their impact immediately. There is no more waiting in Minnesota, they must find a way to win games and make the playoffs for the first time since 2004. The Timberwolves need to show the NBA and its fans that all the waiting has paid off, bringing a championship to the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

This offseason the Timberwolves’ front office was busy; it brought in all-star Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls on draft night in exchange for Kris Dunn,  a first-round pick which lead to Arizona forward Lauri Markkenan and two-time slam dunk champion Zach LaVine. The team also solidified their point guard position by signing Jeff Teague who spent last season with the Indiana Pacers.

Though the Timberwolves are expected to be a top-tier team in the Western Conference, there are still a lot of questions to be asked about the readiness of the team and if their core can compliment each other well on the court. Towns, Wiggins, and Butler are all score-first players who averaged 20+ points last season on their respected teams. That raises a lot of concerns if they will mesh well together or if the expectations to high. After all, only one player can hold the ball at a time.

The Timberwolves aren’t a team that can compete with the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors, for a Finals appearance, but may be able to in the next few seasons.

Andrew Wiggins does become a free agent at the end of this season as his rookie contract expires and the team hasn’t had serious talks about an extension as we know of. Wiggins is still expected, however, to sign a 5yr/ $148 million contract in the upcoming weeks.

Projected Strengths: All-around scoring, perimeter defense, youth

Projected Weaknesses: Experience together as a team

Projected win total: 52 wins

 

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