If you can believe it, the NBA season is just around the corner. That’s a fact. And since it feels like forever since we’ve seen half of the league in action, we thought it’d be good to refresh our memories a bit. So, in the spirit of reminding ourselves that time is moving forward, let’s look ahead to the 2021 NBA Season, team-by-team.
The Minnesota Timberwolves
2020 Record: 19-45
2020 Finish: 29th in the NBA, 14th in the Western Conference.
How It Started
The Minnesota Timberwolves came into the 2019-20 season the same way they rolled into the last few seasons: without a solid identity.
Who is the leader of this team? Is it Karl-Anthony Towns? Well, it probably should be, right? Is it Andrew Wiggins? If he hasn’t taken the reigns now, he never will. Is it Jeff Teague of all people? Might be. When he was in Minnesota, even Jimmy Butler didn’t want to be the leader, sowing dissent between the starters and the rest of the squad.
All that to say, this Timberwolves team seemed halfway between a rebuild, a rebrand, and a reckoning heading into the 2019-20 season. Luckily for them, they kinda got the best of both worlds.
How It’s Going
The T-Wolves traded Andrew Wiggins to the Golden State Warriors, along with a protected 2021 first-round, and a 2021 second round. In return, Minnesota received Omari Spellman, Jacob Evans, and most importantly, D’Angelo Russell.
This trade completely changes the trajectory of the Wolves. Russell is a solid point guard, who helped bring the Brooklyn Nets to the playoffs almost by himself. Bringing in a fully developed Point Guard will do wonders for this team.
The other thing the Russell trade alleviates is the yearly ritual of hoping Wiggins lives up to everyone’s expectations. No more! Minnesotans are now free from that burden, and the sky’s the limit for what this team can do. Especially with the upcoming NBA Draft, where the T-Wolves have the 33rd, 17th, and first overall picks. Lots to like moving into 2021 for the Timberwolves.
Depending on how they draft, the Timberwolves could be on their way to being a competitive team in a very stacked Western Conference. That being said, to believe this team can make the playoffs next season seems a bit of a reach.
However, Minnesota is on the up and up, there’s no doubt about that. With Russell running point, the pressure off of Towns to “be the guy,” and a slew of young studs coming through the door, anything is possible in Minnesota.
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