A Bright future:
Minnesota finished the 2018-19 NBA regular season at 36-46 following another year of inconsistency and growth from their young core. Heading in to the offseason it was clear that the Timberwolves needed to find some consistency, and they might have found another young star with their sixth pick in the NBA Draft in Jarrett Culver.
Culver was a projected top five pick that Minnesota secured with their sixth selection in the draft via trade with the Phoenix Suns. With the departure of backup Point Guard Tyus Jones and Derrick Rose, Culver comes in and fills a huge void for Minnesota’s guard depth. What makes Culver so special is that he can play the point guard spot, but has the size and skill to play off the ball at shooting guard and even the 3. His ability to create his own shot is huge for a Minnesota offense that at times last season seemed stagnant.
Building around their already young core of Towns and Andrew Wiggins is key to developing an elite NBA team. Right now, a lot of questions surround this young and unproven Wolves roster.
Can Wiggins take the next step?
You can ask any Timberwolves fan what they think about Andrew Wiggins growth and development through his first five NBA seasons, and the answer is clear - it has been a roller-coaster ride. Inconsistent performances, God-given natural talents, but he is lacking the motor to continue perfecting his craft. One of the biggest ‘what ifs’ currently in the NBA is Wiggins, who has shown so many flashes of what he could be, but hasn’t found his footing.
The next step for Wiggins would be consistent performances on both ends of the floor. Many times over the last five years Wiggins was caught ball watching on offense and defense. Becoming a steady presence in Minnesota alongside Towns and Culver will solidify their young core.
The other guys:
We’ve discussed the top three guys on Minnesota’s roster, but a team consist of 15 guys. Outside of Towns, Wiggins, and Culver, Minnesota has a good collection of role players. The first guy that comes to mind is NBA veteran point guard Jeff Teague who will initiate that offense for the Timberwolves.
Teague only appeared in 42 games last season for Minnesota, at the age of 30, and entering his 12th season will play a big roll for the Timberwolves. A veteran presence that can help develop that young Timberwolves core, and set Minnesota's offense in motion.
Another guy that should make a solid impact doing the small things is third year big man Jordan Bell. The former NBA Champion with the Golden State Warriors looks to finally develop with a franchise that needs his services full-time. No one knows what Bell’s ceiling is, but we know for sure that he will be a do it all guy.
Minnesota won 36 games last season, but according to Las Vegas, the Timberwolves are projected to win the same amount despite losing some depth at the guard position. Predicting a youth movement is unpredictable. Will Wiggins take that next step? Will Towns take control down the stretch of game? How will Culver’s progression go in year one? Young, unproven, inconsistent, but a talented young core. Minnesota should be a really fun team to watch grow, similar to Memphis in 2019-2020.