NBA Future Power Rankings 8. Minnesota Timberwolves
*Photo via USA Today
The Minnesota Timberwolves have had a tough go of it since Kevin Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics in 2007. In the past eight seasons, the Wolves have won 23 percent of their games. That doesn’t seem that bad? Well maybe the sheer numbers might make a bigger impact...they have lost 489 games in the past 8 seasons. Last season contributed 66 losses to that total, but good thing it did, because Minnesota has a bright future.
Leading the Wolves into the future will be future MVP and reigning Rookie of the Year, Andrew Wiggins. Don’t say I’m jumping to conclusions about MVP, Ricky Rubio said it. Joining Wiggins will be the prize of the 2015 draft, Karl-Anthony Towns. KAT has been compared to a young KG, and wouldn’t you know it, the Big Ticket is back in Minnesota.
The Wolves won’t be in playoff contention this season, but that’s for the best. Their 2016 first round selection is currently held by the Boston Celtics, but Minnesota will retain that selection if it falls between picks 1-12. If Minnesota has a high pick this draft, they could be in the position the Oklahoma City Thunder were just a couple of seasons ago when they drafted Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
In addition to Wiggins and Towns, Minnesota has done an excellent job drafting and acquiring role players who are still on their rookie deals. Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng, Adreian Payne and Anthony Bennett could prove to be assets for this squad as they build a championship contender from rock bottom.
With Rubio locked up for four more seasons and Nikola Pekovic, the strongest man in the NBA, for three more, it’ll be interesting to see what Minnesota does with the youth movement taking over. Both have contracts which pay them north of $11 million. One thing's for sure, Wiggins has an elite trajectory and with the correct pieces, Minnesota will not only be a quality playoff team, but championship contenders.
Future draft commitments and rosters information courtesy of RealGM.com