It feels like the Timberwolves are spinning their wheels. They’re not there yet, but it is starting to seem that way.
Two years ago, they went to the playoffs, losing in the first round.
Last year, they went to the playoffs, losing in the first round.
But just how far can they go, well, no one seems to know. That said, nobody is really predicting the Finals. Or even contention for the Finals — or even the Western Conference finals.
Granted, not everyone can be fantastic, and there needs to be some middle-of-the-road teams. That’s where the Timberwolves are entering the season. The key is not to stay there.
And if they do, well, things could get worse before they get better.
This was covered by Kurt Helin of NBC Sports, who wrote:
“Change might be coming anyway because this team is about to get very expensive. Minnesota has the second-highest payroll in the league this season, and both Towns and Edwards’ max extensions don’t kick in until next year. Then there is the fact Jaden McDaniels is extension eligible and will command nine figures. Teams hunting stars are circling the Timberwolves and waiting.
“It’s now or never for this roster as constructed.”
For now, Chris Finch and the Wolves will continue to utilize their Twin Towers look of Towns and Gobert. But as Helin and others have noted, they don’t have long to make it flourish. Just having it work is not enough. A full season of Conley could help in that area, as the veteran truly is the consummate point guard.
And Edwards could be better than ever — which anyone who’s followed his progression already knows.
So yes, reasons for hope. But also or doubts.
Bottom line? Somehow, someway, all of it has to come together in Minnesota, and it has to happen this season. Otherwise, we may be looking at an almost entirely new lineup in 2024.