Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves

Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves


Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves

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STAYING: Anthony Bennett, Lorenzo Brown, Gorgui Dieng, Kevin Garnett, Zach LaVine, Kevin Martin, Shabazz Muhammad, Adreian Payne, Nikola Pekovic, Ricky Rubio and Andrew Wiggins.

ADDED: Nemanja Bjelica (Fenerbahce Ulker), Tyus Jones (Duke), Andre Miller (Sacramento), Tayshaun Prince (Detroit), Damjan Rudez (Indiana) and Karl-Anthony Towns (Kentucky).

GONE: Chase Budinger (Indiana), Justin Hamilton (Valencia Basket), Robbie Hummel (Olimpia Milano), Gary Neal (Washington) and Arinze Onuaku (Free Agent).

STRENGTHS: Very exciting young nucleus … Andrew Wiggins is going to be a star one day and that day could come pretty soon … Talented No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns should be ready to make an immediate impact … Extremely athletic team … With Ricky Rubio handling the ball and Wiggins, Towns and Zach LaVine on the court, an alley-oop finish is going to be a very real possibility … This should be a good fast-break team … When healthy, Nikola Pekovic is a threat down low thanks to his strength and touch around the rim … With Kevin Garnett around, the young guys have no other choice but to work their behinds off … Aside from KG, they will have good models to follow in consummate pros Tayshaun Prince and Andre Miller … Watch out for Euroleague MVP Nemanja Bjelica.

WEAKNESSES: Too young for prime time … When the two franchise cornerstones combine for roughly 40 years, you know there will a lot of growing pains … This is yet another rebuilding year for Minnesota … More emphasis will be put on developing the team’s young talent than on winning right away … Poor outside shooting, especially at the point guard position … Rubio is 36.7 percent from the field in his NBA career … While LaVine oozes with potential, he’s not much of a shooter or a playmaker at this point … Rubio and Pekovic are injury prone … They have missed nearly 40 percent of games since they made it to the NBA … The Wolves need to make progress on the rebounding department … Challenging year for head coach Flip Saunders, who’s dealing with health issues.

PREDICTION: 3rd in the Northwest Division / 13th in the Western Conference.


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