With NBA Free Agency beginning at midnight tonight, few teams are positioned for the future better than the Minnesota Timberwolves. Coming off of a 16-66 season (worst in the NBA) there wasn’t much the Wolves could ride home about. Andrew Wiggins was acquired in a deal that sent superstar Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Wiggins came in and dazzled en route to Rookie of the Year honors. Rookie guard Zach Lavine showed off his athleticism winning the NBA Dunk contest in dominating fashion. After this injury plagued season, the Wolves were going to get a high draft pick, and ended up winning the Draft Lottery with many expecting New York or Los Angeles to win despite the Wolves having the worst record and greatest chance to win. With the Timberwolves winning the lottery, they were poised to add another cornerstone to a solid foundation for the future.
With the first pick in the 2015 NBA draft the Wolves selected Karl-Anthony Towns out of Kentucky. He’s a big man with a versatile skill set. He has a sweet shooting stroke, can block shots with overall solid defensive play, and post-up in the paint. The Wolves needed a dominant big man to pair with Andrew Wiggins and this could become one of the league’s dynamic duos in years to come. It will be interesting to see if Towns can live up to the hype of being the first pick in the draft. He should be a solid piece for this team to build around.
Later on in the first round, the Cavaliers selected Tyus Jones (Point Guard out of Duke University, and native of Apple Valley, MN). The Cavaliers then traded the Point Guard to Minnesota in exchange for it’s two second round selections (31 and 36 overall). The trade brought the hometown kid back to Minnesota. He now has a chance to fill the backup Point Guard role behind Ricky Rubio and potentially win an NBA championship on the same floor he won a state championship on his high school days at Apple Valley.
As far as I am concerned, the Timberwolves hit a homerun at this year’s draft and have a young corp that will be formidable. With players like Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Zach Lavine, Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgei Dieng, and Tyus Jones they have a young nucleus loaded with great talent.