Overview of their 2021-2022 season
You only need to remember the last two games of their first-round playoff series versus the Memphis Grizzlies to get a feel of the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 2021-2022 run.
It was exciting, wild, fun, entertaining, and–at many times–sloppy. Although the last two games ended in disappointing losses, the overall Wolves’ season was anything but disappointing. Not a lot had them as the top seven team out of the Western Conference, yet there they were in the playoffs, slugging it out with the Memphis Grizzlies in a valid attempt to out-Grizzly them.
The Wolves’ attempt at a modern-day upset exposed both their flaws and their strengths. While Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards were the obvious stars, Minnesota desperately needed more muscle inside on both ends as well as reliable shooting from the wings.
What’s new this season?
The Wolves spent the offseason, not by celebrating the short-lived playoff run, but by beefing up the roster to make sure it doesn’t end in six games in the first round.
To do that, they had to clean house. They locked in three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to be KAT’s frontcourt brother, but in the process lost the following (it’s a long list):
• Patrick Beverley
• Malik Beasley
• Jarred Vanderbilt
• Walker Kessler
• Leandro Bolmaro
• 2023 first-round pick
• 2025 first-round pick
• 2026 pick swap
• 2027 first-round pick
• 2029 first-round pick
The Wolves were also able to nab Kyle Anderson from Memphis, which would be a huge help not just in those open corner 3s, but also in providing a bit of playoff wisdom off the bench and in the locker room.
Things are going to be a lot different in Minnesota, if only because they now have someone with a commanding presence in Gobert as their starting center. The gravity just shifts and should affect the orbit of both KAT and Edwards.
Anthony Edwards made the leap last season from outstanding rookie to super sophomore. The third year is always tricky. There are no more safety nets and disclaimers of a sophomore slump.
For Edwards, in particular, there’s added pressure because of just how good he was in his second year–composed, steady, and aggressive. He could even get better this season. If Edwards isn’t an All-Star by February, consider that a detriment to his path to superstardom.
Sneaky fun get
Adding a defensive beast like Gobert to your roster will always be the most valuable get, but the sneaky fun get for the Wolves this season is Kyle Anderson. He adds depth to the Wolves they lacked last season and will be a nice addition to the Gobert, Towns, Edwards, D’Angelo Russell endgame lineup.
After their lowkey miraculous run to end the 2022 playoffs, the Wolves aren’t letting up. Acquiring Gobert shakes things up not only on the Wolves’ internal movements, but in the Western Conference as a whole.
While most teams are going small, the Wolves went doubly big with Gobert and Towns. Pairing those two with a talented backcourt of Russell and Edwards, the Wolves are gunning for a deep playoff run. It’s nowhere near a guaranteed Conference Finals appearance, but with recalibrated wheels now in place, it’s all about getting there in one piece.