Basketball is finally back to Minneapolis. 9 months after their last game at Target Center versus the New Orleans Pelicans, the Wolves will return to action tonight at 7PM CT against the Detroit Pistons. The franchise has had an endless break these last months, as they did not make it to the bubble. The challenge now ahead of them is huge: return to the Playoffs with a young and talented roster. We must remind you that the Wolves traded most of their players back in February, so the new ones that came in barely played a month together. Let´s get to know how the team can look like for the new season.
KAT & D´LO, the franchise duo:
The organization has always made it clear that they want to build a winning team around their star, Karl-Anthony Towns. In addition, the Wolves acquired in February point guard and one of KAT´s best friends, D´Angelo Russell, in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, plus a 2021 first-round pick and a 2022 second-round pick.
Their chemistry off the court is more than known, but they have only played a game together, their loss on the road against the Toronto Raptors. Expectations are high on them in order to prove their connection, this time on the court, and lead the team back to the Playoffs.
With KAT out most of the time due to a knee injury, D´Lo has taken over the lead of the squad and he has had very outstanding performances during the games he has played. His numbers as a wolf have been more than decent so far, specially offensively, averaging 21.7 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game. The KAT and D´Lo duo will definitely be a key part of the Minnesota Timberwolves for the season.
“How we build the roster and how we structure the offense and the defense that we play is with both of them in mind”
President of Basketball Operations Gersson Ross on Karl-Anthony Towns and D´Angelo Russell
Anthony Edwards, the 1st draft pick:
The Timberwolves have added to their roster a very young and talented player that is very hungry to make this franchise grow, just as the rest of the members from the organization. Front office made a huge research during the lockdown months on figuring out who to pick based on who could fit in the team the best way, and Anthony ended up being the answer, which hopefully time will dictate to be the right call.
Out of all the game aspects where he stands out at, his dynamic and aggressiveness, specially defensively, will provide potential in an area that KAT has admitted that it has been the thing that has kept them from being great in the past. His professional ethics have made him the biggest promise from his class. He will add power and strength forward and he is a very promising player. The future of the franchise is now in Minneapolis and the new wolf is ready for the new season.
“He comes into the league as one of the most powerful and strongest wings already without having played a minute”
Gersson Rosas on Anthony Edwards
Ricky Rubio returns home:
One of the most exciting and really unexpected moves for the Timberwolves in this market has been Ricky Rubio coming back to Minnesota three years after he was traded to the Utah Jazz. This Wolves franchise is way more different to the one Ricky played before, as both the whole squad except for KAT and the front office are entirely new. Ricky Rubio did not make it to the Playoffs a single year during the six seasons he stayed in Minneapolis and now he is coming back to fulfill that goal.
His role will also be completely different to the one he has always been used to throughout his career, as point guard D´Angelo Russell, one of the two team´s pillars, will be the potential starter on that position. However, that is not a concern at all for Gersson Rosas, as he has reminded that D´Angelo has excelled playing with multiple ball handlers in the past, and they both seem to have connected really well in practices during training camp. If there is something clear about Ricky Rubio is that he always strives for making his teammates better, and that will be very helpful both on the court and in the locker-room for a team that is totally immersed on a growth process.
“We did not feel like last year we had enough playmaking and we were not able to execute our vision in terms of our offense or defensively what we wanted to do, we needed more talent there and Ricky provides that”
Gersson Rosas on Ricky Rubio
The rest of the pack:
The front office has tried to build a compacted team to count on multiple players in the long run and the final roster looks very attractive in every position. Not only KAT and D´Lo, which will be the two main pillars, first pick Anthony Edwards, or the most media sign, Ricky Rubio, but there are also several other players like Malik Bealey, Josh Okogie, Jarrett Culver or Juancho Hernangómez that will also have an important role on the team.
Malik Beasley: He joined the Timberwolves back in February and he had outstanding performances the few games he got to play. If that is the taste of what his level can be, he will have a lot of minutes in this team.
Josh Okogie: Josh Okogie is one of the few players who has been at the Timberwolves for more than two years and his strength in the wing will add power both offensively and defensively to the system Ryan Saunders wants to carry out.
Jarrett Culver: Going into his second season in the NBA, he already showed last year that he has talent and physical to dunk and overcome tough defenders, as he proved on his most mythical play against Robin López.
Juancho Hernangómez: The Spanish point forward has re-signed with the Wolves and will provide consistency to a group that is still acclimatizing. He is always a good player to have around to cover the attacker´s backs.
All in all, Wolves are ready for a new exciting season that, unfortunately, will be marked by the lack of fans at Target Center. However, work on building a competitive team has been done and now it is time to make it work in order to see results in the long run, which is the franchises´s goal. The first mission will be to create a reliable team that can make it back to the Playoffs.
“We want to be a team that is consistently winning, consistently in the Playoffs with an opportunity to win a Championship one day”
Gersson Rosas on The Timberwolves´goals in the long run