The Minnesota Timberwolves finished last season with a 42-40 record that got them the eighth seed in the Western Conference.
They lost their playoff series in five games against the eventual NBA Champions, the Denver Nuggets.
Despite losing in the first round in the past two seasons and not advancing past that around since 2002/03, the T-Wolves are entering 2023/24 with largely the same roster core.
2022/23 Minnesota Timberwolves
|Result: Lost to Denver Nuggets in West First Round|
|To win 2023/24 NBA Championship||+7000|
|To win 2023/24 Western Conference||+3300|
The first-overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Towns has long been a borderline superstar.
He can guide a team to the playoffs as he showed last year and puts up numbers, with per-game averages of 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 4.8 assists last season.
But he has never led the T-Wolves past the first round of the playoffs. General manager Tim Connelly hoped that would change after acquiring three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner Rudy Gobert, but the two seven-footers did not gel as well as he expected.
The aforementioned three-time Defensive Player of the Year was acquired in a blockbuster trade in the summer of 2022.
After being the main man in the paint for the Utah Jazz, Gobert’s production took a hit as he adjusted to playing with another seven-footer.
As a starter in the NBA, he has never averaged fewer blocks per game than he did in his first season in Minnesota (1.4). His points per game, rebounds per game, minutes per game, and field goal percentages all fell near career-low marks as a starter, too.
He, Towns, and the Timberwolves front office faced scrutiny due to the trade, and that will only increase if they don’t improve in their second season together.
|Shake Milton||PHI 76ers|
|Jaylen Clark||Drafted (Round 2, Pick 53)|
|Troy Brown Jr.||LA Lakers|
|Trevor Keels||NY Knicks|
|Tyrese Martin||ATL Hawks|
|Vit Krejci||ATL Hawks|
|Leonard Miller||Drafted (Round 2, Pick 33)|
|Daishen Nix||HOU Rockets|
|Taurean Prince||LA Lakers|
|Nathan Knight||NY Knicks|
|Jaylen Nowell||SAC Kings|
|Austin Rivers||No team|
The Timberwolves begin their season with a tough schedule.
They open the season away against the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 25, before hosting the Miami Heat Oct. 28, visiting the Atlanta Hawks Oct. 30, hosting the defending champion Denver Nuggets Nov. 1, hosting Gobert’s former team the Utah Jazz Nov. 4, and hosting last season’s Eastern Conference runners-up the Boston Celtics Nov. 6.
The Timberwolves are expected to have a similar season to last year’s, as their over/under of 43.5 indicates.
Whether or not Gobert and Towns can play at an All-Star level together is the biggest question facing the team and head coach Chris Finch.
Anthony Edwards, coming off his third NBA season where he made his first All-Star game, should keep improving as he enters the season at 22 years old. His teammate in the T-Wolves backcourt, Mike Conley, has plenty of experience but is slowing down at 35 years old.
The T-Wolves should anticipate fighting for one of the final playoff spots in a tough Western Conference.