Additional Minnesota Timberwolves Info
The Minnesota Timberwolves thought they finally had it figured out. They had a talented young core which centered around shooting guard Anthony Wiggins and center Karl Anthony-Townes. They hired Tom Thibodeau was brought into to coach this young team. In 2018 they ended a 14-year playoff drought. They lost in the first round, but the future looked bright. Then last season revealed that the team still had a journey ahead of themselves. The Wolves finished 36-46, and Thibodeau was fired mid-season.
After a pre-draft trade, the Wolves ended up with the sixth overall selection. They used that pick on shooting guard Jarrett Culver from Texas. In free agency, they added small forward Jake Layman, power forward Noah Vonleh, shooting guard Tyrone Wallace, and power forward Jordan Bell.
The moves have yet to produce an oucome on the basketball court that was hoped for. The team is currently sitting several games out of the playoff hunt in the Western Conference. Now the talks have begun that the Wolves are going to pull the plug on the core, putting Wiggins and Anthony-Townes up for sale. Anthony-Townes has actually be tossed around as possible trade bait in regards to the Celtics. It should be interesting to watch.
If we fast forward to the 2017 Summer League action, fans will be happy to know that the team is working hard to improve their win/loss record for the upcoming season. Zach LaVine, Kyryrlo Fesenko, and Gorgui Dieng all performed very well in the past. The team looks like they will be heavy on offense, but might need to shore up their defensive issues as soon as possible. With their new head coach also working out the issues from the past, the Timberwolves should have no problem improving their standings this upcoming season.
In the past five seasons, the Timberwolves have improved greatly. Way back in 2009, the team only managed to win fifteen games. 2010 was not much better, as they managed only two more wins overall. By the end of the 2011-2012 season, the Timberwolves won 26 games, and they managed to pull together four more wins in 2012-2013. The improvement is slow to come, but last season shows that the team has made a nice leap forward, with nine more wins when compared to the year before.
Phillip Saunders Returns As Head Coach
Phillip (Flip) Saunders is once again the head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. He came from the Washington Wizards, where he struggled to get the team above two dozen wins in 2009 and 2010. By the 17th game of the 2011 season, the Wizards were 2-15, and Saunders was let go. He was not a head coach during the 2013 season. Saunders is familiar with the Timberwolves, as he coached the team for ten seasons. His best year was 2003-2004, when his team won 51 games, and went to the playoffs. Fans hope that “Flip” will turn the team around in short order.
The Minnesota Timberwolves, founded in 1989, have been, since their inception, one of the NBA’s lesser half teams. They really haven’t been the worst, but they have been far from the best. The Wolves have had some moderate success though, and that was when Kevin Garnett was in Minnesota the first time around. The Timberwolves drafted Kevin Garnett in the first round of the 1995 NBA draft, and Garnett became the first player in the modern era to go from high school to the pros, skipping college. Ironically enough, Garnett has been perhaps, with the exception of Kobe Bryant, the most successful prep-to-pros players in history. Garnett will be a unanimous first ballot hall of famer, and if he is not, there will be some serious rioting amongst basketball fans everywhere. During the Garnett era, the Timberwolves made the NBA playoffs every year from 1997-2004. However the lost in the first round every year from 1997-2003. 2004 was the signature season in franchise history. The Wolves went 58-24 during the regular season, good for first in the Western Conference. They made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals before injuries derailed them, and they lost to the Lakers in six games. Game six of the 2004 Western Conference Finals was the last playoff game this franchise has played to date.
The Wolves playoff drought will not end this season either. They currently sit at 14-47, good for the third worst record in the NBA. However there is reason for optimism. Kevin Garnett was traded back to Minnesota before the 2015 trade deadline, and he has brought a sense of focus to the locker room. This might be Garnett’s last season, and even if he comes back, it will only be for one more year in Minnesota. After he retires though, he is looking into buying the franchise, possibly even coaching them as well.
The Minnesota Timberwolves had a very rough 2015-2016 season, both on and off the court. After losing their head coach to cancer the day before the season started, they finished the season with a record of 29-53, the third-worst record in the Western Conference. In the NBA draft this summer they held the 5th selection overall, and used it to take guard Kris Dunn from Providence. This offseason, they made big changes, hiring Tom Thibodeau as head coach.
Many thought the combination of Thibodeau and his defensive genius would guide the Wolves to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. However, that did not happen this season and is not going to happen. They currently sit with a record of 19-33, good for the third-worst record in the Western Conference. One must wonder if this combination of players just isn't going to work, and if it isn't, then it might be time to start swapping out some of the core players before they lose value.
For the last several seasons, at the start of each season, the Minnesota Timberwolves have looked the part of a young talented team ready to make their big breakout. However that has yet to happen, and last season was no different. The Timberwolves, with young talent that is enviable across the entire league, hired Tom Thibodeau, as their new head coach, hoping he could put it all together. That didn’t happen, and the Wolves finished the season 31-51. So this offseason, the team decided to shake things up.
The Timberwolves kept “mega-talents” small forward Andre Wiggins and center Karl Anthony-Towns, considered to be the best young big man in the league. They traded former slam dunk champion Zach LaVine, 2016 lottery pick Kris Dunn, and 2017 lottery pick Lauri Markkanen to the Chicago Bulls for Jimmy Butler and the rights to the Bulls 2 017 first round draft choice center Justin Patton. They also traded point guard Ricky Rubio to the Jazz for their 2018 first round draft choice. We will see if the shakeup finally gets the Wolves to the playoffs for the first time in 14 years this season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves ended 13 years of frustration and heartache a year ago when they defeated the Denver Nuggets in the last game of the season, and jumped into the playoffs. For the Timberwolves, it was their first appearance in the playoffs since 2004, when Kevin Garnett won the MVP award and led the Wolves to the Western Conference Finals.
The highlight of the Wolves offseason didn’t actually happen until the start of this season. All offseason long, the Wolves dealt with an unhappy Jimmy Butler, and finally traded him on November 12 to the Philadelphia 76ers along with Justin Patton for Jerryd Bayless, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and a future second-round draft choice. Even though the trade did not happen until November, the Wolves operated all offseason knowing they would lose Butler. They did hold the 20th selection overall in the draft, which they used on shooting guard Josh Okogie from Georgia Tech. In free agency, they re-signed point guard Derrick Rose and added power forward Anthony Tolliver late. Still, the offseason was all about the Butler trade, who for the record, is already causing problems in Philadelphia.
So far this season the Wolves are off to an expected 19-21 in the Western Conference. The big news with the team at the moment is the firing of head coach Tom Thibodeau who will be replaced by Ryan Saunders, at least for the moment. Fred Hoiberg is under serious consideration for the position right now, and could be added during the season.