The Minnesota Timberwolves probably don’t even remember what the playoffs look like. The franchise hasn’t been to the postseason since all the way back in 2004, and a whole lot of losses have came Minnesota’s way since then. However, the Timberwolves were given yet another opportunity to succeed in landing the top pick in this year’s draft. The question, as always, was whether or not Minnesota would make the most of its selection.
If the Timberwolves struggle, it won’t be a fault of their own. The franchise went with Kentucky star Karl-Anthony Towns with its top selection, and the 7’0” phenom is simply a beast on both ends of the floor. Towns can block shots at will, but he can also run to the other end of the floor and knock down a smooth jumpshot. He’s the type of player that fits the mold of successful centers in today’s NBA landscape, so he has the potential to be a ridiculously good player.
But the Timberwolves were not done there, as they were also able to land Duke point guard Tyus Jones in a trade for the 24th pick. Jones helped lead Duke to a national title this past season, and throughout that run, he was about as clutch as it gets on the floor. He’s extremely basketball smart and knows how to be an effective floor general when he needs to be. That’s what you want out of your point guard.
The combination of Towns and Jones instantly makes Minnesota’s draft night a major success. In an era where teams over think their choices, the Timberwolves identified some outstanding young prospects that could shape the future of their franchise.
Graphic via sports world report
Looking Ahead Into the Timberwolves’ Future
Point guard and center are the two most important positions for an NBA team. So, for Minnesota to get two excellent players to make up that combination, is really a brilliant piece of work. Towns will get on the floor immediately, and while Jones will have to back up Ricky Rubio, the former Duke product should still see minutes.
But, of course, Towns’ development will be what makes or breaks this Minnesota squad. With an awesome backcourt with Rubio and Andrew Wiggins, it would be another added bonus for Towns to come in and own the paint from day one. That’s easier said than done in the NBA, but the big man has the skills to make it happen.
Towns’ overall development won’t happen overnight, but if Minnesota sticks to the plan and keeps high-quality talent around him, the Timberwolves may finally have the piece of the puzzle that they’ve been missing since Kevin Love’s departure.
Rising up the rankings in the Western Conference won’t be easy, but with Towns at his best, it could happen quicker than most expect it to.
Graphic via bleacherreport