Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves’ breakout player will be…

Josh Okogie. Okogie was the Wolves’ first round pick in 2018, and got considerable playing time as a rookie, mostly due to injuries. He showed he could be a menace on defense and in transition, and then went on to star for Nigeria in the FIBA World Cup, showing an improved shooting stroke. If he can carry that over and improve his three point shooting, he could emerge as an ideal 3-and-D wing as soon as this season.

It all goes wrong if…

Karl-Anthony Towns gets injured. He’s by far the most important person in the organization, and they are building around his brilliance. The distance between him and the second best player on the roster is enormous, and they need him every night to remain even modestly competitive. He’s been incredibly durable so far in his career, and the Wolves need that to continue.

What we’ll be saying about the Timberwolves at the end of the season…

Not a lot, probably. I expect they will be mediocre and not particularly worthy of a lot of attention. But hopefully we’ll be celebrating a strong campaign from rookie Jarrett Culver and envisioning a playoff team with a couple more additions. With luck, several of their young players will show real promise, serving as the foundation for a competitive team in the near future, and we’ll be talking about the Wolves as one of the teams on the come up.

Final prediction

38-44. This would mean the Wolves hit the over, which is set at 35.5 wins. It’s really a question of health. If Robert Covington, who missed much of last season with injury, plays 70+ games, I think they hit the over. If he doesn’t, they will struggle. Similarly they need Jeff Teague to stay healthy most of the year because they lack real depth at point guard. The irony is that it’s these two veterans who will have a lot to say about this year’s record, but it’s the development of the youngsters that really matters for the organization and it’s future.

Final prediction: 38-44

Eric Goldman (@canishoopus)