Record: 31 – 51 (13th in the West)
Season Ended: No Playoffs
Justin Patton (C)
Jamal Crawford (SG), Taj Gibson (PF), Jeff Teague (PG)
Jimmy Butler (SG/SF)
Zach Lavine and Ricky Rubio
Projected Starters (Last year averages)
PG: Jeff Teague (15 pts, 4 reb, 8 ast)
SG: Jimmy Butler (24 pts, 6 reb, 6 ast)
SF: Andrew Wiggins (24 pts, 4 reb, 2 ast)
PF: Taj Gibson (12 pts, 7 reb, 1 ast)
C: Karl Anthony Towns (25 pts, 12 reb, 3 ast)
Jamal Crawford (SG), Gorgui Dieng (PF/C)
Major Story lines
Jimmy Butler Trade – After it was made clear that the Bulls were looking to deal Jimmy Butler the Wolves immediately emerged as a major suitor. They finally pulled the trigger on a deal that was good for both sides and reunited Jimmy with Tom Thibodeau. Butler brings his playoff experience as well as his toughness to this Wolves team and immensely boosts their profile in the gauntlet that will be the West this year.
Perfect Free Agency Pickups – After landing Butler, the Wolves went on to add Jeff Teague to replace Rubio, Taj Gibson to give them a veteran big up front, and Jamal Crawford to give them a veteran scorer off the bench. These additions are perfect for the type of team that Thibodeau wants to run and further boosts their chances to compete this year.
Mike Predictions (50 – 32) (6th in the West)
- Jimmy Butler leads the league in minutes played – I was struggling to come up with a solid prediction for the Wolves and this is where I landed. We know how Thibs works and we know that Jimmy can handle the workload. This is also a result of a lack of real depth on their bench which is why I have them finishing 6th.
Josh Predictions (51 – 31) (5th in the West)
- Minnesota is a top 10 offensive and defensive team – Last season, the T-Wolves were 13th in PPG and ranked 18th in points allowed. This year they’ve added not one, but 2 star two-way players. Jimmy Butler is getting all the attention, but Jeff Teague is also a major upgrade on defense and in shooting over last year’s starting PG Ricky Rubio. I think both of those additions, along with Wiggins and Towns’ growth, and having Jamal Crawford off the bench boost Minnesota up to the top 10 in both PPG and points allowed.