The Minnesota Timberwolves may have finished with the fourth worst NBA record last season, but they have a roster full of talent.
From a pair of young All-Stars to Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell to last year’s No.1 pick and Rookie of the Year finalist to Anthony Edwards, there are plenty of reasons for to be optimistic. on Wolves.
But it also makes Minnesota a tough team to rank in the entire league. Let’s take a look at the location of two far too early Wolves power rankings and decide where head coach Chris Finch’s team should actually rank.
ESPN places No.25 Minnesota Timberwolves in power rankings far too early
ESPN has the Timberwolves ranked shockingly low on their post-final power rankings.
The list was compiled by a panel of writers and somehow they came to the conclusion that Wolves are only better than five other teams.
Wolves finished 25th, despite going 9-7 with Towns and Russell in the lineup and ending the season 8-6 despite Malik Beasley missing on the home stretch.
Minnesota ranks ahead of the Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets. Teams behind which the Wolves were ranked just behind include the Sacramento Kings at No 24, Chicago Bulls at No 23, San Antonio Spurs at No 22, New Orleans Pelicans at No 21 and Washington Wizards at No ° 20.
It is quite indefensible to rank the Kings ahead of the Wolves; Even though Sacramento has finished eight games ahead of Wolves in the standings, Minnesota has at least three players above the Kings roster.
The ranking of Wolves below the Bulls and Spurs is also confusing. The Pelicans have at least Zion Williamson and could easily bounce back from a disappointing 2020-21 season, and while the Wizards finished below 0.500 and may be forced to trade Bradley Beal, they have at least made the playoffs and have Russell Westbrook.
Greg Swartz’s first 2021-22 power ranking on the Bleacher Report further proves that ESPN’s ranking was disappointing.
Bleacher Report places Minnesota Timberwolves 18th in top ranking
If ESPN’s power rating is completely lower than the Timberwolves, then the Bleacher Report rating may over-inflate Wolves fans a bit.
B / R took Minnesota up to No.18, seven spots ahead of ESPN where Wolves were placed.
Here is part of Swartz’s reasoning:
Wolves also posted a net rating of plus-4.9 in the 327 minutes Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell shared together, a good sign the core is working.
Towns and Russell are both entering Grade 7 and should be more than ready to win. Edwards looked like a seasoned pro in his last 17 games (23.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 47.4% from shots).
He also suggests Wolves should be in the conversation for the prelims next year, if not squarely for the playoffs.
This is what yours truly predicted before last season and it also seems like a perfectly reasonable target for next spring.
Once again, a healthy Towns-Russell-Edwards trio, plus Beasley and up and coming forward Jaden McDaniels are a worthy starting five for the playoffs. The questions that come are mostly related to relative health, consistent defense, and depth. If the Wolves can make an addition or two this offseason and get healthy next year, they’ll be positioned for a playoff run.
Still, ranking them ahead of the New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors, as Swartz did in his post for B / R, seems uncertain.
We’ll see what all the power rankings say after Thursday’s NBA Draft. Wolves, of course, have no choice at all and it would be a surprise to see them trade on the pitch.