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What the Minnesota Timberwolves Need Before the 2021 NBA Season

| November 14, 2020 2:24 am PDT
Minnesota Timberwolves 2021 Season

We saw plenty of moves by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the past several years and the team now has a strong young duo to build around. Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell are expected to lead the franchise going forward and both have strong potential.

The main goal of the 2020-21 NBA season would be to challenge for a spot in the playoffs and that might be a problem in the stacked Western Conference.

The Timberwolves certainly have issues, but they have the top pick in the 2020 NBA draft and some cap space to solve them. If the franchise plays it smart, the next season could be the beginning of a good period.

In this post, I share my thoughts on the Timberwolves’ biggest needs for 2021 and how the organization could address them.

Trade Their Draft Picks for a Player That Fits the Timeline

Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell are both young, but they have been in the NBA long enough. Both players desperately want to start winning and since the current draft class is expected to be weak, it seems like the top pick should be used to acquire someone that can help the team instantly.

Don’t forget that the Timberwolves also have the 17th pick that might be up for grabs and the 33rd pick. The team’s selections can be used in a package to get someone like Buddy Hield or Jrue Holiday that could bring even more offense.

Both athletes will be available this offseason and the same applies to Victor Oladipo who wants to leave the Pacers. If Timberwolves get one of the three guys I mentioned or someone else of the same caliber, they will have a strong starting lineup.

Another reason to trade the top pick is the bad fit of the best young players in 2020. LaMelo Ball might be the guy with the highest ceiling, but the Timberwolves already have problems with their defense and shooting efficiency.

Anthony Edwards is not a good choice for the same reasons, while James Wiseman is an excellent young center who won’t receive enough minutes because KAT is the consensus number one choice for that position.

It simply doesn’t make sense to use the top pick under such circumstances, so the Timberwolves have to find a way to get someone that can contribute in the next couple of seasons.

Get Davis Bertans or Joe Harris

The 2020 NBA free agency doesn’t feature many big names, but there are useful role players available and I believe that the Timberwolves should go after some of them.

The team shot only 33.6% from three last season, so that’s one of the biggest problems. Andrew Wiggins is gone, which should help, and Towns is probably the best shooting big men of all time, but the team needs more.

With Davis Bertans and Joe Harris available, the solution is obvious. Both men are exceptional from downtown and can deliver more than 40% on high volume. They can provide spacing and 10-15 points per game with ease.

D’Angelo Russel already played with Harris with the Nets and he knows his qualities well. The guard might be too expensive, though, because many teams will be after him and Brooklyn are expected to do their best to keep him.

Bertans is the best alternative on the market and the Latvian is just a phenomenal shooter who can also cut to the basket and is a better defender than many people give him credit for. The spacing he provides will do wonders for the Timberwolves.

Improve the Defense

While the Timberwolves could benefit from a sharpshooter and another star next to Russell and Towns, their biggest problem remains the defense. The franchise struggled badly on this front in the last couple of years and the head coach Ryan Saunders needs to find a solution.

D’Angelo Russell is below average and KAT is yet to fulfill his potential on that end of the floor. Minnesota doesn’t have truly elite defenders and that’s going to be a problem.

And yet, what concerns me even more is the lack of team effort. One could attribute that to the presence of Andrew Wiggins and the many personnel changes in the past several years.

The reasons are not that important, though, what matters is to find solutions. I believe this will be the big test for Ryan Saunders and his job depends on it. The coach has to improve the defense and reach respectable levels.

If he succeeds, I expect to see the Timberwolves in the playoffs and the future of the organization will be bright. If he fails, we might see even more trades and another lost season.


I believe that many people might be sleeping on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Sure, the team needs more effort on the defensive end of the floor and that’s a fact. However, the modern NBA is built around attacking potential and the franchise has more than enough of that.

Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell are already proven stars, so adding just one more piece would make this team dangerous for anyone in the NBA.

I will be carefully following the offseason and if the Timberwolves play their cards right, they will be in contention for a playoff spot in 2020-21.

Do you agree with my opinion or do you have something else in mind? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

My colleagues and I have been exploring the biggest needs for several NBA teams during this offseason. Here are some other posts you might be interested in.

Jerry Summer
Jerry Summer

Jerry Summer has a wide-ranging interest in gambling and the gambling industry. He's made a living out of both playing poker and betting on sports.

The English Premier League and the NBA are among Jerry's primary areas of expertise. He's knowledgeable about many other sports, too, along with poker and several casino games.

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