A Preview of the 2022-23 Minnesota Timberwolves

September 28th, 2022

By Alan Lu

The Minnesota Timberwolves made a blockbuster trade to get Rudy Gobert in the offseason, and they could win a lot of games in the regular season.
(Photo:
Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press, via WBAY)

The Minnesota Timberwolves were a pleasant surprise last year, as they won 46 games and made it to the 1st Round of the 2022 NBA playoffs before losing to the Memphis Grizzlies.  They received strong seasons out of Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, and their new acquisition of trading for Patrick Beverley paid off as he had amplified their defense and helped make the Wolves a playoff team.

In the offseason, the Timberwolves traded Beverley and a slew of role players and picks in a blockbuster trade to get 3-time Defensive Player of the Year winner and star center Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz.  The Timberwolves lost some depth and tough perimeter defense, but gain a lot by adding the best rim protector and interior defender in all of the NBA. 

They also managed to get Wendell Moore Jr. and Josh Minott in the draft to replenish their resources, and they also signed Kyle Anderson, Austin Rivers and Bryn Forbes to help add to their bench.  In addition, D’Angelo Russell and Jaden McDaniels could provide versatility and could see some gains in their roles this year.  A lot of people will be interested to see if the newly refurbished Timberwolves will take a step further under head coach Chris Finch and get further in the playoffs this season.

Star Players:

Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, and Anthony Edwards

Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the most skilled big men in the league, and he is a superstar that can really score the basketball and take over games when he’s dialed in.  He’s had questions about his defense and effort levels in the playoffs before, but with Gobert arriving to help out with that, Towns and Gobert will form a formidable front-court duo for the Timberwolves this year. 

Rudy Gobert is a tremendous defensive center that has excelled as an anchor in the middle for the Utah Jazz, and now he will be the anchor for the Timberwolves.  He is a very efficient inside scorer that excels as a rim running big man, and he is a player who can score without needing a whole lot of touches on offense.  He will help the Timberwolves strengthen their defense, and he gives them a third star for their team.

Anthony Edwards is a very athletic, energetic combo guard that can really score the basketball, and he can throw down thunderous dunks to give his team a boost.  He had a very good second season in the NBA, and he has made significant improvements to his game.  He is a bonafide star that could help the Timberwolves make a deeper run in the playoffs for the upcoming season.

Additions:

Rudy Gobert, Kyle Anderson, Wendell Moore Jr., Bryn Forbes, Austin Rivers, and Josh Minott

The Timberwolves traded to get Rudy Gobert to really strengthen their interior defense.  They did end up sacrificing Patrick Beverley in the trade, so their perimeter defense gets a little worse, but they added a third star to their team that could help make them a contender out in the West.  The Timberwolves also signed Kyle Anderson, and he is a savvy point forward that will bring playmaking skills and some defense, and he is a team player that will help his new team off the bench. 

Forbes and Rivers are shooters that can provide some scoring off the bench, and Wendell Moore Jr. is a skilled all-around player who could develop into a solid role player in the NBA.  Meanwhile, Josh Minott is a very athletic, energetic combo forward that may not contribute much right away, but he could develop into a solid, Jarred Vanderbilt-type of player.

Subtractions:

Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley, Josh Okogie, Leandro Bolmaro, Jake Layman, and Greg Monroe

Losing Patrick Beverley will definitely hurt their perimeter defense, and Jarred Vanderbilt was a solid role player that excelled at making hustle plays.  Malik Beasley provided a scoring punch off the bench.  They also traded rookie center Walker Kessler in a package deal to get Gobert as well, although Kessler has never actually played a game for the Wolves. The Timberwolves had to give up to get, and they are banking on what they are getting in return will be considerably more than what they gave up.

Rookies:

Wendell Moore Jr., Josh Minott, and A.J. Lawson

The three rookies are going to be in a crowded field, so playing time might be hard to come by.  Amongst them, Moore may be the most likely to get minutes, as he is a swingman that can run the point in a pinch and can do a little bit of everything.  Minott and Lawson will need to significantly improve their jump shots, but both players can provide energy and defense, and Lawson may be able to provide some scoring skills off the bench.

Expected Rotation:

Rudy Gobert is a 3-time Defensive Player of the Year award winner, and he will help the Timberwolves win plenty of games this season.
(Photo:
Alex Kormann/Star Tribune)

Projected Starting Lineup:

C Rudy Gobert

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

F Karl-Anthony Towns

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

F Jaden McDaniels

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G Anthony Edwards

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Potential Rating:

G D’Angelo Russell

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

Key Bench Players:

Signing Kyle Anderson was a solid get for the Timberwolves, and he is a skilled playmaking forward that will bolster their bench for the upcoming season.
(Photo:
Dylan Buell/TNS, via InForum)

F Kyle Anderson

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

F Taurean Prince

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

C Naz Reid

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

G Jaylen Nowell

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

G Jordan McLaughlin

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

The Rest of the Roster (projected to make the team):

G-F Wendell Moore Jr.

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:
Potential Rating:

G-F A.J. Lawson (Two-Way)

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:
Potential Rating:

G Bryn Forbes

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

G Austin Rivers

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

F-C Eric Paschall (Two-Way)

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

C Nathan Knight

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

F Josh Minott

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:
Potential Rating:

Others In Camp:

G-F P.J. Dozier (Exhibit 10)

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

C Luka Garza (Exhibit 10)

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:

G-F C.J. Elleby (Exhibit 10)

Projected 2022-23 Player Rating:
Potential Rating:

Head Coach:

Chris Finch was vital to the Timberwolves’ success last year, and he is a good coach that will be a mainstay and a fixture of the Timberwolves’ organization for years to come.
(Photo:
Alonzo Adams/USA Today Sports, via Yardbarker.com)

Chris Finch
2021-22 (MIN): 46-36, 2-4 in the playoffs
Career: 62-61, 2-4 in the NBA Playoffs

Chris Finch had a very good season last year, as he helped the Timberwolves win 46 games in the regular season, and he also was able to get them to the playoffs.  He led an overachieving bunch get to the postseason, where they played valiantly before losing in six games to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round.  He has been a very good coach for Minnesota, and he could lead them back to the playoffs in 2023.

Projected 2022-23 Coach Rating:
Potential Rating:

Outlook:

I think Minnesota Timberwolves’ fans would be pleased with how their season turned out if their team earns a top-4 seed in the West and a trip to the playoffs in 2023.
(Photo:
Will Newton/Getty Images, via Fansided’s Dunking With Wolves)

The Minnesota Timberwolves are an intriguing, upstart NBA basketball team that made the playoffs last year as they were led by superstars Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, and they swung a big trade to land another in Rudy Gobert.  They did have to give up plenty of depth to get Gobert, but it could be a good move that could help them solidify a playoff spot this year.  It will be interesting to see how far the Timberwolves go this year, and they should be back in the playoffs once again.

Projected 2022-23 Win-Loss Record and Finish:
Projected Regular Season Finish: 47-35, 4th in the Western Conference
Expected Playoff Finish: Projected to lose in the 1st Round to Denver

It will be an exciting basketball season this year, and the NBA season will start on October 18th.  Thank you for reading my write-up of the 2023 Minnesota Timberwolves. 

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