The 2019-20 Minnesota Timberwolves in Review

November 13th, 2020

by Alan Lu

The current Minnesota Timberwolves’ logo.
Minnesota Timberwolves/Sports Logo History)

The Minnesota Timberwolves have been a perennially losing franchise, and they haven’t been to the playoffs in two years, when they had superstar Jimmy Butler on their team.  In today’s NBA, that’s a long time ago, and the T-Wolves had made the playoffs just once in the last 16 seasons, which includes this year.  This season was no different than most of theirs, and the Timberwolves only won 19 of 64 games.  On the bright side, they will be getting the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and they will add another core player to their future.

Minnesota Timberwolves’ superstar center, Karl-Anthony Towns is certainly paid like an elite player, and he is the T-Wolves’ franchise player. However, he only has played in one postseason in 2018, and he was terrible in the playoffs, as he was held in check by Clint Capela and the Houston Rockets in that series.
Porter Lambert/Getty Images, via

C Karl-Anthony Towns – 2020 season grade, B

2020 (MIN): 35 GP, 26.5 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.2 BPG, 0.9 SPG, 51 FG%, 41 3PT%, 80 FT%, 26.5 PER, 5.1 WS

Karl-Anthony Towns had led the Timberwolves to a surprising start early in the season before getting hurt with a wrist injury.  Unfortunately, while he was able to continue to excel on the court, the team was losing a lot of games, and he couldn’t really get them back on track towards the season’s end.

On paper, Towns really looks the part of a franchise player.  He is a terrific scorer that can really shoot the basketball, and he is a very good passer and rebounder on the floor.  There isn’t much that he doesn’t do well, and when healthy, he can make All-Star and All-NBA teams.  On the other hand, there’s been much debate about his defense, and people have pointed to him as one of the major reasons why the Timberwolves have not defended well on a yearly basis.  In addition, combined with his team’s general lack of talent have usually led his team to have losing seasons quite often.  Regardless, Towns is a very good player who will be the Timberwolves’ best player next season, and they can be competitive as long as he is healthy for all of next season.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Franchise player/Starting center on the Minnesota Timberwolves
Projected 2021 Rating: 3.5 stars (4 stars potential)

Minnesota Timberwolves’ point guard, D’Angelo Russell was acquired in a midseason trade to be teammates with his good friend, Karl-Anthony Towns, and they will rebuild the T-Wolves together.
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images, via Dunking with Wolves)

G D’Angelo Russell – B- (C+ with Golden State, B with Minnesota)

2020 (TOT): 45 GP, 23.1 PPG, 6.3 APG, 3.9 RPG, 43 FG%, 37 3PT%, 81 FT%, 32.3 MPG, 18.7 PER, 1.8 WS
2020 (GSW): 33 GP, 23.6 PPG, 6.2 APG, 3.7 RPG, 43 FG%, 37 3PT%, 78 FT%, 32.1 MPG, 19.1 PER, 1.3 WS
2020 (MIN): 12 GP, 21.7 PPG, 6.6 APG, 4.6 RPG, 41 FG%, 35 3PT%, 87 FT%, 32.7 MPG, 17.6 PER, 0.5 WS

The Warriors had swung for a sign-and-trade deal to get D’Angelo Russell after Kevin Durant had departed to go to the Brooklyn Nets.  At the time, it was hailed as a very good move, as Russell had made his first All-Star team in 2019, and led the Nets to a playoff berth last season.  Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out as expected.  Steph Curry went down to a broken hand injury early in the season, and he got off to a rocky start with Golden State, as he was putting up numbers, but was criticized for his effort and his defense, which ultimately led to his ouster and to being traded to Minnesota.

In Minnesota, Russell was able to re-unite with his best friend, Karl-Anthony Towns, and he was able to put up solid numbers, although the Timberwolves still lost a lot of games.  Russell will need to be a more consistent outside shooter, and he will really need to step up his effort defensively.  For the time being, he gives Minnesota a solid player to build around Towns, as they hope that the two of them and the first overall pick of the 2020 draft can get them to title contention sometime in the distant future.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Starting Point Guard on Minnesota
Projected 2021 Rating: 3 stars

The Minnesota Timberwolves also acquired Malik Beasley in a midseason trade. He’s currently dealing with legal troubles, but his ability to shoot and score surely will have the T-Wolves excited about him playing with Russell, Towns, and the number one overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft.
Jesse Johnson/USA Today Sports)

G Malik Beasley – C+ (C with Denver, B with Minnesota)

2020 (TOT): 55 GP, 11.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.4 APG, 43 FG%, 39 3PT%, 82 FT%, 22 MPG, 12.7 PER, 1.2 WS
2020 (DEN): 41 GP, 7.9 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 1.2 APG, 39 FG%, 36 3PT%, 87 FT%, 18.2 MPG, 10.5 PER, 0.5 WS
2020 (MIN): 14 GP, 20.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.9 APG, 47 FG%, 43 3PT%, 75 FT%, 33.1 MPG,, 16.2 PER, 0.8 WS

Malik Beasley is a sharpshooting combo guard that struggled with inconsistent shooting and poor defense with Denver, but he erupted to average nearly 21 points per game for Minnesota due to his strong shooting skills.  He will still need to improve his court vision and defense, but his ability to knock down shots will likely allow him to get heavy minutes with Minnesota next season.  He’ll need to stay away from off-court troubles, but Beasley could be a key player for the T-Wolves in 2021.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Starter/Solid bench player on Minnesota
Projected 2021 Rating: 2 stars (2.5 stars potential)

Minnesota Timberwolves’ second-year guard, Josh Okogie continues to show promise as an athletic swingman that can score as a slasher and also defend his opponents, and he saw increases in his free throw percentage this season. However, his outside shot still has not improved, though.
David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images, via

G Josh Okogie – C+
2020 (MIN): 62 GP, 8.6 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 43 FG%, 27 3PT%, 80 FT%, 25 MPG, 11.5 PER, 2.2 WS

For Josh Okogie, he had his ups and downs in his sophomore season at Minnesota.  He has shown a very good ability to draw free throws to get to the free throw line, and he continues to show promise as a defender, as he could potentially project to be a very good defender in the NBA one day.  Plus, Okogie has significantly improved his rebounding, which may increase the likelihood that he could the defensive stopper label in the future.

On the other hand, he’s still not a very good shooter, and he’s been a sub-30% three-point shooter in both seasons that he’s played in the NBA.  He also has a penchant for committing too many fouls, and he will need to be a more disciplined on-ball defender.  There are definite concerns over his shooting ability, as well as minor concerns about his playmaking skills, but Okogie’s ability to get his own shot and defend will likely earn him plenty of minutes next season in Minnesota.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Rotation player on Minnesota
Projected 2021 Rating: 2 stars (2.5 star potential)

PF Juan Hernangomez – C (D- with Denver, B+ with Minnesota)

2020 (TOT): 48 GP, 6.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 40 FG%, 34 3PT%, 62 FT%, 17.4 MPG, 10.4 PER, 0.9 WS
2020 (DEN): 34 GP, 3.1 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 35 FG%, 25 3PT%, 64 FT%, 12.4 MPG, 6.9 PER, 0.1 WS
2020 (MIN): 14 GP, 12.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 45 FG%, 42 3PT%, 61 FT%, 29.4 MPG, 14.1 PER, 0.8 WS

Juan Hernangomez had been having some up and down seasons with the Denver Nuggets, but he had trouble cracking their rotation this year, which led him to be dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves.  After struggling to make noise with Denver this year, he played very well for Minnesota, as he excelled as a shooter and rebounder for his team.  Hernangomez will need to prove that his strong shooting with the T-Wolves is here to stay, and he will have to show that he can lock down opponents defensively.  Most likely, he will get plenty of minutes in Minnesota next season.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Fringe starter/Rotation player on Minnesota
Projected 2021 Rating: 2 stars

Side note: He is a restricted free agent at the end of the 2020 season.

PG Jordan McLaughlin (Two-Way) – A-

2020 (MIN): 30 GP, 7.6 PPG, 4.2 APG, 1.6 RPG, 49 FG%, 38 3PT%, 67 FT%, 19.7 MPG, 16.3 PER, 1.6 WS

Jordan McLaughlin quietly had a very good rookie season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, as he excelled as a shooter and facilitator for his team, and he also played above average defense when he was on the floor.  He definitely should get a standard contract from his team.  While he’s not seen as a high-ceiling player by any means, he was an underrated acquisition that could end up having a long career in the NBA.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Backup Point Guard on Minnesota
Projected 2021 Rating: 2 stars

F James Johnson – C (D- with Miami, B+ with Minnesota)

2020 (TOT): 32 GP, 8.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.0 BPG, 48 FG%, 36 3PT%, 65 FT%, 19.3 MPG, 14.8 PER, 1.1 WS

2020 (MIA): 18 GP, 5.7 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 1.2 APG, 45 FG%, 36 3PT%, 57 FT%, 15.6 MPG, 11.1 PER, 0.4 WS
2020 (MIN): 14 GP, 12 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.4 SPG, 1.4 BPG, 50 FG%, 37 3PT%, 68 FT%, 24.1 MPG, 17.9 PER, 0.8 WS

James Johnson got into Miami’s doghouse early on with some questionable off-court behavior, and he never really factored into the Heat’s lineup this season.  He was dealt midway through the season to Minnesota, and he was able to excel as a versatile role player that made solid plays on both ends of the floor.  He’ll be 34 early next season, and so he might soon be on the decline, but in the short term, he can provide Minnesota with an array of skills, and he can be a solid rotation player for them next season.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Rotation player
Projected 2021 Rating: 2 stars

Side note: Has a player option at the end of the 2020 season

Jarrett Culver was not a great free throw shooter in college, but his free throw shooting wasn’t as nearly as bad as it has been in the NBA. Can the T-Wolves fix his shooting stroke?
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images, via Dunking with Wolves)

G-F Jarrett Culver – 2020 season grade, D

2020 (MIN): 63 GP, 9.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 1.7 APG, 40 FG%, 30 3PT%, 46 FT%, 23.9 MPG, 9.6 PER, -0.1 WS

First thing I’d like to say about Jarrett Culver…I hope he’s shooting a lot of hoops right now, because he really needs to work on his shooting stroke.  He didn’t shoot the ball well at all, as he struggled to make shots efficiently, and he was absolutely awful at the free throw line.  He needs to really improve his free throw shooting, and he needs to have a repeatable stroke that can enable him to be effective on the court.    

To sum up his rookie year, it wasn’t exactly an atrocious year, but it was quite underwhelming.  Pegged as a potential future All-Star that they snagged with the sixth overall pick, as he had led Texas Tech to the National Championship game before losing to Virginia.  Big things were expected, as he was picked over other talented rookies such as P.J. Washington, Tyler Herro, and Matisse Thybulle.  Unfortunately, Culver didn’t have nearly as good of a season as anticipated.

Instead Culver’s rookie season was riddled with missed shots, terrible free throw shooting, and sporadically good defensive play.  Instead, he’s looked more like Okogie’s understudy, and if he weren’t a lottery pick, there’s no doubt Culver wouldn’t have played nearly this much.  Culver has shown some playmaking skills and at times has defended well, but he still needs to be more consistent in games.  He really needs to work on his shooting stroke.  Otherwise, he might just not be the shooter or scorer people thought he would be in the NBA.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Rotation player on Minnesota
Projected 2021 Rating: 1.5 stars (2.5 star potential)

Side note: He is a restricted free agent at the end of the 2020 season.

C Naz Reid – B-

2020 (MIN): 30 GP, 9.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.7 BPG, 41 FG%, 33 3PT%, 70 FT%, 16.5 MPG, 15.3 PER, 0.8 WS

Naz Reid had a fairly good rookie season in Minnesota.  He is a strong, mobile stretch big that showed off some shooting and scoring skills, and he can knock down outside shots to space the floor for his team.  He also passed the ball well this season.  He will need to improve his rebounding and interior defense, but his ability to shoot, pass, and score could enable him to earn plenty of more minutes next season.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Fringe rotation player, backend roster player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1.5 stars (2 star potential)

C Omari Spellman –  C (C with Golden State, Incomplete with Minnesota)

2020 (GSW): 49 GP, 7.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 43 FG%, 39 3PT%, 79 FT%, 18.1 MPG, 14.4 PER, 1.2 WS

Last season was a rather strange one for Omari Spellman.  He shot the ball reasonably well for Golden State, as he made 39% of his threes, and he was dealt midway through the season to Minnesota, who is run by an analytically-minded GM.  However, Spellman went from being a regular in Golden State’s rotation to not playing a single game for Minnesota, as there were rumblings that they reluctantly kept him on their roster after acquiring him in this trade.

For Spellman, he has obvious flaws.  Though he can effectively knock down spot-up jumpers, he’s long faced questions about his mobility.  He didn’t particularly rebound nor defend well, and he committed more turnovers than collected assists.  He’s a one-thing, shooter-only player at this stage, but given Minnesota’s extreme unwillingness to play him this past season, that may not bode well for his career, as he might experience a significant dip in his playing time in 2021, especially if he stays with the Timberwolves.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Fringe rotation player, backend roster player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1.5 stars (2 star potential)

F Jake Layman – C-

2020 (MIN): 23 GP, 9.1 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 45.3 FG%, 33.3 3PT%, 75 FT%, 22 MPG, 10.3 PER, 0.3 WS

Jake Layman didn’t have an amazing season by any stretch of the imagination.  He didn’t play nearly as much as expected due to a nagging toe injury, but he hasn’t shot the ball nearly as well as he was expected to.  After having had a career year in Portland in 2019, he showed some promise this year, but didn’t shoot quite as well and had trouble staying healthy this past season.

Billed as a shooter coming out of college, he’s never shot better than 33.3% on his threes in any given regular season, though he did make over half of his shots in Portland in 2019.  Layman has been consistent in scoring inside the arc though, but he will need to improve in all of the other areas of the game.  His athleticism and shooting potential give him a chance to crack Minnesota’s rotation next year, but he’ll have to earn his place to do so.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Fringe rotation player, backend roster player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1.5 stars

F Kelan Martin (Two-Way) – C+

2020 (MIN): 31 GP, 6.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 39 FG%, 26 3PT%, 97 FT%, 16 MPG, 9.2 PER, 0.2 WS

Kelan Martin got more playing time than expected last year.  He had his fair share of ups and downs, but one thing is for sure, he definitely did a tremendous job of making his free throws this past season.  Martin also rebounded the ball well.  He’ll need to improve his shooting and scoring when he is away from the free throw line, and he will need to improve his playmaking and defense.  He projects into a 3 and D type of role in the NBA, and he will compete for a spot in Minnesota’s rotation next season.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Fringe rotation player, backend roster player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1.5 stars

G-F Evan Turner – F (F with Atlanta, Incomplete with Minnesota)

2020 (ATL): 19 GP, 3.3 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 37 FG%, 0 3PT%, 86 FT%, 13.2 MPG, 6.8 PER, -0.3 WS

Once a top 3 pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, Evan Turner was a tremendous all-around performer at Ohio State in college basketball, and for years, he was a veteran guard that provided experience and tutelage to newcomers across various teams.

In 2020, he was essentially an albatross contract that is finally coming off the books, and given his extreme reluctance to shoot threes, and propensity to shoot mid-range jumpers, combined with his lack of overall output across the years, it is doubtful that Minnesota would bring him back.  Honestly, it would be surprising if Minnesota offered him a contract to come back for 2021.  They want their players shooting threes, not mid-range jumpers, and Evan Turner might be a little too old school for their tastes.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Depth wing player, fringe roster player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1 star

Side note: Turner will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2020 season.

G Jaylen Nowell – D

2020 (MIN): 15 GP, 3.8 PPG, 1.3 APG, 0.9 RPG, 36 FG%, 12 3PT%, 94 FT%, 10.1 MPG, 10.5 PER, 0.2 WS

Jaylen Nowell didn’t get into many basketball games in the NBA this year, and he didn’t play on their summer league team in 2019.   He showed off some distribution skills and he really excelled at making his free throws, but he didn’t shoot the ball too well from the field.  If he can’t make threes, score, or defend, then it’s unlikely he’ll play much next season for the T-Wolves.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Depth guard, fringe roster player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1 star (2 star potential)

F Jarred Vanderbilt – D (D with Denver, D+ with Minnesota)

2020 (TOT): 11 GP, 1.1 PPG, 0.8 RPG, 62.5 FG%, 4.2 MPG, 7.6 PER, 0 WS
2020 (DEN): 9 GP, 1.1 PPG, 0.9 RPG, 71.4 FG%, 4.6 MPG, 7.2 PER, 0 WS
2020 (MIN): 2 GP, 1.0 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 0 FG%, 2.5 MPG, 11.1 PER, 0 WS

I viewed Jarred Vanderbilt as a very risky, moderate upside pick in 2018, as he was a McDonald’s All-American that played well in the high school All-Star games, but he had an injury-plagued freshman year where he also underperformed his expectations in college.  He did rebound the ball very well per minute, but he did not shoot the ball well at all, and he looked to be much more raw offensively than anticipated.

So far, he has had trouble getting off the bench, and he hasn’t really gotten much of an opportunity to play in the NBA.  He’s been on deep Denver teams that made it tough for him to get onto the court, but he also didn’t see much playing time for Minnesota this year, either.  There’s little hope for him to do much in 2021, but even still, there’s always a chance that just maybe, that he could surprise and exceed expectations one day.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Depth forward, fringe roster player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1 star (2 star potential)

G-F Jacob Evans – F+ (F+ with Golden State, F with Minnesota)

2020 (TOT): 29 GP, 4.4 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 1.1 APG, 34 FG%, 33 3PT%, 86 FT%, 5.5 PER, -0.5 WS
2020 (GSW): 27 GP, 4.7 PPG, 1.5 RPG, 1.1 APG, 34 FG%, 34 3PT%, 86 FT%, 5.6 PER, -0.5 WS
2020 (MIN): 2 GP, no points

Coming out of college, Jacob Evans was viewed as the quintessential 3-and D prospect for the NBA.  He was thought highly enough to be picked by Golden State in the first round in 2018, and he was viewed to be a potential P.J. Tucker type of player.  Unfortunately, Evans has had a lot of trouble in trying to make the leap to the association, and he’s been very disappointing so far in the NBA.

In the NBA, Jacob Evans has had a lot of trouble in trying to create his own shot or in making shots, and he also has not rebounded the ball very well.  He hasn’t been a lock down defender either, and when he’s not being passive on offense, he’s often clanking shots. 

Evans has really struggled to adjust to the faster pace of NBA basketball.  A career 38% three-point shooter coming out of college, Evans has made 33% of his threes during the 2019-20 NBA season, but he’s never made more than 34% of his field goals in any regular season yet.  He’s been astonishingly bad so far in his young career.  There’s not much hope that he can turn it around, but now that Minnesota decided to take him in a trade and give him some minutes, there is faint hope that maybe he can do a little better in 2021.

Projected 2021 Role/Expectations: Depth wing player, fringe roster player
Projected 2021 Rating: 1 star (1.5 star potential)

Head Coach:
Ryan Saunders, 2020 grade: D
2020 (MIN): 19-45, missed the playoffs
Head Coaching Career: 36-70, 0-0 in his playoff career

After the Timberwolves had fired Tom Thibodeau in 2019, Ryan Saunders was able to help his team experience a brief renaissance, and they were able to get Andrew Wiggins to have a standout performance to get a surprise win over Oklahoma City early in Ryan Saunders’ career.  Since then, Ryan Saunders has lost a lot of games, and Minnesota was absolutely atrocious after getting off to a surprisingly decent start, as they lost a whopping 11 straight games in December 2019, and then his team lost 13 straight games in the months of January and February in 2020. 

Intially, after Ryan Saunders won his first two games, there was a glimmer of hope in 2019 that maybe he would be like a mini-Steve Kerr, and that he would infuse a refreshing breed of motion offense and inject creativity to give the T-Wolves new life.  Instead, the 2020 Timberwolves played listless basketball after opening the season winning 10 of 18 games.  The Timberwolves were very bad with and without Karl-Anthony Towns, and they only won 19 games during the 2019-20 season.  If the Timberwolves can’t get anywhere close to the second round of the playoffs in the next five years, then well, they may have to find a new head coach.

 Projected 2021 Role: Head Coach of Minnesota
Projected 2021 Rating: 1.5 stars

2019-20 Minnesota Timberwolves, season grade: F+

This season ultimately ended up being a very ugly for the Timberwolves after they had gotten off to such a promising start.  They started out fast like the Suns and the Mavericks, but unlike them, the Timberwolves’ 2020 season crashed and burned, as they won just 9 of their final 46 games of the season.  They didn’t fare well in many categories as a team, but the Timberwolves sure attempted a lot of shots on offense.  They’ll have to hope that getting the first overall pick and pairing him with Towns and Russell could lead to better results in 2021.

Minnesota Timberwolves’ Projected 2020-21 NBA Rotation

Projected Starters:
C Karl-Anthony Towns
F Juan Hernangomez* (RFA)
The 1st Overall Pick of the 2020 NBA Draft
G Malik Beasley * (RFA)
G D’Angelo Russell

Key Reserves:
Josh Okogie
James Johnson
Jordan McLaughlin (Two-Way)
Jarrett Culver

Others competing for a spot in the rotation next season:
The 17th Overall Pick of the 2020 NBA Draft
Naz Reid 
Jake Layman
Omari Spellman
Kelan Martin (Two-Way)

Other players that are currently projected to be on their next season’s roster:
Jaylen Nowell
Jarred Vanderbilt
The 33rd Overall Pick of the 2020 NBA Draft
Jacob Evans

Projected Players Cut from Next Season’s Roster:
Jacob Evans

Players that will be Restricted Free Agents:
Malik Beasley
Juan Hernangomez

Players that will be Unrestricted Free Agents:
Evan Turner

2020 NBA Draft Picks:
#1, #17, #33

Projected Offseason Plan for the Timberwolves:

With the first overall pick, the Timberwolves could select either the best player available, or draft someone that will fit in with both Towns and Russell in the starting lineup.  My gut instinct is that they might try to find a player that can do both. 

The Timberwolves could go in any number of ways in whom they might pick.  Anthony Edwards may be the best player on the board and he is a tremendously athletic scoring combo guard, but the combination of him, Russell, and Beasley would make for a rather small backcourt.  I also could see them go with LaMelo Ball or Deni Avdija, as both of the players are taller and likely provide more versatility, but Ball has shot selection and defensive concerns, and there may be slight concerns about Avdija’s scoring potential and upside.  They also could go big and pick James Wiseman, but then there are questions if him and Towns would be able to defend out on the perimeter, but Wiseman would theoretically play more of a defensive anchor role.  They even could surprise with a curveball pick, or they trade down altogether to coup more assets.

They do theoretically have some cap space to work with, and the players they draft could ultimately decide whom they choose to sign in free agency.  Most likely, the Timberwolves will target forwards and a backup center, as they could use players to complement Towns and Russell.  If they feel that Jarrett Culver is too far away from producing right now, they also could elect to sign a combo guard that could provide some scoring punch off the bench.

Expected Regular-Season Record in 2021*: 24-48, 15th in the West

Expected 2021 Season Outcome: They could be…one of the worst teams in the NBA next season, and the Timberwolves are almost guaranteed to miss the playoffs next year.  On the bright side, that may put them in the driver’s seat for the Cade Cunningham sweepstakes for the 2021 NBA Draft.

(* – The asterisk denotes that the expected regular season win total is adjusted for the 72 game schedule that the NBA will play for the 2020-21 season.  The initial projection for the Timberwolves was for them to get 27 wins in an 82-game season.  Also, the projected record does not take into account for the NBA draft or free agency, as those events have not happened yet.)

In case if you need the rubric for my player rating system of projecting NBA players for the 2020-21 season, here is the link. In addition, Basketball-Reference, RealGM, and Spotrac were vital information sites that I used to look at player and team statistics, as well as contract information.

Side note: Also, the letter grades attached to the player name was my grade for their 2019-20 season, as it is my judgment of their performance and whether or not they met or exceeded my expectations, and didn’t have much bearing on my projection of how they will perform for the 2020-21 NBA season.

Thank you for reading my grades and review of the 2019-20 Minnesota Timberwolves, and it also served as an early prognostication of what to expect out of them for the next season. There will be two key dates, the 2020 NBA Draft will be held on November 16th, and free agency will begin on November 18th, so stay tuned for that. Thanks for reading.

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