The 2021-22 Minnesota Timberwolves in Review

June 3rd, 2022

By Alan Lu

The 2021-22 Minnesota Timberwolves won 46 games in the regular season, defeated the LA Clippers in the play-in tournament, and snagged the 7 seed in the West to face off against the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2022 NBA Playoffs this year.
(Photo:
Associated Press, via Star Tribune)

The 2021-22 Minnesota Timberwolves had a surprisingly good season this year. Not much was expected out of the Timberwolves at the start of the season, considering their record last year.  But head coach Chris Finch did a terrific job of taking over to coach their team last year, so there was hope that the Timberwolves would be competitive and continue to improve this season. Therefore, this makes the Timberwolves’ turnaround all the more impressive.

This season, the Timberwolves improved drastically, and Finch did a tremendous job, as he coached their team to the playoffs this year.  They had a fully healthy Karl-Anthony Towns, and combined with the much-improved play of second-year guard Anthony Edwards, and adding defensive ace Patrick Beverley to their team, the Timberwolves were able to win 46 games in the regular season, defeated the Clippers in the play-in tournament to get to the playoffs, and they even won 2 games against the Grizzlies before losing to them in 6 games in their first-round series against them in the postseason this year.

Key Players:

Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards led the Timberwolves to get to the playoffs this season, which was a very good achievement this year.
(Photo:
Craig Lassig/Associated Press, via The Rookie Wire – USA Today)

Karl-Anthony Towns
2021-22 (MIN): 24.6 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.1 BPG, 1.0 SPG, 53 FG%, 41 3PT%, 82 FT%, 64 TS%, 24.1 PER, 10.3 WS

Towns was finally healthy for nearly a full season, and he was able to lead his team to the playoffs this year.  He had a very good, all-around season, and it was a huge accomplishment to get his team to the playoffs, as they went four years without having done so previously.

2022 Season Grade: A-
Projected 2023 Rating: 3.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starting center on the Minnesota Timberwolves

Anthony Edwards played very well for the Timberwolves, and he helped lead them to get to the playoffs this year.
(Photo:
Craig Mitchelldyer/Associated Press, via Star Tribune)

Anthony Edwards
2021-22 (MIN): 21.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.5 SPG, 44 FG%, 36 3PT%, 79 FT%, 56 TS%, 16.5 PER, 4.3 WS

Edwards had a very good second season, as he really improved as a shooter and scorer, and he is an explosive combo guard that also improved defensively to help his team get to the playoffs this year.

2022 Season Grade: A-
Projected 2023 Rating: 3 stars (4 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Minnesota Timberwolves

Patrick Beverley played very good defense this year, and he helped the Timberwolves get to the playoffs in 2022.
(Photo:
David Berding/Getty Images, via SB Nation’s Silver Screen & Roll)

Patrick Beverley
2021-22 (MIN): 9.2 PPG, 4.6 APG, 4.1 RPG, 1.2 SPG, 41 FG%, 34 3PT%, 72 FT%, 54 TS%, 14.8 PER, 4.1 WS

Beverley had a very good season, and he is a defensive-minded point guard that installed a much needed defensive culture and mindset to the team this year.  While he didn’t shoot or score as much as he had previously, his superb defense really helped the Timberwolves this year.

2022 Season Grade: A-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Minnesota Timberwolves

D’Angelo Russell
2021-22 (MIN): 18.1 PPG, 7.1 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 41 FG%, 34 3PT%, 83 FT%, 54 TS%, 16.3 PER, 4.4 WS

He had an up and down season this past year for the Timberwolves.  He is a very skilled combo guard that scored in bulk and excelled as a playmaker, but he was inconsistent as a shooter, and he didn’t defend very well this past year.

2022 Season Grade: C-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Minnesota Timberwolves

Other Notable Players:

Jaden McDaniels

He didn’t shoot as well from the outside as he did last year, but he improved his ability to score around the basket, and he also played well in the postseason.

2022 Season Grade: C
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars (2.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Minnesota Timberwolves

Naz Reid

He is a skilled big man that showcased versatile scoring skills, but he will need to improve his rebounding for next season.

2022 Season Grade: B-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars (2.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Minnesota Timberwolves

Jarred Vanderbilt

He thrived at attacking the hoop to score the basketball, and he also rebounded and defended well, but he didn’t take nearly enough shots, and his inability to knock down outside shots would enable defenders to sag off of him in postseason play to limit his effectiveness on offense.

2022 Season Grade: B
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars (2.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Minnesota Timberwolves

Malik Beasley

He didn’t quite shoot as well as he did last year, but he provided shooting and scoring at times for the Timberwolves, and he is a microwave type of scorer that would occasionally provide a significant boost from their bench.

2022 Season Grade: C
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Minnesota Timberwolves

Taurean Prince

He is a veteran forward that played fairly well in a 3 and D role for the Timberwolves off the bench, but he didn’t shoot the ball nearly as well in the playoffs this year.

2022 Season Grade: B-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Minnesota Timberwolves

Jordan McLaughlin

He didn’t shoot the ball nearly as well in the regular season, but he played really well as the team’s backup point guard in the playoffs this year against the Memphis Grizzlies.

2022 Season Grade: C+
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Minnesota Timberwolves

Jaylen Nowell

He did a good job of shooting and scoring the basketball off the bench for the Timberwolves this year.

2022 Season Grade: B-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars

Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on the Minnesota Timberwolves

Greg Monroe

He didn’t play much this year, but he played in the NBA for the first time in three years, and he thrived as an inside scorer and rebounder for his team this season.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on an NBA team

Other Players on the Roster:

Josh Okogie

He didn’t shoot the ball very well this year in considerably less minutes, but he provided defense, energy, and hustle off the bench this year.

2022 Season Grade: C-
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars (2 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on the Minnesota Timberwolves

Nathan Knight (Two-Way Player)

He did a very good job of scoring and rebounding the basketball in limited minutes.

2022 Season Grade: C+
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars (2 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on the Minnesota Timberwolves

McKinley Wright (Two-Way Player)

He barely played in the NBA, but he played fairly well in the G-League this season.

2022 Season Grade: C-
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars (2 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on the Minnesota Timberwolves

Jake Layman

His playing time was reduced drastically, and he didn’t shoot the ball very well this past season.

2022 Season Grade: D-
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on an NBA team

LeAndro Bolmaro

Big things were expected out of him, but he didn’t shoot, score, or play nearly as well in the NBA or in the G-League this year.

2022 Season Grade: D-
Projected 2023 Rating: 1 star (2 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on the Minnesota Timberwolves

Head Coach:

Minnesota Timberwolves’ head coach Chris Finch had a very good season this year, and he helped lead his team to get to the playoffs in 2022.
(Photo:
LM Otero/Associated Press, via Star Tribune)

Chris Finch
2021-22 (MIN):46-36, 2-4 in the playoffs

He had a terrific season this year, and he led his team to far more wins than expected.  Finch led the Timberwolves to the playoffs in 2022, and he even got them a couple of wins in the first round against the Grizzlies before losing in 6 games to them.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars (3 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Head Coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Projected 2022-23 Rotation:
C Karl-Anthony Towns
F Jaden McDaniels
G Anthony Edwards
G De’Angelo Russell
G Patrick Beverley
______________________

G Malik Beasley
C Naz Reid
F Jarred Vanderbilt
F Taurean Prince
G Jordan McLaughlin

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Picks in the 2022 NBA Draft:
#19, #40, #48, #50

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Projected 2023 Win-Loss Record:
45-37, 6th in the Western Conference

Their Projected Offseason Plan:

The Minnesota Timberwolves won’t have any cap space to work with most likely, so they will have to maneuver by way of trades and the draft.  They will need to select a player that fits with Towns and Edwards.  They shot the ball well and improved their playmaking, but the Timberwolves will need to improve their rebounding and defense for next season.

As for the time being, the Minnesota Timberwolves are in good hands. They have a good core group of players in Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, and adding Patrick Beverley to their team has really improved them defensively. They have a good group of players to work with, and they are a well coached team as they are led by head coach Chris Finch, and the Timberwolves are a team on the rise that has a very bright future ahead of them.

This was written before the start of the 2022 NBA Draft and free agency. I went to No Trade Clause and Basketball-Reference for research purposes. Thanks for reading.

NBA Scouting Live
error: Content is protected !!