The 2018-19 NBA season was a disappointment for the Minnesota Timberwolves to say the least. After acquiring Jimmy Butler last season and making the playoffs in 2018 by beating the Denver Nuggets in the last regular season game, better things were expected for Minnesota this season. However, it started with the Jimmy Butler drama. His teammates were too soft and he wanted a mega contract extension.
A deal was struck with the Philadelphia 76ers. On first look, it should have helped the Timberwolves receiving the services of Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Jerryd Bayless. It also meant alleviating the franchise of a headache in Jimmy Butler. It didn’t work out.
The Timberwolves finished 2019 with a 36-46 record and 11th overall in the west and took a step back from their progress in 2018. Other concerns arose as star Andrew Wiggins saw a decline in his play averaging just 18.1ppg in 2019 while he had peaked at 23.6ppg back in 2017.
With the 11th pick at the 2019 NBA Draft and what is sure to be a busy off-season for Timberwolves general manager Scott Layden, the Timberwolves have some work to do if they wish to return to the playoffs in 2020.
In the meantime here is a short trip down memory lane and a quick look at three outstanding performances by Timberwolves’ players this season.
Andrew Wiggins January 8th, 2019 vs OKC Thunder
Andrew Wiggins is a Canadian forward originally drafted by the Cavaliers’ back in 2014 and traded that summer to Minnesota. He has been a star ever since but seems to have peaked two seasons ago when he averaged over 23ppg.
At just 23 years of age, there is still much time for Wiggins to improve. Along with Karl-Anthony Towns and an 11th overall pick at the 2019 NBA Draft to come, Minnesota should have a strong young core of players.
This, however, does not address the heart and desire of the players involved and whether Wiggins' perceived drop in quality of play is due to a desire to play elsewhere or something else. On January 8th, of this year, he gave a classic example of just what he is capable of when focused on the task at hand.
In a victory over the OKC Thunder, Wiggins scored 40 points and added 10 rebounds for a double-double. Wiggins shot 11/24 from the field that night and his desire to get to the basket was undeniable as he made 16/18 free throws.