The Minnesota Timberwolves were able to enter the 2023 NBA playoffs as a No. 8 seed, but got eliminated by the No. 1 Denver Nuggets in the first round 4-1. The Timberwolves underwhelmed this season despite making a big splash in the summer ahead of the season. Here’s a look at where things stand for the team heading into the 2023 offseason.
2022-23 season recap
Minnesota swung the massive trade for Rudy Gobert last summer, giving up a huge haul of draft picks and rookie Walker Kessler. Forward Anthony Edwards took a big step forward for the Timberwolves but the big story was Karl-Anthony Towns missing most of the season with a calf injury. He returned for the playoffs but it was too late for the team to find any chemistry. The Timberwolves also dealt D’Angelo Russell, a free agent to be, at the deadline for Mike Conley. That provides them with some roster continuity for the 2023-24 season but hurt them on the court this year. Injuries to Naz Reid and Jaden McDaniels ultimately proved to be too much to overcome in the postseason as the Timberwolves didn’t have the necessary depth to compete with Denver.
2023 offseason priorities
The Timberwolves are largely capped out, and don’t really have draft assets to move around to land players who can make an immediate impact. Edwards is slowly becoming a franchise player, and the Timberwolves must start retooling the roster around him quickly. Gobert and Towns don’t necessarily fit that future lineup, at least not together. The Timberwolves should explore the trade market for both of them.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker is the only free agent the Timberwolves will have to worry about. The rest of the roster will be back if nothing materializes on the trade front. This team has talent but consistency and effort are the big issues. Maybe a coaching change is what is needed. Chris Finch has done a decent job but two successive playoff failures are unlikely to be viewed as progress by the front office.
There will be some type of shakeup with Minnesota in the offseason. One of the big men will get moved, or Finch will be replaced. The Timberwolves have too much at stake with Edwards to just stay pat.