Key Additions: Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer, Ronny Turiaf, Shabazz Muhammad, and Grogui Dieng
Key Departures: Andrei Kirilenko
This last season for the Timberwolves was one which was basically wasted and destroyed by injuries. Ricky Rubio suffered a seaons ending ACL injury, Kevin Love was limited to just 18 games, Brandon Roy's attempt to come back from retirement fell through, and Chase Budinger also had to have season ending knee surgery. With this plethora of injury issues it's easy to see how this team was out of the playoff conversation by mid season. However, before the injury contastrophe started this looked to be a team with tons of potential. Ricky Rubio, though he has his weaknesses is an exciting young player to watch and should be able to, assuming he is completely recovered from his own knee surgery, direct this team to a pretty decent record this year. Add to Rubio an entire year of Kevin Love a truly premium player and you have a recipe for, if not a playoff run, certainly a run to the playoffs.
This year the Timberwolves will look to use their excellent depth as well as floor spacing and what should be excellent marksmanship from the perimeter to make them a team to be respected if not feared. Much will depend on Chase Buginger being able to come back and contribute but with him back Minnesota is a team that can go 11 players deep. This kind of depth will enable them to play at fast pace and wear other teams down as well as allowing Ricky Rubio to use his ability to handle the ball and operate in transition to their best. On the defensive end of the court the Timberwolves should be in the top half of the league although that is where the loss of Andrei Kirilenko will really hurt them as he is an excellent wing defender with length that goes on for days.
Minnesota is a team what needs to find some success and find it soon. Having A premier player like Kevin Love in a market and location like Minnesota is not an easy thing to come by. He will have to believe that this is a location where he can find success if the Timberwolves want to keep him there after this season. With the additions they have made and with all of their players being due a healthy year this could be a team to watch this season as a dark horse in the west.