After breaking a 14-year playoff drought only to get dusted by the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs, the Minnesota Timberwolves might be thirsty to make a big jump in 2018-19.
Two highly respected NBA reporters, Jon Kraczynski of the The Athletic and ESPN's Zach Lowe believe something big is going to happen this summer with the Wolves.
Krawczynski writes (pay site):
"They are going to be aggressive and know they have a lot of ground to make up without a lot of cap space to do it. That points to a big move, either with Wiggins or [Gorgui] Dieng or some combination. It's not going to be an easy decision or an easy process to navigate. But I think they're going to consider all options in an effort to get closer to the top of the conference. You can feel the urgency hanging in the air."
Lowe, on his podcast, said: "Something is going to happen in Minnesota this summer. I can feel it."
Lowe's comment came during a discussion about the Toronto Raptors possibly trading All-Star swingman DeMar DeRozan, to which Lowe said "DeRozan and Jimmy Butler is a disaster."
Both need the ball a lot and neither is a great 3-point shooter, so if the Wolves think similarly to the way Lowe does, that'd be unlikely to happen.
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The question is whether team president and head coachTom Thibodeau and general manager Scott Layden think the current core starting lineup of Jeff Teague, Butler, Andrew Wiggins, Taj Gibson and Karl-Anthony Towns, all of whom are signed through 2019 or beyond, is good enough to make a big jump next season.
There's an argument to be made that last season was a success because they made the playoffs in their first year playing together, and that another year together would be more fruitful.
Then again, the Wolves didn't look great in the playoffs and they were basically a .500 team from mid-February to the end of the season, which likely had a lot to do with Butler missing 17 games with a torn meniscus.