18. Minnesota Timberwolves | Future Power Rating: 565
PLAYERS MANAGEMENT MONEY MARKET DRAFT
360 (10th) 47 (25th) 93 (17th) 16 (30th) 49 (14th)
While the Wolves are putting some nice pieces around Kevin Love, the key factor in Minnesota's future remains what happens when he can opt out in three years. And remember, that means the clock starts at least a year earlier -- that's when Chris Paul and Deron Williams were dealt when their respective teams realized they were leaving anyway.
Minnesota made a mistake not signing Love for the full five-year extension, needlessly exposing itself to flight risk. Exacerbating this problem is that we rated the Twin Cities dead last among the league's 30 markets; while locals love it, NBA players aren't as fond of the frigid winters.
The Love decision, and a series of draft foul-ups (most notably Jonny Flynn and Wes Johnson) are the reason we still have Minnesota's management -- led by GM David Kahn and owner Glen Taylor -- ranked only 25th, even though the rest of the program seems to be in fairly good shape. Supplemented by pre-Kahn draftees Love and Nikola Pekovic, and with additions such as Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams, the T-Wolves have a strong foundation of young talent around Love.
Minnesota's cap situation is pretty solid too, even with a few questionable contracts mixed in: The Wolves will have enough room under the tax to pay Pekovic next summer, and then can get well under the cap and perhaps pursue another running mate for Love in the summer of 2014. All of that is encouraging, but we'd be a lot more encouraged if we knew Love couldn't fly the coup.
(Previous rank: 20)