Happy weekend, everyone. I hope you all had a great week and are finding a way to enjoy to nicer weather if you’re in the Minneapolis area.
March is generally a time of year where the weather starts to turn a bit in Minnesota, so that’s a nice feeling of normalcy starting to kick in.
On the contrary, a not-so-nice feeling of normalcy is spending March as a Timberwolves fan already thinking about ping-pong balls and how the Wolves might best position themselves for a good draft pick.
Off the top of my head, I can only think of two March’s that weren’t spent that way: 2013-14 when Kevin Love led Minnesota to a 40-42 record, and of course 2017-18 when Jimmy Butler was in town. Since the 2003-04 season in which Minnesota went to the Conference Finals, they have finished better than 12th in the Western Conference just four times. I’m being generous here even, as this cut-off puts the 2018-19 season in the “good” category, even though Minnesota finished 11th.
Some may argue that March is the best time of the year for college basketball, and I’d say the Timberwolves numerous front offices over the years would agree with you. The franchise has done a marvelous job of making sure that year-in and year-out, watching top prospects in college was the only way for Timberwolves fans to truly enjoy basketball on their television.
To that end, this is a special March, where we get to sit and watch with the realization that this team could lose all of games left on the schedule and still go into lottery night with a 60% chance to lose their pick. Not great, Bob.
I’m of the belief that this thing will actually turn out ok if Minnesota ends up keeping the pick this year, but that is much more of a reflection on the belief in the level of player they should be able to select in the top-3 of this draft than of my confidence in this current roster, even when healthy. Any of Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jonathan Kuminga, or Jalen Suggs would be a much, much needed infusion of talent.
Anyways, we’ll keep it short and sweet so everyone can enjoy the weather outside, but don’t forget to watch the next wave of talent that we’ll be rooting to land in the draft. Cade Cunningham and Oklahoma State take on 6th-ranked West Virginia at 1pm Central, Evan Mobley and USC face UCLA at 3pm, Jonathan Kuminga and the G-League Ignite play at 7pm, while Gonzaga and Jalen Suggs are off until Monday.