The start of training camp is one of the most exciting moments in a sport’s calendar year. Your team hasn’t lost a game yet, you can feel unbridled optimism about the upcoming year, and the quirks and flaws of the team’s previous incarnation are but a distant memory in the back of your mind.
Even the most pessimistic fans are hard-pressed not to find a little light of hope in the dark corners of their hearts.
As of now, the story of the year is an empty canvas, the first brush strokes are about to take place. Longtime Minnesota Timberwolves fans are well aware that when the dreams of a season hit reality, it may end up like this. But that will never stop us from dreaming!
With that new-season-optimism fresh in our minds and hearts, the Dunks After Dusk crew have five pressing questions for the Timberwolves that can be answered in the preseason.
1. Who will be the last player introduced at home games?
If you would humor me for a moment, this is a question that I’ve been curious about since the end of last season.
There’s been a lot of talk from coaches and ownership about what it means for Anthony Edwards to become the face of the franchise, but Edward’s ascension could have ramifications. Somehow in the discussion, we ended up talking about this scene from FX’s The Bear and the challenge/opportunity that comes with playing next to someone who raises the level of everyone around them.
2. What is the role of the newly-paid Naz Reid?
Sixth man microwave scorer? Long term piece of the future? Valuable trade piece?
The sample size of all three of the Timberwolves bigs playing together is so small, this will be one of the most fascinating questions to answer as the season rolls on. Shockingly, we don’t quite see eye-to-eye on what may be in store for Big Jelly.
3. Who will be the team’s primary backup ball handler?
Is Jordan McLaughlin primed for a bounce-back year? Are the Timberwolves going to go for more of a committee look with multiple capable ball handlers? Considering their starting point guard will be thirty-six years old when the season rolls around, this question may be one of the most pressing for the team this season.
4. Who will fill out the back end of the rotation?
If you were to pencil in nine guys (the starters plus Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Kyle Anderson, Naz Reid and Shake Milton), who else will get regular season minutes? Leonard Miller? Troy Brown Jr.? The aforementioned J-Mac? Seems like there is at least one genuine rotation spot up for grabs.
5. Can the Abu Dhabi Wolves fulfill the dream of the Bahama Wolves?
In 2019, following the Thibs regime and the Jimmy Butler debacle, the team needed to reset the vibes and went on a team trip to the Bahamas—much publicized on their social media.
I was one of those fans who bought into it, and alas, it came to nothing. But just maybe, the Bahama Wolves walked so that the Abu Dhabi Wolves could run.
The answers (or at least speculation) to these questions and more are found on the most recent episode of Dunks After Dusk on both Apple and Spotify. If you haven’t already, check it out as we’ll be bringing Timberwolves fan content throughout the season, including the occasional post game reaction episodes.