With the addition of Rudy Gobert, the Minnesota Timberwolves are poised to join the ranks of the Western Conference elite.
Of course, the ultimate key to success for Minnesota rests in the hands of their two best players, Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, who are expected to take a major leap next season.
According to Towns, the level of dominance we should expect to see from them is akin to the heights of a certain Lakers duo of the early 2000s.
"Go out there and play at a level that hasn't been seen since Shaq and Kobe and do what we do best. I think that we just need to continue being ourselves and raise our games all around. For me, it's to continue to develop my game offensively and defensively all around, get even sharper, get even better. I have a lot of work to do, he has a lot of work to do. We have to come together and continuously grow and commit to each other and commit to this organization. We could be right there with the best duos. We're talking about our team being one of the best teams in the NBA and that's even more important."
Any time you invoke the names of Kobe Bryant or Shaquille O'Neal, you're putting a ton of pressure on yourself. For two unproven youngsters like Towns and Edwards, it's nothing less than a risky move.
This upcoming season, they will be under a major spotlight, and not just because of Towns' self-proclaimed expectations but also because of the additions they made this summer.
"It's go time," Towns said about the upcoming season. "The (Rudy Gobert) trade happens. There's no more time. There are no more excuses. We've got to get it done now. It's championship now or bust. Got to go out there and get the job done."
It remains to be seen how the Ant/KAT duo shapes up. On paper, they certainly have what it takes to lead the Wolves to the promised land.
Unfortunately, the West will be a dog fight (as usual), and there is little room for error. If the Wolves want to prove themselves as legitimate, they have to come out with urgency from day one.