Historically, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been far from a contending team. That's exactly the narrative they want to change in the next couple of years, as they've now become an up-and-coming franchise with a lot of promising talent.
The Timberwolves have made plenty of moves dating back to last year's trade deadline and, even though it seems like they're still years away from being a legit threat in the Western Conference, they've certainly gotten a lot better in the past couple of months.
Moreover, it's always nice to watch the team with the first-overall pick of the Draft and how they plan to use it, and they're not the exception to that rule. For now, let's take a look at the projected starting lineup for the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 2020-21 season.
Bench: Malik Beasley, Jordan McLaughlin, Ashton Hagans, Anthony Edwards, Jarrett Culver, Jaylen Nowell, Jake Layman, Ade Murkey, Jaden McDaniels, Jarred Vanderbilt, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Naz Reid, Ed Davis
Point Guard: Ricky Rubio
This is a nice story for sure. Ricky Rubio has finally come full circle and went back to the team that drafted him and that treated him better throughout his career. He's a fan favorite in Minneapolis and his expertise as a defender and playmaker will come pretty handily.
As for the playing time, we can't be sure exactly how the Timberwolves plan to use Rubio. He'll have to split minutes with D'Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards, and you know they'll favor the development of their prized rookie over anything else.
Shooting Guard: D'Angelo Russell
The Minnesota Timberwolves shut down the rumors of Karl-Anthony Towns' alleged desire to leave the franchise by pairing him with one of his best friends in D'Angelo Russell. More impressively, they got significantly better when they did it.
People continue to sleep on D'Angelo Russell even though he led the Brooklyn Nets to the playoffs and had an All-Star season just a couple of years ago. He's still young and continues to get better as the years go by. The hype is real in Minny!
Small Forward: Josh Okogie
Once again, playing time and development could be an issue at the small forward position. With Anthony Edwards, D'Angelo Russell, and Ricky Rubio sharing time in the backcourt, Jarrett Culver may have to shift to the three and fight for his minutes with Josh Okogie.
Okogie is obviously ahead of Culver in his development and is one of the best defenders on the team, so they must have him on the court for most of the time. Then again, we're talking about a young man they took with the 6th overall pick last year.
Power Forward: Juancho Hernangomez
The Minnesota Timberwolves acquired bruising forward Juancho Hernangomez from the Denver Nuggets midseason last year and they must've liked what they saw, as they decided to resign him and make him their starting power forward for next season.
Juancho Hernangomez has shown the ability to stretch the floor and knock down shots from all three levels. He's also a physical player that can get some second-chance opportunities and even create for others, although his upside is limited.
Center: Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns is clearly the cornerstone of this franchise and their ultimate building block, even ahead of Anthony Edwards. The team has gone to great lengths to constantly please him and appease his character, so it's time for him to deliver and lead them to the playoffs.
There's no doubt that Karl-Anthony Towns has the skills and tools to be one of the best big men in the world. He can shoot from all over the court, dominate both ends of the glass, and swat some shots. The knock on him will always be his lack of drive when it matters the most and his subpar defense from time to time.