The Minnesota Timberwolves roster was a mixture of veterans and youth last season, and at times it was a successful strategy. But more often than expected, the TImberwolves simply seemed to show up to games from an afternoon nap. It appeared as though the team was trying to shake off the cobwebs.
On many nights, Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch said as much.
For a team that willingly spent four of their next seven first-round picks, and was so eager to sign up veterans who had played for Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly in the past (i.e. his time with the Denver Nuggets), concerns began to grow over the fact that the Timberwolves roster would grow older artificially quickly.
And the comparisons to the Utah Jazz continued throughout the 2022-23 NBA season relentlessly. The Timberwolves were still trying to get a beachhead of familiarity with all their new players, while the Jazz were almost instantly comfortable with a rotation of new faces. Still, which team is getting younger AND better?
Wolves felt ‘old’ in the 2022-23 NBA season
The Timberwolves certainly felt ‘old’ throughout the 2022-23 NBA season. PF Karl-Anthony Towns suffered a lower leg injury that sidelined him for 59 games. Center Rudy Gobert fought off an ankle injury and back spasms all season. PF Taurean Prince suffered a shoulder injury that cut deeply into his playing time.
While it was all normal NBA injury stuff, it felt at times like the Minnesota Timberwolves should order in a bulk shipment of Icy Hot or Ben Gay just to apply a preemptive strike on all of the sore muscles and aching joints that seemed to spring out of nowhere among Timberwolves players.
But perhaps my concerns were a tad too soon? Perhaps my protesting was a bit premature? After all, here we are in the 2023 NBA off-season, and the Timberwolves roster is suddenly one of the younger and certainly more impressive NBA rosters with players at or younger than 25 years of age. Need proof?