NBA overlooks Timberwolves with In-Season Tournament games

Kyle Anderson, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Kyle Anderson, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /

Most Minnesota Timberwolves fans are aware of the new caveat the NBA has introduced for the upcoming year. In the 2023-24 season, the league will conduct an In-Season Tournament that will involve every team in the NBA.

All 30 teams in the league will compete for the inaugural NBA cup this fall. Starting in November, each team will be placed into groups of six that will play against each other in four “group play” style games that will all count as regular season contests.

After that, the knockout round will commence and will lead up to the championship game in December. The players from the winning team will each receive an additional $500,000 in prize money.

The Timberwolves have been placed into a group with the Kings, Warriors, Thunder and Spurs. But when the schedule for the In-Season Tournament group play was announced on Tuesday, Minnesota was once again overlooked by the league by being left off the national TV schedule.

The In-Season Tournament will not feature any Minnesota Timberwolves games on national television.

Minnesota is set to commence group play on November 10 at San Antonio. After that, they will travel to San Francisco for a date with the Warriors on the 14th, before returning home to face the Kings and Thunder at Target Center.

However, none of these games will be played in front of a national TV audience. Teams like the Spurs and Jazz that missed the playoffs last season have multiple group play games set to be broadcast on either TNT, ESPN, or NBATV.

But the team that achieved the eighth seed in the Western Conference in 2023 and gave the defending champions their toughest test were left off the national TV schedule altogether. It is becoming increasingly clear that the NBA does not think highly of the Timberwolves.

The solution to this is fairly obvious. With a marketable star like Anthony Edwards on their hands, Minnesota should be getting plenty of exposure. If the Wolves can capitalize on their abundance of talent and make a deep run in the playoffs in 2024, the NBA will have no choice but to showcase them more often.