Okay, so the Minnesota Timberwolves were, and maybe remain, a question mark to you and to many Timberwolves fans for the 2023-2024 NBA season. But after two preseason victories over the Dallas Mavericks to kick off the Timberwolves preseason, we have a better sense of what to expect, and what not to expect, from the Timberwolves this season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves roster is essentially intact from the team that faced the Denver Nuggets in Round 1 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Essentially, the Timberwolves returned all five starters from that series, two key contributors who were unable to play due to injuries, and a number of key contributors off the Timberwolves bench.
But this is a team with some deceptively effective changes to the roster as well. The Timberwolves managed to round out the roster this season with a pair of veteran additions as well as a pair of rookies. And then, to keep things interesting, the Timberwolves signed four players to Exhibit 10 contracts who will, at a minimum, swell the ranks of the Timberwolves G-League affiliate, the Iowa Wolves.
Wolves wounded early in 2023 NBA preseason games
If you wanted some form of reassurance that the Minnesota Timberwolves roster is impervious to pain or injury, you certainly found no evidence of that trend in the Timberwolves preseason so far. Not only is rookie shooting guard Jaylen Clark still very much rehabbing from a known Achilles Tendon injury that is expected to sideline him until February 2024, but the Timberwolves sat two key starters, one in each game, as preseason precautions.
In the first Timberwolves preseason game, the Timberwolves opted to bench their All-Star shooting guard Anthony Edwards after Edwards tweaked his ankle in practice the day before. The result of that first game was a Timberwolves team that utterly obliterated the Mavericks. Of course, that opened concerns that Edwards might not be needed for the second preseason game. Edwards did play, but the Timberwolves sat small forward Jaden McDaniels due to left calf soreness.
While unplanned, the unexpected absences of a key starter in each of the Timberwolves’ first two preseason games allowed this team to learn a lot about itself. So what shocking revelations did we learn about the Timberwolves in two preseason games? Well, here are some lessons that immediately come to mind: