1 Area the Timberwolves must improve to become serious title contenders

There is one specific thing Minnesota should look to improve on to continue elevating to the level of a championship favorite.
Jaden McDaniels, Minnesota Timberwolves
Jaden McDaniels, Minnesota Timberwolves / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

It is no secret that high-level roster construction and commitment to consistency are two of the biggest factors that led the Minnesota Timberwolves to becoming a top-level Western Conference playoff contender. Trading for Rudy Gobert was admittedly a risky move, but Tim Connelly and the rest of management did not let the noise get to them.

Giving up on Gobert after his lackluster first season in the Twin Cities would have been easy, but the front office trusted their decision-making and it has already paid off for them. On top of that, Connelly has been intentional about adding pieces that bring specific and needed skill sets to the table while complimenting their established players. So far, this process has obviously led to tremendous success for the Wolves.

We have already discussed how going forward, it will be of the utmost importance for Minnesota to add more ancillary scorers around Anthony Edwards. We saw in the Western Conference Finals how the Mavericks' defensive versatility limited the Timberwolves' other offensive players and left them with essentially just one reliable off-the-dribble scorer.

But a caveat to that discussion is the importance of simply getting more shooters on the roster. Being a capable three-point shooting team is obviously as important as ever, no matter how many two-big lineups you want to roll out. As you look around the other teams at the top of the West, most of them have more shooting power than Minnesota.

The Timberwolves need more shooters playing off the bench

Looking at the Wolves' starting lineup, there are two obvious outliers when it comes to three-point scoring power: Gobert and Jaden McDaniels. Rudy is of course not a threat from the perimeter at all, while McDaniels shot just 33% from three this past season. Having two non-threats from the perimeter is obviously not always a death sentence, as we saw this team win multiple playoff series this past season. But in this case it points to a problem in need of solving.

Subtracting either of these guys from the starting lineup and moving them to the bench is not a realistic option, so Minnesota will need to look to get more shooting prowess on their bench instead. The five-man lineup of Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns and Gobert is clearly one of the best in basketball, so it becomes about filling in small gaps elsewhere in the rotation.

For the 2023-24 season, the Timberwolves actually ranked third in the association in terms of three-point percentage. But the problem is, they ranked 23rd in the NBA for three-pointers attempted per game. For them to rise to the level of a true championship favorite, that is a number that must be improved on.

It is small adjustments like this that will be the next step on the ladder toward the NBA mountaintop for Minnesota. Coming into next season with a bench stacked with volume three-point shooters will indicate a major upgrade over this past year's squad.