The Timberwolves have had a busy offseason after adding Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, and Taj Gibson to start the summer. With the Wolves on their way towards contention, what are the 5 biggest questions we should be asking in regards to Minnesota?
Tom Thibodeau is not messing around, that much is obvious. Thibodeau, the President of Basketball operations in Minnesota, missed the playoffs during the first year of his tenure with the team. Thibs isn’t a man who is going to be patient with his young core of Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns wanting to bring in a winning environment immediately. Signing Taj Gibson only epitomizes the team’s efforts to win now.
Minnesota compiled a record of 31-51 during the 2016-2017 season. Thibs obviously doesn’t like losing and went out to aggressively add Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, and Taj Gibson in recent days. For the first time since the Kevin Garnett era, Timberwolves fans should be more excited than ever about the future. What are five burning questions that remain for the T-Wolves this offseason?
5. Monitor Shabazz Muhammad restricted free agent market
The T-Wolves would love to have Muhammad back but at what price? Muhammad, 24, clearly hasn’t reached his ceiling yet. Muhammad would be a nice piece off the bench to give Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins a breather. Keeping Muhammad together with this young core together has to be high on the list of priorities.
Muhammad, the 14 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, played around 20 minutes per game for the past three years. The former UCLA product has shown flashes to become a premier player after averaging 9.9 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. He also posted a pretty nice PER as Minnesota was 15 points better per 100 possessions. Giving up on a 24-year-old too soon could backfire on what Minnesota is trying to build.
Minnesota has to hope he doesn’t land a mega offer sheet, that’s first and foremost. With teams like Sacramento, Brooklyn, and Phoenix littered with cap space, it’s hard to predict what the market might be. ESPN’s site Five Thirty Eight only listed Muhammed as a projected 11.7 million player over a five-year deal. However, with improved shooting from the outside, Muhammed can develop into a really good player. Keeping the high-flying wing on a reasonable deal would only continue towards the riches Minnesota possess.