Now that it has built a very high quality hard core, the Minnesota franchise will have to manage expectations and above all, justify Rudy Gobert’s trade. That’s good, she will have the right to a reprieve in the event of failure from the fall. The summer of 2023 could thus be even more decisive than that of this year.
It’s official, the Timberwolves will be one of the teams to watch in the 2022-23 season. It had been a long time since that had been said of them with such conviction, perhaps not since the days when Kevin Garnett played for them. That is to say… But between the surprise qualification in the playoffs last year as well as the arrival of Rudy Gobert as soon as the free agency opened, the fans have reason to be extremely confident about the months to come.
Indeed, the French elected triple DPOY will now form an overpowered racket alongside Karl-Anthony Towns. Add Anthony Edwards who showed great progress during his sophomore campaign, and we get a shock trio to lead Chris Finch’s men on the court. Sportingly speaking, it could hardly be better for the franchise… However, it also involves certain financial risks.
After all, acquiring Gobert also meant accepting his massive five-year, $200 million contract. Now, given that KAT just signed a pretty monumental four-year, $224 million extension from 2024-25 (its current lease runs through the summer of 2024), that’s pretty staggering emoluments for just two players. The finances of the franchise could therefore quickly be blocked, especially if it is necessary to extend Edwards… and that will not be done for a small price.
Clearly, there is cause for concern for Minnesota, which seems to have gone on a “make or break” style project over the next two years. Nevertheless, information signed Bobby Marks could reassure them at least a little. The NBA finance expert fromESPN thus conducted its little investigation, revealing that their newly formed Big Three should not prevent them from trying a few shots in the 2023 offseason, largely thanks to their nugget at the rear position:
The 2023 offseason beneficial for the T-Wolves?
The Minnesota Timberwolves currently have $90 million committed to Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards but could still have $37 million in available margin. As the first year of an Edwards expansion wouldn’t begin until 2024, the upcoming offseason represents the last opportunity for the Timberwolves to have cap flexibility with that core.
In other words, next season will at least serve as a trial run, to see how the squad works in its current state. If improvements need to be made, then the coming summer can be used to remedy this problem, since they will still have a substantial envelope to recruit. Not bad news at all for the leaders, who therefore offer themselves a breath of fresh air before things start to potentially get complicated.
Two years is a priori the window that the Timberwolves have with their trio Towns-Gobert-Edwards. Fortunately for them, 2023 will allow them to bounce back when needed. We hope, however, that the coming season will be of good quality, in order to justify all these efforts.