A famous musician from the 6 once said “Time heals all, but heels hurt to walk in” in a song. This musician happens to be a Raptors fan, but this can relate to many of things.
Dissecting this ‘bar’ real quick, the Wolves have come a long way in a year. But it didn’t come without any bumps or bruises. While things typically get better with time, it doesn’t mean it never gets worse first. As we sit and are hopeful for the future for the franchise with the addition of Tom Thibodeau and the emergence of the Wolves young players, it wasn’t always clear we would end up here.
If you didn’t know, the Timber Rebuilder has been officially up and running for a year now. What started as an experiment a year ago, it has turned into a fun ride. I am surprised by the consistency I’ve been able to provide to the blog amongst all the life changing events that have occurred in my personal life in the last year. What I have realized though is that the Wolves community is great. And for a shameless plug, thanks to all that have provided support for the Timber Rebuilder and all of the fans that have consistently read and interacted with the blog.
Back to the purpose of the piece. Its quite intriguing to look back at what our sentiment was a year ago, here in the Timber Rebuilder’s first post. I accidentally tweeted and posted this on Facebook today in preparations for this post. But the Wolves had just experienced a 16 win season, the worst in the league. But there was hope for what Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins provided. A dynamic scorer and promising defender. Then there was Shabazz Muhammad who played great in a season that ended short due to injury. Zach LaVine won the dunk contest and showed flashes of being a consistent player late in the season, although he was one of the worst players getting consistent minutes in the NBA. There were still a lot of insecurities and the Wolves were a few pieces away.
The Wolves were just about to enter the Draft Lottery with the best odds. The Wolves had never won the lottery in its 26 year history. In the top 3 were three outstanding freshmen. Jahlil Okafor, Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. Flip Saunders was known to be in love with the offensively gifted Okafor who recently won a National Championship alongside future Timberwolf Tyus Jones. The Wolves would’ve been happy with any one of those three players, which was indicated by a video during the draft lottery when the team was excited to get pick two. Then Flip was saying ‘I’m greedy, give me one more” and then boom, the number one pick.
From that day forward, drastic change began to re-form the Wolves. Who would’ve imagined that Karl-Anthony Towns at that moment would have one of the best rookie seasons in recent history? Who would’ve imagined that the late Flip Saunders would never coach again? Who would’ve imagined that Tom Thibodeau would take over the reigns a year later? My guess is, very few.
The Wolves in the last year have discovered a lot. Anthony Bennett was officially a bust. Karl-Anthony Towns was not. Wiggins may not be as good of a defender as we expected. Thibs could change that. Gorgui Dieng is likely a part of the long term plan. We still don’t know about Shabazz. LaVine could be the best shooter on the team and the future shooting guard long-term.
The Wolves were then one of the most exciting teams in the league and now more so. So what is in store for the next year? Which player will benefit most from Thibodeau? Will the Wolves make the playoffs? Who will the Wolves draft, if any? Who will the Wolves sign? What is going to happen with KG? Will the Wolves extend Dieng and/ or Shabazz? Will they trade anyone? The biggest question is though: Will we be as excited this time, a year from now?
While this blog post just turned into sounding like the end of an episode of Dragon Ball Z, its a good time to reflect. Timber Rebuilder has been up and running for a year. Its the offseason. And we can’t stop thinking about what’s next. There will certainly be more to come with the draft combine and the NBA Lottery May 17th. Until then…
The Timber Rebuilder.