The Minnesota Timberwolves have a lot to be excited about. They have the 2015 NBA Rookie of the Year, Andrew Wiggins, they have the 2016 NBA Rookie of the Year, Karl-Anthony Towns, and they have Tom Thibodeau, a former NBA Coach of the Year.
Towns, the fifth unanimous Rookie of the Year in NBA history, has already gotten to know his new coach quite well.
“I think the biggest thing me and Tom Thibodeau have been talking about is just the vision that we have, what we need to do to be a playoff team and be playing deep into the playoffs,” Towns said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Not just making it, but playing into it and making a great run. We’ve been having great talks abut vision and what we need to do defensively and offensively and what we need to do (from a mental standpoint). We’re in full-throttle mode. We’re looking ahead and we’re getting ready for the season.”
Towns, 20, averaged 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game this season. He was one of six Timberwolves – along with Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Shabazz Muhammad, Gorgui Dieng and Ricky Rubio – to average double figures.
Average age of those six players: 22.7 years.
Throw in Thiboedeau and the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft, and the Wolves have every reason to be excited about their future.
“Of course, we’re very excited,” Towns said. “We’re very excited to have the opportunity to have a great chance of making the playoffs next year. We have a great coaching staff, we have a great organization behind us, but the fact of the matter that we continue to get better is extremely exciting. Not many teams get to say that, that they continue to get better instead of deteriorating. Everything is looking very much up. We’re proud to be part of it.”
Minnesota could select any number of prospects with the fifth pick, including Buddy Hield, Jamal Murray and Kris Dunn.
“For me, it’s never been a question of the talent that’s in this year’s draft,” Towns said. “All I want is a player who comes in with a great work ethic and he’s looking to win and be part of something great. So whatever player is ready to do that in the draft, ready to come in and win, come in and have a work ethic, come in and listen to everything that we have to say just to help his development and the process that he has to go through – that’s the player I want. This is a chance for us to do something very special in Minnesota to end the playoff drought. Not only end it, but make a deep run in the playoffs. Picking the right player is going to be a big step for us.”
Minnesota has not made the playoffs since 2004 and has not finished with a winning record since 2005.