Blame AAU basketball, blame the one-and-done generation, blame whatever you want, but what cannot be argued is that there is an international wave taking over the NBA. Increasingly it seems like the best and most influential players in the NBA are from countries and regions outside of the U.S.
Far-Fetched Friday: The Minnesota Timberwolves Sneak Into the 2021 NBA Playoffs
By: Ryan Stein
After winning the 2020 NBA Draft Lottery and securing the number one overall pick in this year's draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves are a team that's well-equipped to make a big splash in the offseason. This year's draft may not be quite as strong as past years, but there are still prospects with legit star potential at the top, such as LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, and James Wiseman. If the Timberwolves play this offseason right, they will be a dangerous team this upcoming season. With that, I see Minnesota as a team that will find a way to sneak into the 2021 NBA Playoffs.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday is a look into Minnesota and the very fortunate lottery results.
Despite having the third-worst record in the NBA, the Timberwolves have more talent than most of the other lottery teams. With Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell, and Malik Beasley, Minnesota will have enough offensive firepower to hang with just about any team in the league. Throw in someone like Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball, and the offense would be lethal.
There's also the possibility that the Wolves decide to trade away their pick to land a high-impact player that will be able to help them more immediately. Someone like John Collins would make sense in that scenario, as he would fit well alongside Towns. A major factor in the Timberwolves' ascension will depend on the on-court chemistry between Russell and Towns, as they have the offensive potential to be one of the best guard-big duos in recent memory.
For the Wolves to make the playoffs, it would likely mean two current Western Conference playoff teams would have to miss the playoffs, especially with the Golden State Warriors getting back their stars for next season. The Trail Blazers are a logical choice for a team to drop out, considering they were an under .500 team this year. Finding a second team to miss the playoffs is more difficult, but the Oklahoma City Thunder stand out as a team that could fall, especially if they decide to trade away Chris Paul and his giant contract. All in all, while the Timberwolves' defense will remain subpar, they will have the offensive ability to just barely make it into the playoffs.
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