After the new five-year $60MM contract Nikola Pekovic agreed to earlier this week, the Timberwolves have their three core players, Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio and Pek, healthy and ready to compete for a Western Conference playoff spot this season. Sam Tongue of Blazers Edge, compared the 'Wolves with another team in a similar spot out West, the Trail Blazers.
During their podcast on Friday, Matt Moore and Zach Harper of CBS Sports (by way of the Dallas Morning News) discussed two more teams that are on the Western Conference playoff periphery coming into the new season: the Pelicans and Mavericks.
With most NBA observers confidently predicting playoff spots (barring a significant injury) for the Rockets, Thunder, Spurs, Grizzlies, Clippers and Warriors out West, that leaves 2 slots open for the rest of the Western Conference's remaining 9 teams.
The Nuggets, Timberwolves, Mavericks, Trail Blazers, Lakers and Pelicans, all either made moves this offseason to improve, or in the case of the Nuggets and Lakers, lost enough personnel to be considered a fringe contender with the rest of these teams despite making the postseason last year.
So which of these teams on the cusp of the Western Conference playoffs, finishes higher during the 2013/14 season?