The Timberwolves are planning to be versatile with their play styles this season, Chris Hine of the Star Tribune writes. To start, head coach Chris Finch mentioned it would be ideal to have at least one of Karl-Anthony Towns or Rudy Gobert on the floor at all times, but that’s not a guarantee.
Minnesota will likely sport a starting lineup of D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Towns, and Gobert this season. Off the bench, the team would have Jordan McLaughlin, Bryn Forbes, Jaylen Nowell, Taurean Prince, Kyle Anderson, and Naz Reid, among others. The team’s style of play will largely depend on who’s in the game.
By acquiring Gobert, Minnesota also created additional lineup flexibility. The team can play Towns and Gobert together and go bigger, or it could replace one player with a wing depending on the in-game circumstances. Towns and Gobert figure to be the most formidable 4-5 combo in the league this season, having averaged a combined 40.0 points, 24.5 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game last year.
Here are some other notes from the Western Conference:
- New Jazz center Kelly Olynyk is no stranger to rebuilds, Sarah Todd of the Deseret News writes. Olynyk was acquired by Utah in a deal with Detroit last month. He was part of a rebuild with the Celtics earlier in his career. The 31-year-old started in Utah’s preseason game against Toronto on Sunday.
- Nuggets veteran Aaron Gordon discussed how he and the team have plenty of strides to take, as relayed by Mike Singer of the Denver Post. The Nuggets have a title contender on paper, but the club’s chemistry will naturally need some time to improve. The projected five-man group of Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter Jr., Gordon and Nikola Jokic have never played together, while Murray hasn’t played at all in over a year due to a torn ACL.
- The Rockets‘ rookie class is ready for its NBA debut, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. Headlined by No. 3 pick Jabari Smith, Houston has a strong group of young players. The team also has Jalen Green (20 years old) and Kevin Porter Jr. (22 years old) to lean on as it continues its rebuild.