Towns projects playoff appearance for Timberwolves: 'See you in May'
The last time the Minnesota Timberwolves qualified for the NBA playoffs was in 2003-04, with Kevin Garnett in peak form as the league's Most Valuable Player, Sam Cassell running the point, and Oliver Miller still owning a roster spot.
Karl-Anthony Towns, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft and the reigning Rookie of the Year, is confident the franchise's cold streak will come to an end this upcoming season.
"See you in May," the 20-year-old big man tweeted out when asked how far he thinks his team will go during an impromptu Q-and-A session on his social media account Thursday.
While the Timberwolves improved by 13 wins from the season prior in 2015-16, their final record of 29-53 was still only good enough for 13th in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. A 41-41 mark by the Houston Rockets landed the eighth seed, so if Minnesota has legitimate aspirations of playing postseason basketball, finishing at least .500 for the first time since 2005 is what it will probably take to make it happen.
Towns was the only rookie to start all 82 games for his squad, averaging a double-double of 18.3 points and 10.5 rebounds on 54.3 percent shooting. He joined Damian Lillard (2013), Blake Griffin (2011), David Robinson (1990), and Ralph Sampson (1984) as the only players to become Rookie of the Year on a unanimous vote.
New head coach Tom Thibodeau has a treasure chest of young, promising talent at his disposal to hopefully turn the ship around. Along with Towns, the Timberwolves also possess 2014 Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, a one-two punch at point guard with Ricky Rubio and Kris Dunn, Slam Dunk champion Zach Lavine, and Gorgui Dieng.
It may take another year or two before Minnesota is back in the thick of things out West, but the future does look bright regardless, which is more than a number of other teams can say about their respective outlooks.