The Minnesota Timberwolves are a franchise on the rise. After years of struggle and nothing to shout about since Kevin Garnett's first stint with the organisation, things are finally looking up. Despite finishing 13th in the Western Conference with a 29-53 record, they are being tipped for a run at the playoffs next season before potentially challenging for a title in years to come.
Spearheaded by a young trio of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine while adding rookie Kris Dunn to the mix this summer, the future sure is exciting for the T-Wolves, however, potential only counts for so much and the players need to make good on the evident excitement in Minneapolis.
It's tough to gauge their current level after last season due to the passing of then-head coach Flip Saunders, but Tom Thibodeau brings the X-factor and experience the team was crying out for following the departure of interim boss Sam Mitchell.
With Kevin Garnett continuing to mentor Towns and the addition of experienced big man Jordan Hill, the Timberwolves are much better than a 29-win team and should be shooting for a .500 record as the bear minimum.
After scooping the Rookie of the Year award in unanimous fashion - fighting off competition from Kristaps Porzingis - the only way is up for the center. When you compare his stats across 36 minutes to that of Anthony Davis, Tim Duncan and Blake Griffin, it makes for seriously impressive reading.
His 20.6 points per game were only behind Blake Griffin, he out-rebounded them all with 11.7 and was third in blocks, producing 1.9 across 36 minutes. However, his shooting percentages were truly incredible for a player of his stature; he shot 54.3 from the field, 34.1 from three and 81.1 from the charity stripe.
A big man with the touch and skill to win the Skills Challenge, he is a transcended talent that the NBA only sees once in a generation and he will lead the Timberwolves to incredible success.
The Timberwolves have more than one superstar. Trading Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins could be a masterstroke as they now possess the next big thing at the five spot and on the wing. Wiggins was 30th in the league in points per game in his rookie year before jumping to 13th with 20.7 last season.
Shooting 45.9 percent from the field, he has already developed a deadly stroke and will only improve his consistency with more time on the court. Zach LaVine is also more than just flashy dunks and showreels, he is a player with serious talent. Moving across to shooting guard last season, he developed a new edge to his game and showcased his ability to occupy both spots in the backcourt.
Dunn's form in the Summer League will excite fans and the addition of coach Thibs really gives them a clear direction to head in. After a year of limbo that would have been disappointing in the grand scheme of things, it's time for the T-Wolves to produce. A top eight finish is well within their remit this year.