What Does the Minnesota Timberwolves Starting Lineup Look Like for the 2021–22 Season?

Published 09/10/2021, 1:14 PM EDT
Mar 16, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Anthony Edwards (1) is defended by Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder (17) in the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


The Minnesota Timberwolves look set to be the dark horses of this season. Sadly, they are not in the discussion of being favorites to win it all. Yet their starting lineup is one to watch out for. Minnesota Timberwolves did not have a draft pick this year, since they owed it to the Golden State Warriors from the D’Angelo Russell trade. Therefore, despite not doing so well last season, they did not get to make a fresh addition to their roster on draft night.

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However, at the end of last season, when D’Angelo Russell finally returned from injury, they showed sparks of not being a bottom-tier team in the league. They had 10 wins and 11 losses in the last 21 games of the season within two months. The previous 10 wins came over a stretch of 4 months, showing considerable improvement in their performance when Russell is on the court. Here’s what their potential starting line-up might look like at the beginning of next season.

Dec 23, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) hugs guard D’Angelo Russell (0) following the game against the Detroit Pistons at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Potential Starting Line-up of the Minnesota Timberwolves

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Guards

Point Guard: D’Angelo Russell

The former All-Star has landed in Minnesota after an injury ridden start to his career. Which is why the extremely talented point guard eventually fell out of the favourites at the Lakers and Golden State. However, if he is healthy throughout the season, he can average 20+ points easily. He is a dagger in the offensive arsenal of the Timberwolves.

Shooting Guard: Malik Beasley

Having returned to the roster now, Beasley will look to start at the beginning of next season. He can average a steady offensive contribution on a starting line up already stacked with offense. Anthony Edwards, who played in this position most of last season, will most likely shift to the Small Forward role as he can also play in that position.

Feb 1, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Isaac Okoro (35) defends Minnesota Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley (5) in the second quarter at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Forwards

Small Forward: Anthony Edwards

The versatile Rookie of the Year Runner Up from last season will look to cement his place in the starting line-up. And deservingly so as his dynamic scoring also got him the dunk of the year last season. Moreover, with a healthy Russell back in the squad, Edwards can shift his focus completely to scoring instead of just improving his playmaking to replace an injured Russell in the starting line-up.

Power Forward: Jaden McDaniels

Jaden McDaniels has the least offensive impact in terms of volume among the predicted starters for next season. However, he is effective as a role-playing surprise scorer who is also efficient from beyond the arc. He has the second highest field goal percentage among the most usual starters from last season. And he shoots at a steady 36.4% from beyond the arc.

Centre: Karl-Anthony Towns

Arguably the most important asset on this starting line-up is the former number 1 pick of the 2015 draft, Karl-Anthony Towns. He and Russell are the top two picks of the same draft class. Towns has the highest offensive contribution in the team, averaging 24.8 points per game and 10.6 rebounds last season. He needs to remain healthy for this team to have any chance at contending for the playoffs next season.

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Dec 23, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) passes around Detroit Pistons forward Mason Plumlee (24) during the second quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

What does this mean for the Minnesota Timberwolves?

The big three for this roster include two former number 1 picks and a number 2 pick. Yet, one of the most important roles for the success of this franchise will come from the role players and the bench players.

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Ricky Rubio and Patrick Beverley need to contribute by using their experience primarily. Role players like Jarred Vanderbilt and Josh Okogie need to step up their game to avoid letting their big three take a lot of pressure. Especially in the regular season, as they need to remain healthy for the playoffs.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

129 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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