I didn’t want to click, but then I did anyway on an ESPN.com item detailing what writer Tom Haberstroh considers nine potential NBA ‘superteams’ of the future.
The only reason I did was because I wanted to see where the Timberwolves ranked on the list of nine.
That would be easy enough, right? Ctrl+F search Timberwolves.
Ah, they must have just called them the Wolves. Ctrl+F search Wolves.
Instead, these nine teams are listed: the Lakers, Spurs, Bulls, Celtics, Suns, 76ers, Nuggets, Bucks and Kings.
Sure, you can make an argument for all nine teams, as the author does. But no Timberwolves? That was truly surprising given they already have three players — Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins — who could blossom quickly into one of the best Big Threes around. They also could explore a major deal for Kyrie Irving (losing Wiggins in the process, presumably), which would give them three of the 25 best players in the NBA at this moment.
The only things I can think of are 1) I’m overrating the Wolves. (Impossible! OK, entirely possible but I don’t think that’s it in this case). 2) None of the three categories described by the author for building a “superteam” quite apply to the Wolves.
Three teams fell into each of three categories: build through free agency like the 2011 Heat (which the Wolves will never do); build a team through trade assets like the 2008 Celtics (which the Wolves have kind of already done if you consider Wiggins and Butler were acquired via trades, but they lack the kinds of future assets that the Celtics and 76ers have to entice teams to add more pieces without giving up current players); or building through the draft like the Warriors (which is unlikely given that’s not the point the Wolves are in their building process).
But those categories aside, the Wolves are arguably closer right now to being a ‘superteam’ than everyone on that list aside from the Celtics and Spurs.