An underrated feature of the Timberwolves' success last season was their depth. With a few exceptions, they rarely were caught short-handed with starting lineups or bench lineups that couldn't compete, a function of relatively good health and an abundance of quality rotation players.

In the dramatic deal to acquire Rudy Gobert, who was introduced Wednesday to the local media and fans, we shouldn't overlook that the Wolves not only traded away a lot of draft capital but also three players who combined to start 149 games and each ranked in the top-7 on the team in minutes (Jarred Vanderbilt, Patrick Beverley and Malik Beasley).

How much the Wolves have sacrificed in depth likely will be determined by how free agent signees Kyle Anderson and Bryn Forbes fit in as well as how players like Jaylen Nowell respond to elevated roles.

What shouldn't be in dispute is that the Wolves have clearly elevated their starting lineup — so much so, in fact, that it could be a top-five group in the entire NBA.

Assuming no more major shakeups the rest of the offseason, the lineup presumably will be: D'Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns and Gobert.

Gobert and Towns should be a nightmare matchup for opposing teams. As local Wolves writer/podcaster Dane Moore noted, Gobert is devastating in pick-and-rolls while Towns is superb in pick-and-pop situations. They should both free up space for Russell, Edwards and McDaniels to get open looks or lanes to the basket.

Gobert is the oldest of the bunch, having just turned 30. Edwards (still just 20) and McDaniels (21) are ascending players entering their third seasons. For all of Russell's inconsistency, he's an intelligent and versatile player. Gobert and Towns are both multiple all-NBA selections, while Gobert is a three-time defensive player of the year.

Until we see how it all works on the court, it would be foolish to elevate the lineup to the level of Golden State's championship group or Milwaukee's five when healthy. Phoenix and Boston have accomplished more.

But I dare say this Wolves lineup has the potential to be one of the five best in the league. That was never something you could say last season even as the team improved so much.