Pretty much everybody in the basketball world was impressed by what the Cleveland Cavaliers did on Sunday night, closing out the franchise’s first-ever NBA championship on the road against the 73-win Golden State Warriors. For reigning Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns, the Cavs’ title was an inspiration and a reminder of what he wants to do before his career is over:
Towns’ Timberwolves teammate, Ricky Rubio, agreed:
The Timberwolves are a few years away from contending, but they’re as well-positioned as any team in the league. In Towns and Andrew Wiggins, they have two centerpieces who are talented enough to be the two best players on a title team.
Towns in particular is a once-in-a-generation talent, a big man with a killer post game who can also space the floor, pass and defend with remarkable polish for a 20-year-old. The Timberwolves also have a nice core of young talent around Towns and Wiggins, including Zach LaVine, Gorgui Dieng, Shabazz Muhammad and Nemanja Bjelica, and hold the fifth overall pick in Thursday’s draft. They just hired one of the most respected coaches in the game in Tom Thibodeau, who has proven in five injury-scarred seasons in Chicago that he can win a lot of games with just about any roster put in front of him.
Nothing is guaranteed, but there are a lot of parallels between this Timberwolves core and the Oklahoma City Thunder circa 2009. That group has never won a title, but they’ve contended every single year, and Minnesota’s roster has the talent to do the same.