Who’s afraid of the Big Bad TWolves? 5 reasons why the NBA should be

Almost all NBA fans know the Minnesota Timberwolves. Or, at least, they thought that they did. Surprise goal! If you haven’t noticed, this is the new and improved Minnesota Timberwolves. No, it’s not just a new marketing gimmick to sell an old product to you in a new package. This is a brand new team, and I think it will stick.

Familiarity breeds contempt. For many years, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been that small market team in the NBA’s northern flank, a team that was good enough in some years to bubble up optimism and hope, and yet it proved to be nothing more than the high water mark for NBA talent willing to play away from the center stage of the bigger NBA markets and teams.

This has been less of the underlying skill of the team’s front office and drafting abilities, and more about the cyclical nature of the NBA. Bad teams get better draft picks and spends less free agency money. Eventually, draft picks synch up with NBA free agents and the team breaks through the .500 mark, and even competes in the NBA Playoffs.

But then, forces work against that team. Players want to be paid. Far less valuable draft picks occur in the next NBA Draft, and the front office must, once more, survive the descent into sub-.500 basketball, stockpile picks, dollars, and talent, and try to turn the corner once more. The NBA is a professional sports caste system, a league that invites all 30 teams to the table, but lines the pockets of the 10 or so teams to afford the items on the menu.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, from the new ownership down to the data analysts, are looking to change all of that, and the NBA should be paying far more attention to what is brewing up north. So who’s afraid of the big bad Timberwolves? Here are five reasons why 29 other NBA teams should be.

Reason V – An aggressive front office landed on the NBA’s northern flank

The NBA is a professional league that consists of the have’s, and the have-nots. But the Minnesota Timberwolves are pulling no punches in an attempt to get to the upper tier of the NBA. This is a new team with a new and quite aggressive philosophy. To earn a top spot, an NBA team must earn a top spot.

Once there, the NBA has a wide assortment of carve-out cases for exceeding the recommended NBA salary cap. In short, once you have three NBA superstars, you can pay them more than other teams to keep them and that, in turn, attracts other free agents to your team.

Competitive NBA players want to win. Right now, the Timberwolves’ first quest is to do exactly that, and in the process, change the perception of their team from a small market to a big opportunity. But what is so different than 29 other teams? Well, the Minnesota Timberwolves are suddenly rolling the dice, taking gambles, raising the stakes. This is no longer about scratching lottery tickets. This is poker, a high-stakes game of poker. And the Minnesota Timberwolves changed the game before many teams realized that it’s even changed.

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