Being the number one overall pick doesn’t mean that Andrew Wiggins is guaranteed a starting spot in the lineup of the Minnesota Timberwolves, giving him something of a soft landing to the beginning of his NBA career, although nothing is set in stone as training camp hasn’t even started.
Flip Saunders engineered a move that most view as a step forward for the Timberwolves – trading Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a draft pick which they used to get Thaddeus Young from the Philadelphia 76ers, filling the hole left by Love’s departure.
There’s also been talk of a building trade for Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns, as the Timberwolves might be the only team willing to give him a max contract and have the assets to complete a trade with the Suns, as the deal can’t go forward without a sign-and-trade due to the cap space the Timberwolves have.
So will start? At point guard, unless Bledose does arrive, it seems like it’s Ricky Rubio once again. A point guard who is very fun to watch, but until he starts finding a way to become a consistent scorer and a threat from outside the paint, he’ll be something of a hindrance on the offense. Kevin Martin is automatic at the shooting guard right now, and Corey Brewer, unless Saunders changes his mind, will be in the lineup at the moment in the small forward position.
In the paint? Young and Nikola Pekovic. One problem with this lineup is defense, something of an issue last season for the Timberwolves. Wiggins will probably be the team’s best defensive player on an individual level, so a rough start for Minnesota – both losses and giving up too many points might mean that Wiggins will quickly find his way into the lineup.
Bennett? Right now, the Timberwolves are planning on trying to salvage his career. He has lost some weight, and had a much more positive second half to the season after a terrible start with the Cavaliers. A year away from being a number one pick, maybe less pressure and focus on his ability because of who is playing next to him could do wonders for his development.