The Minnesota Timberwolves are primed for what should be one of the most exciting seasons in recent years.
With young stars such as Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, the Wolves had a strong, young core to build a foundation on for the future.
But Minnesota attacked the offseason hard, trading for Jimmy Butler and adding veterans like Jeff Teague, Jamal Crawford and Taj Gibson to help bolster their roster.
On paper, the Wolves appear to be on the verge of playoff contention and Butler is looking forward to being the leading force on the team.
“You can’t abuse leadership,” Butler told Shams Charania of The Vertical. “Know that everybody is always watching you. All eyes, all fingers, everything is going to be on you. It’s healthy. As much as you don’t want to mess up, we are going to make mistakes at times. And it’s OK because everybody makes mistakes.
But you cannot continue to make the same mistake over and over and over again.”
“These young guys do listen, but it’s going to be a process. I’m new, and Andrew [Wiggins], KAT [Karl-Anthony Towns] have been here. I can understand when someone else is coming in, and the culture is really going to change.
I expect the same thing that Thibs [head coach Tom Thibodeau] expects, and we both do not expect to lose on any night, in anything.
“Everybody looks at me. If I’m going 100 miles per hour, if I’m locking up on defense, if I’m sprinting back in transition. You got to use me as an example, because if I’m not doing it, everybody is going to look at it and say: ‘Jimmy isn’t doing it, why do I have to do it?’
“But you can’t ever say I’m not giving it my all. Every day.”
Butler’s work ethic is well documented and his impact and presence is already being noted by his teammates.
“Jimmy’s form of leadership is a different style because he shows you by example, and the good thing for us is he has the history with Coach Thibs,” Crawford said.
“That has helped us know what it takes and how we can succeed in this system.”
“I’ve been on a lot of great teams, but this team might have the best blend of veteran guys, like myself, Jimmy, Taj and Jeff, to go with Andrew and KAT and the younger talent that we have. We have a chance to be strong one through nine and beyond.”
Butler is going to rely on his routine to help Minnesota find wins this year, instilling a winning attitude and teaching the team how to win in the NBA.
“Now I can come mess around and pretend to be an NFL player,” Butler stated. “But seriously, it was important for me to establish a consistent routine. My routine is the same. As long as I’m working like it’s my first day in the league, I’ll be in this league for a very, very long time. When I stop working, that’s when it’s over.
“That’s the groundwork that has been started with me and my trainers. That’s the foundation I have laid down.”
Timberwolves Sign Ryan Saunders to Multiyear Contract
The Minnesota Timberwolves are making sure that their new head coach is sticking around for a long time.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Wolves have agreed to a multi-year contract with Ryan Saunders to stay in his newly minted head coaching role for the long-term.
Saunders took over in Minnesota after Tom Thibodeau was fired, becoming the youngest head coach in the league at age 32, posting a 17-25 record following his taking over.
Timberwolves’ Ryan Saunders Expected to Become Permanent Head Coach
Minnesota Timberwolves interim head coach Ryan Saunders, who took over the helm when the team fired Tom Thibodeau, is expected to become the team’s permanent head coach, shedding the interim tag.
According to Britt Robson of The Athletic, Timberwolves majority owner Glen Taylor has already implemented changes in the organization following what proved to be a taxing and tumultuous season, but Saunders won’t be among any widespread changes.
Saunders led the team to a 17-25 record during his 42 game stint with the team.
Timberwolves Launch Search for a President Of Basketball Operations
The Minnesota Timberwolves have launched an official search for a new President of Basketball Operations to replace the departed Tom Thibodeau, who was fired as head coach and president during the regular season.
The team made the announcement regarding the search via an official press release.
“In the absence of Tom, I want to thank all who picked up his responsibilities this past year,” Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said in a statement. “… They worked through a season with many injuries requiring many challenges in our player lineup. We are incredibly grateful to them for all of their hard work and commitment to the franchise.
“The future of the Minnesota Timberwolves continues to be very bright,” Taylor continued.
“It’s more important than ever that we find a leader who can build a successful team in today’s fast-paced NBA. We have the cornerstones of a very talented team and need to assemble the final pieces that will elevate us into a playoff team and one that can compete for championships.”
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