After big off-season, Wolves ready to bring new 'toughness'

- Media days always bring about a sense of magic before a new season, and that goes for the Minnesota Timberwolves after an impressive off-season.

The cameras rolling on Friday were just one reason why the team should be smiling before this 2017-2018 campaign.

“Everyone knows the energy in the state of Minnesota right now, so it is exciting,” said Timberwolves guard Tyus Jones.

The Wolves put their new uniforms on display, but they’re much more interested in showing off this new roster that includes do-it-all All-Star Jimmy Butler.

Butler comes to Minnesota with impressive stats, but also something you cannot document: “toughness,” according to Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau.

“I may not be the most talented, I may not be this, I may not be that, but you will never take my heart from me,” Butler said. “That’s something that you can’t do. You can’t control how hard I play, I control that. I guess that’s all part of being ‘tough’.”

Veteran pieces like Butler, Taj Gibson, Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford are adding to an experienced young core group.

Karl-Anthony Towns expects to take another step in his third NBA season, and the same goes too for Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins is on the verge of a big contract with the Timberwolves, but a max deal only fuels him to give a maximum effort to his team.

“I’ve been grinding my whole life for this contract,” Wiggins said. “It’s a blessing and it’s nothing but up from here. I can never get complacent and keep getting better.”

The Wolves are aware of the excitement and the external expectations surrounding this team, but the internal goals are even greater after missing the playoffs for 13 straight seasons.

“It is always going be about winning,” Karl-Anthony Towns said. “I made a promise to Flip Saunders that I would win and I would end the playoff drought and I intend to do that to keep my promise.”

“This year it feels like the opportunity is in the palm of our hand and we just have to take it,” Towns added.

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