MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Timberwolves start the 2022-23 season Wednesday night at Target Center against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and there’s high expectations after an offseason of big moves.
Karl-Anthony Towns, fresh off signing a super max contract extension, was fired up and passionate about the Timberwolves during morning shoot-around at Mayo Clinic Square.
"This is what you trained for. This is what the whole summer, the culmination of all the work you put in the offseason comes to, opening night. It’s time to be great. It’s not a time to be good anymore, it’s time to be great. Good is not good enough anymore," Towns said.
Timberwolves coach Chris Finch was just as fired up about the season, speaking with reporters after practice on Tuesday.
"If you’re not like anxiously nervous and excited for what’s about to be an 82-round prize fight, then you should be out of the business by now," Finch said. "We’re going to play a lot of these games, but there’s always great excitement around the beginning and there should be every night."
A little over a year ago, Timberwolves’ ownership fired Gersson Rosas as the president of basketball operations. He was replaced by Tim Connelly back in May, and his first big swing as the new front office head came in a trade for Rudy Gobert. They sent five players and four future first round picks to the Utah Jazz for one of the top defensive players in the game.
The Timberwolves new core is now Towns, Gobert, Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell. There’s depth behind that core, led by Jordan McLaughlin, Kyle Anderson, Naz Reid, Jaden McDaniels, Austin Rivers and even Bryn Forbes.
The goal? Build off last year’s 46 wins, and second trip to the NBA Playoffs since 2004. Most projections have the Timberwolves around 50 wins, and the postseason is now the standard. Towns is entering his eighth NBA season after being selected No. 1 overall out of Kentucky by the Timberwolves.
"Minnesota deserves our best, and that’s what we plan to do every single game. I’ve always wanted to be great, I only cared about winning. I never cared about what the outside noise was, I only cared about what was inside this gym," Towns said. "With the pieces we have, we have the chance to be really special."