Apr 16, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9) and forward Kevin Love (42) at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves: To Tank Or Not To Tank?

By the time this is published, the 30-day time limit preventing Andrew Wiggins from being traded would have expired. This would allow the Cleveland Cavaliers to trade Wiggins for Kevin Love.

The six years of the Kevin Love era in Minnesota will finally be over. Six years and zero playoff games.

So what will the Timberwolves do now?

The rise of the Oklahoma City Thunder as a powerhouse in the league has led to many general managers attempting the same model in search for success. Tearing down the team, acquiring assets and draft picks, all the while cashing in on high lottery picks – that’s been the multi-year plan for a lot of rebuilding teams.

Should the Minnesota Timberwolves follow that model?

There are inherent risks involved, not every team that goes through a rebuild ends up with a contender. The fanbase could turn away from the team, as the team would be going through many winless seasons.

However, modern fans are more astute when it comes to long term planning, a good example would be the Milwaukee Bucks’ fans. Last season, they hired out a billboard and advertised “Save our Bucks,” starting a campaign in hopes that the Bucks would tank.

The Timberwolves are in a good position, even after the Love trade. They will be left with a young core – Ricky Rubio, Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Gorgui Dieng.

And depending on who you believe, they might retain Shabazz Muhammad and add Thaddeus Young and Anthony Bennett to the mix.

Next season will be an important one – it marks the beginning of a new era in Timberwolves’ basketball. The current roster, sans Love, will not be enough to make the playoffs in the Western Conference.

Looking ahead to the future, the West will become more competitive, as other teams (Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers) go through rebuilds.

The Wolves already have a young and interesting core that could grow into a contender. As such, the rebuilding process is already sped up.

Tanking for one season and adding a top-five lottery pick to that core would only serve to add more talent to an already intriguing young team.

The era of Kevin Love and middling seasons is over.

Embrace the tank.

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Tags: Andrew Wiggins Kevin Love Minnesota Timberwolves

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