Are NBA general managers underrating the Timberwolves?

Predictions are ostensibly guesses about what is going to happen in the future. But they often tell us more about the past.

That’s a good thing to remember in a lot of scenarios, and it came to mind almost immediately after reading this year’s installment of the NBA GM survey. The league’s top decisionmakers were granted anonymity to answer 50 questions, and their responses said a lot about how the Timberwolves are currently viewed.

Of particular note:

  • Just 10% of GMs picked the Wolves to be a top-four team in the Western Conference. Old standbys like the Clippers (with a healthy Kawhi Leonard), Warriors and Suns dominated the question about Western Conference order of finish, splitting all the first place votes and getting all but a handful of the second-place votes.

That’s fair enough, but the Suns seem due for a significant regression while the Clippers should never be trusted. The Wolves have the talent to be a top-four team — more than was represented in a past-leaning vote.

  • Wolves wing Anthony Edwards finished tied for second in the question about which player is most likely to have a breakout season and finished third in the question about which player is most athletic.

How close he gets to his ceiling in Year 3 in the league clearly will have a lot to do with how far the Wolves ascend — and the unknown of Edwards’ arc plus the adjustment of…

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