Timberwolves’ Rudy Gobert says ‘we have the potential’ to be good


Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was asked about his expectations for the 2023-24 NBA season in an interview with EuroHoops during the 2023 FIBA World Cup. The three-time All-Star was straightforward.

“I think we have the potential to be really, really good,” Gobert said. “I think we’re going to have a good training camp. Build good habits. I think we have the potential to be a top-two defensive team.

“And I don’t need to talk about how talented we are offensively. If we come in with the mindset of doing whatever it takes to have the team win and holding each other accountable while doing that, I think we’re going to have a surprisingly really good year.”

According to a few NBA betting sites, the Minnesota Timberwolves hold 17th-ranked odds to win next season’s 2024 championship. Sportsbooks are showing better odds for the Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, and Sacramento Kings.

In 70 appearances of the 2022-23 season, Rudy Gobert averaged 13.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 30.7 minutes per game while shooting 65.9% from the floor and 64.4% at the foul line.

Minnesota fans were expecting higher production from the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, considering he was coming off a career-year with the Utah Jazz. In the 2021-22 season, Gobert averaged a career-high 14.7 rebounds per game and shot a career-best 71.3% from the field.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert believes the Western Conference contender is more than capable of having “a surprisingly really good year” in the 2023-24 season

Last July, the Jazz traded Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves for Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro, Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, and five first-round draft picks (2023, 2025-27, 2029).

In addition to Gobert’s struggles, Minnesota’s 2022-23 season fared no better. Under head coach Chris Finch, the Wolves finished 42-40 and eighth overall in the Western Conference standings.

During the first round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs, the Denver Nuggets defeated them in five games. However, it was the first time since 2003 and 2004 that the Timberwolves made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

Even then, the Wolves have not advanced to the second round since 2004. Including this year’s first-round exit, Minnesota also lost its first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies in 2022 and versus the Houston Rockets in 2018 as well.

In July 2020, Gobert inked a five-year, $205 million contract extension with the Jazz. The 7-foot-1 center is slated to earn $41 million with the Timberwolves in 2023-24 and $43.82 million in 2024-25. His deal also includes a $46.65 million player option for 2025-26.

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