9. Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves likely will not make the playoffs in the West this season, but they are trending in the right direction.
Minnesota should hover right around .500 this season, and if so, that should be considered a success. The T’Wolves are in the process of building a terrific young team, and while they are not there yet, the future is extremely bright.
The Timberwolves have built their core around the likes of Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Zach LaVine. But it doesn’t end there. Minnesota added another top prospect when they snagged Kris Dunn in the 2016 NBA Draft. There were rumors that perhaps Dunn would be headed to the Chicago Bulls in a deal for Jimmy Butler, but the T-Wolves were more than happy to hang on to Dunn.
Running the show in Minnesota is Tom Thibodeau, who comes to the Twin Cities after coaching the Bulls from 2010-2015. Thibodeau will have full control in Minnesota, as he has both the head coach and President of Basketball Operations titles. This pairing of roles is becoming more common in the NBA, as Doc Rivers and Stan Van Gundy have such control as well.
Next: No. 8