Most NBA coaches will tell you that the starting lineup matters little, and that it’s the players on the court to finish the game that matters most.
But it can be a point of pride at times for the players themselves, so coaches need to manage this to a certain extent to make sure everyone stays committed, and remains on the same page.
Timberwolves head coach (and president) Flip Saunders is aware of this, of course, which is why he evaded the question of whether or not Andrew Wiggins, who the team acquired in the Kevin Love trade with the Cavaliers, was already penciled into the starting lineup.
#Twolves starters, Flip Saunders told @105theticket youngsters to be interspersed w/ vets. Noncommittal on Andrew Wiggins starting.
It’s wise not too give Wiggins too much too soon, and to make him earn his spot in training camp like every new player on the roster. And the reality is, Saunders does have some reasonable alternative options.
Nikola Pekovic and Thaddeus Young should be a lock to start in two of the three frontcourt positions. After that, you’re looking at guys like Gorgui Dieng, Chase Budinger, Robbie Hummel and Anthony Bennett — all of whom have played primarily as reserves.
Ah, who are we kidding. Wiggins might be raw, and he’ll have to put in the work. But he should find his way into the starting lineup at some point next season.