The Timberwolves traded their best player and face of the franchise to the Cavaliers, and fans couldn’t be more excited about their prospects for the upcoming season.
It’s true. Kevin Love may be gone, but the haul that Minnesota received in return — which included the last two number one overall picts in the draft, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett — has sparked a renewed level of local interest.
From Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press:
After completing the long-rumored trade that sent Love to the Cavaliers and brought Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young to Minnesota, the Timberwolves have sold more than 300 full season-ticket packages in the last week.
That beats the previous record in 2011 that was set when Ricky Rubio announced that he was coming over from Spain to play for the team.
“The organization, from president-level on down has just been re-energized,” Timberwolves senior vice president and chief revenue officer Ryan Tanke said. “Part of it is hope, and you have this great new hope.
“But then there’s also the reality, which is it was a long, tough summer. For it to come to the head that it came to and have it be the outcome that we had, I think it creates this perfect storm environment for us.”
In some ways, this new beginning in Minnesota is more interesting than if the team had simply proceeded with the status quo.
Free agents don’t come willingly to a team like the Timberwolves, who play in a small market and deal with atrocious winter weather that is among the country’s worst. The only way to get an influx of top talent for a franchise in this situation is to land it through the draft or in trade, and while legitimate players like Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and now Thad Young are in place, the young talent around them, which includes Zach LaVine, should help make for a very entertaining roster.
It’s an exciting time, despite the loss of Love. And fans are signing up to pay to see how it develops in record numbers.