NBA Power Rankings: The perennial underperformers... and the Houston Rockets
As an unbiased spectator that doesn't have many strong feelings about the Timberwolves, they have to be one of the most frustrating teams to watch in the league. Ignoring the fact that Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell have barely played together at all, seeing that a team with them, Ricky Rubio, and Anthony Edwards all on the same roster only managed to scrape together 23 wins is mind-boggling.
If Towns and Russell can stay on the court together, then I can see the team stringing together some more wins, but that feels like a big "if" at this point. The only other thing that will keep me semi-interested in the Timberwolves this season beyond them and Edwards is Leandro Bolmaro.
It pains me to place the Sacramento Kings so low on these power rankings with how much I enjoyed watching De'Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton last season, but they may have had the worst offseason of any team in the league.
Looking outside of the few free-agent acquisitions they did make in Alex Len, Tristan Thompson, and (checks notes) Emanuel Terry, they also made the perplexing decision to select Davion Mitchell 9th overall in this year's draft. They missed a serious opportunity to acquire more wing depth, made no significant improvements to the team in general, and now have an overloaded backcourt.
The Kings' entire gameplan strikes me as them wanting to do the same things this season while expecting different results, and I can't make much sense of it.
It is with great nausea that I say that the Houston Rockets probably had the best draft night of any team in the league. Seeing them manage to walk away with Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun, Usman Garuba, and Josh Christopher on the same night felt like witnessing live highway robbery.
That being said, as good as those rookies are, I don't think they flip the scrip in Houston in their first year on the job. The Rockets were the worst team in the league last season for a reason, and it may take a few years for them to see meaningful success again. The growing pains may be unavoidable, but the franchise put itself on a very good trajectory with those picks.