Apr 9, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Timberwolves dancers cheers during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at Target Center The Suns won 114-90. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
Definitely a tough situation. With likely six of the eight playoff seeds in the West already reserved (LA-1, LA-2, OKC, MEM, SA, DEN), barring major injury issues, the last two spots in the Western playoff picture will likely be a dogfight among a half-dozen teams that includes the Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves.
It's quite possible (many would say probable) that neither the Suns nor Wolves will make the postseason dance. The Phoenix Suns have no difference-making leader ready to go on opening night, no guy that will right the ship when the going gets tough, no guy that will make game-winners on a regular basis. The Timberwolves, on the other hand, have plenty of potential difference-making talent but little game-winning experience and even less pedigree as an organization since Garnett's departure.
Yet, Suns fans will spend all of next season rooting for these teams to grab those last two seeds in the West. Of course Suns fans want their own team to play into May. But why the Wolves? Because the Suns own the Timberwolves' first-round pick in any season they make the playoffs in the next four years. If the Wolves miss the playoffs all four years, the Suns get only two second-round picks in 2016 and 2017 instead.
This lottery-protected Wolves pick won't set the world on fire. But two is always better than one (or in the case of 2013 or 2015, three is better than two). For example, I'd rather be looking forward to two of Marshall/Moultrie/Jones/ Wroten/Harkless/Sullinger this next season than one. Wouldn't you?
Will you actively root for the Timberwolves next season?
Yes! The Suns need that first-round pick (299 votes)
No! It's impossible for me to root for a rival (83 votes)
Eh - I would have rooted for them anyway (106 votes)
488 total votes