30 Players in 30 Days: Zach LaVine, Minnesota Timberwolves


In an attempt to get myself and others hyped about the 2016–17 NBA season, I brainstormed several different preview ideas. Many outlets are doing team previews, but this is a player’s game, damnit. Why not take my favorite and/or most interesting player from each team and write a l’il somethin’ somethin’? I decided to write them in order of my projected finish for that team.

Everybody is high on the young T’Wolves, and for good reason. They’ve got an awesome young nucleus headlined by Karl Anthony-TownsAndrew Wiggins and today’s subject, the explosive Zach LaVine. However, in my best Lee Corso voice, “Not so fast, sweetheart.” No doubt they’ll be better, but let’s calm down a bit. In the meantime, just absorb the moment and watch these young guys—including LaVine—grow.

My Fave Video

Bet you guys were expecting to see either of the past two dunk contests. While those were epic, let’s stop pigeon-holing him.

Back when Minny drafted him in 2014, I told everybody that I thought he was the rookie with the highest upside. Looking back at that draft—overrated in hindsight—I still maintain that opinion. Ask yourself this question: What does Wiggins do that’s earth-shatteringly better than LaVine?

The T’Wolves almost ruined his career by forcing him to play the one-spot. Since they unleashed him at the two, he’s been able to play with reckless abandon, as opposed to trying to find balance between a scorer and distributor.

It’s tough to predict his ceiling. The safest bet? Mutant Jamal Crawford, an irrationally confident guard capable of huge scoring outbursts but prone to bouts of inconsistency. But who knows… maybe he’ll figure it all out  and become the best two guard in the NBA.

As for the Wolves’ ranking, I think they’re a year away. By my calculations, they’ll probably need to win 12–15 more games than they did last year. Near the bottom portion of the West, who are they leap-frogging?

Still, they’ll be fun to watch this season and—hopefully—for years to come.


30. Jeremy Lin, Brooklyn Nets

29. Brandon Ingram, Los Angeles Lakers

28. Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

27. Tyler Johnson, Miami Heat

26. Danilo Gallinari, Denver Nuggets

25. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

24. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings

23. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Detroit Pistons

22. Mario Hezonja, Orlando Magic

21. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns


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