NBA Power Rankings week 10: OKC Thunder vault up ladder

OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder power rankings week 11
Karl-Anthony Towns, OKC Thunder power rankings week 11 (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) /

11-20. Previous: 27th. Minnesota Timberwolves. 29. team. 86.

Minnesota Timberwolves:

Offense: (105.9) 23rd
Defense: (109.5 ) 18th
Net: (minus -3.6) 22nd

Games Week 10 (1-2): Beat Kings 105-104 (2OT), Lost to Warriors: 104-113, Cavaliers: 88-94
Games Week 11 (4 games): Mon vs Nets | Weds at Bucks | Thurs vs. Warriors | Sun vs. Cavaliers

While Karl-Anthony Towns has missed games due to a sprained knee an interesting side note is the Wolves made slight defensive strides in his absence.

Through 10 weeks of play, the Timberwolves have ranked as high as eighth defensively and as low as 22nd. The Wolves shaved a point and half off their defensive rating in KATs absence which might seem like an oversimplification but it’s relevant given how poorly the Wolves are playing.

And now there are whispers KAT is unhappy in Minny. Funny – in that the team basically acquiesced to everything the big man asked for and now that it’s not working (or at least hasn’t) he wants out?

Ethan Strauss of the paid for subscription The Athletic says teams are actively watching what happens in Minny with several executives reporting of his unhappiness in Minny.

The question is – will the Wolves bend to KAT’s will given they own him for the next four seasons (after this year) so they don’t have to do anything. Granted, it’s not a great situation to have an unhappy star on your roster – but with the contract being a full five-year max Minnesota actually has the power.

Adam Silver cited this as a more concerning issue than the tampering and collusion problems (see the Paul George situation at the top of his list). Which means KAT won’t get much leverage or empathy at the top.

Still, it does make me wonder if the Knicks have enough to interest Minnesota. Imagine a deal that could offer two of the best Canadian talents playing together (Wiggins and Barrett who no doubt would have to be included in any package).

The other teams who would be actively interested would be the Warriors (perish the thought of KAT, Steph, D’Angelo Russell, and Klay — YIKES) or yes – the OKC Thunder with all those draft picks. I’m just not sure how Sam Presti moves from a constant of being a solid defensive team to one where the star player isn’t a particularly invested defender.

Anyway- I’m simply pondering the what-ifs especially because it’s more fun than analyzing the current sad situation of the Wolves.