Rosenthal noted that he thought about ranking the Wolves a bit higher, but a few factors tempered his optimism. He cited the broken hand expected to shelve power forward Kevin Love for six-to-eight weeks, guard Ricky Rubio's recovery from ACL reconstruction late last season, and last season's 26-40 record as reasons Minnesota landed in the No. 17 slot.
On the plus side, Love and Rubio will return before long, and the additions of Andrei Kirilenko, Brandon Roy and Alexey Shved should lead to a big improvement over last year's Wolves squad. Rosenthal believes Minnesota has "a genuine shot at making the playoffs".
The TImberwolves will open the regular season when they play host to the Sacramento Kings on Friday, Nov. 2. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. ET and the game will be televised on My29.