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David Zalubowski/Associated Press

MVP: Karl-Anthony Towns

The most complete offensive big man in the league, Towns led Minnesota in VORP, box plus-minus, PER, points, rebounds, blocks and, remarkably, made three-pointers.

A few more made free throws, and we’d be talking about a 50-40-90 season.

The defense was still shaky, but Towns improved as the season progressed. He’s not hopeless on that end, and even with underwhelming play on D this year, he was easily Minnesota’s best overall player.

DPOY: Jimmy Butler

We could have given Minnesota the Denver treatment and refused to give anyone associated with this shoddy defense a DPOY honor, but Jimmy Butler did enough to earn recognition. He led the Wolves in DRPM and in the time he missed from Feb. 24 to April 5, Minnesota went 8-9 with a 109.6 defensive rating, about a point worse than its full-season figure.

Quickly, shout out to Tyus Jones. Among players who logged at least 1,400 minutes, only Thaddeus Young and Robert Covington deflected passes at a higher frequency than Jones. Minnesota’s defensive rating improved by four points with Jones on the floor.

Best Newcomer: Jimmy Butler

Butler was this season’s tone-setter, perhaps equal in voice to Taj Gibson but better able to back up his words with deeds. Based on how they performed without him in the lineup (10-14 record), the Wolves’ season would have been a lot less competitive without Butler.

Most Disappointing Award: Andrew Wiggins

Wiggins’ true shooting percentage, free-throw rate and assist rate all fell to career lows in what should have been a step-forward season. With Butler aboard and Towns developing into a dominant force, Wiggins could have picked his spots, cut, attacked scrambled defenses and thrived in transition—not to mention had more energy to defend.

Instead, he floated through possessions, quarters, games and weeks. There were stretches of vastly improved defense, but the shot selection was always bad, and Wiggins failed to leverage his considerable athletic talent into real impact. Not ideal with a max contract kicking in next season.

Bleacher Report – Front Page

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