Reason II: The Timberwolves are competing with the Jazz for an NBA Playoff berth
Like it or not, the risks of trading with a team that is in your own NBA Division, or worse yet, the NBA Northwest Conference, include the risk of improving their roster in an earnest attempt to improve your own. As soon as the Utah Jazz consented to trade away All-Star center Rudy Gobert, the pressure immediately flipped to the Timberwolves to improve.
But assembling a high-performance team that the Minnesota Timberwolves roster has the potential to become takes time. Have the Timberwolves turned the corner yet? Perhaps, perhaps not. The team is still competing without Karl-Anthony Towns, Jordan McLaughlin, and a revolving assortment of other players have included: Taurean Prince, D’Angelo Russell, Rudy Gobert, Jaden McDaniels, Naz Reid, Kyle Anderson, and Austin Rivers.
Winter thaw coming early
But there are positive signs happening for the Minnesota Timberwolves right now. While the Minnesota Timberwolves are just 4-6 in their last 10 games, this is a team that has won their last three games. Conversely, the Utah Jazz cooled off, as they are just 3-7 in their last 10 games. In the NBA standings, the Timberwolves are 19-21, while the Jazz’s record stands at 20-22.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have split the first two games with the Utah Jazz, but play a third and quite important game on Monday, January 16, 2023, at Target Center. With any luck, the Timberwolves will be at or nearly at full strength. The next two games remaining on the season schedule between these two teams may have significant playoff implications.