2 near fatal flaws in Minnesota Timberwolves – Rudy Gobert trade

Mandatory Credit: Allison Farrand-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Allison Farrand-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 4
Minnesota Timberwolves News Timberwolves Roster Rudy Gobert D'Angelo Russell
Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

What am I saying?

I am saying that the coaching staff and the players have been free-styling how to use Gobert in their lineup without a plan.  The hope was that the presence of Rudy Gobert might unlock the full offensive arsenal of PG D’Angelo Russell, and in the process transform him into the best version of himself, that Brooklyn Nets version, a player who earned for himself an NBA All-Star nod due to his undeniable energetic play on a basketball court.

Instead, the opposite occured. Not only is the 2022-23 version of Russell hovering right at his NBA career averages, but somehow the pressure of trying to be the floor general for a roster that includes Gobert is too much for the guy, and he has been defrocked of his ball-handline duties. The Timberwolves’ starting point guard, D’Angelo Russell, is no longer a point guard.

Defrocked PG, but who is taking over?

He has been, defrocked, and that role now has been passed over to point forward Kyle Anderson, if he is healthy enough to play. It’s been rolled over to backup point guard Jordan McLaughlin if he is ever healthy enough to return. And it’s been handed over as a last resort to shooting guard and star of this team, Anthony Edwards. But now, even Edwards is fighting through the pain of a badly bruised him and tailbone injury.

Without a strong point guard who has the ability to include Gobert in the offense, opposing defenses must merely guard four, rather than five, players.  The team never knew before the 2022-23 NBA season that D’Angelo Russell was in over his head in a point guard role. Whatever else the team has learned about the current roster, D’Lo shirking his ball handling and distribution duties is the first huge flaw in the original design of acquiring Rudy Gobert.

But there is more: