The Minnesota Timberwolves executed a blockbuster trade to pair Utah Jazz veteran All-Star 7-foot-1 258-pound center Rudy Gobert alongside 6-foot-11, 248-pound veteran center/power forward Karl-Anthony Towns. The trade to bring Gobert to the Timberwolves roster was costly, costing five players, four first-round NBA draft picks, and one first-round pick swap as the purchase price.
In theory, the Timberwolves roster would restore the concept of Twin Towers to the NBA, an almost romanticized concept made famous by the Houston Rockets pairing of 7-foot-4 228-pound Ralph Sampson and 7-foot-0 255-pound Hakeem Olajuwon. But the Timberwolves quickly experienced a snafu to their grandiose plans.
Karl-Anthony Towns strained his calf.
That injury headlined a number of injuries that have befallen the Minnesota Timberwolves roster thoughout the first half of the 2022-23 NBA season but paired with a similar injury to backup point guard Jordan McLaughlin, the pair’s absence from the Timberwolves lineup have strained the team’s season so far.
Are we there, yet?
The last game played by Karl Anthony Towns was November 28, 2022, in a loss to the Washington Wizards. The last appearance by Jordan McLaughlin was later, on December 9, 2022, in a victory over the Utah Jazz. At the time that both players were made inactive due to injuries, the Minnesota Timbewolves were at 13-12.
Since that time, the team has gone 9-11, with no real hope in sight for a major push to the playoffs until the pair heal and return. Right now, the timetable for both players is a bit ambiguous. As far as KAT goes, he is taking advantage of the downtime to observe and critique the Timberwolves, trying to virtually coach what he sees, and thinking about ways he can bolster the team if and when he returns:
As far as Jordan McLaughlin? Better reset your calendars. The latest report from Timberwolves coach Chris Finch is pretty deflating:
The absence of two key contributors, both for lengthy periods of time, has truly strained the Minnesota Timberwolves’ season so far. It’s virtually impossible to mount any type of extending winning streak, simply because the burden of doing so falls on too few veterans and too many inexperienced young players. Since December 9th, the Timberwolves have only won a maximum of four consecutive games but lost as many as six consecutive games.
The team needs KAT and Jo-Mac to return as soon as possible. But based on the latest updates, it does not appear that either will be back anytime soon.