NBA Love/Hate reactions to latest Timberwolves trade

Mandatory Credit: Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports /

There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground among NBA players regarding the latest three-team exchange that sent Minnesota Timberwolves point guard D’Angelo Russell to the LA Lakers. Some love it, some hate it, but for the most part, if you don’t fall into one of those two categories, you simply are not taking to social media to profess your wait-and-see philosophy.

The Twin Cities Towers were never a certainty. Like any experiment in the kitchen on a new recipe, a laboratory searching for a new cure, or a basketball court with a team trying to leverage a height advantage, experiments come with trials and errors. That’s not to say that the entire premise is wrong or flawed. Merely that PG D’Angelo Russell was not ideally suited to facilitate it.

And so, today D’Angelo Russell is playing for his former team, the LA Lakers. And former Jazz players, PG Mike Conley Jr. and SG Nickell Alexander-Walker are suiting up for the Minnesota Timberwolves.  It’s a bittersweet time, as long-time teammates and friends have to part ways.

But there is the flip side, the fact that some former teammates are reuniting, as was the case when Laker PG Patrick Beverley learned that he would be welcoming three of his former Timberwolves teammates to the LA Lakers:

Ironically, he would be traded as well, to the Orlando Magic, where he is now expected to be bought out and become a free agent.

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And there is an instagram tribute from Karl Anthony Towns posted for his soon-to-be former teammate, D’Angelo Russell. Reports have suggested that D’Lo was brought to the Timberwolves specifically to ensure that Karl-Anthony Towns would continue to play here. Well, D’Lo is no longer here.

And then the player himself, D’Angelo Russell, responded:

Russell has a ton of confidence, as he should to compete in the NBA. But he never developed into the facilitator that could unlock Rudy Gobert’s offensive potential. In fact, he was patterning his game more and more into that of younger SG Anthony Edwards. Not only was that not the plan, but it was an incredibly bad duplication. as it forced Edwards into running the floor on multiple occasions.

It’s an emotional time, so you have to give time for some emotions to settle. But there is no doubt that center Rudy Gobert is very excited to reunite with his former teammate, Mike Conley.  And he was more than happy to say so:

Conley is more than just a veteran PG. He has an established history of that alley-oop pass to Gobert that is all but impossible to stop in the NBA. With his arrival, Conley brings more than a field general to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He also brings an upgrade to Rudy Gobert, a long overdue matter for a team in pursuit of an NBA Playoff berth.

How do you feel about this one? Two players and three picks is a pretty good haul for a player on an expiring contract. And yet, the Timberwolves managed to do exactly that.

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