Timberwolves made one player untouchable at trade deadline

Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves had a busy week leading up to the trade deadline. They finally ended the D’Angelo Russell saga in dealing him to the Lakers, getting back Mike Conley from the Jazz in return. The three-team trade capped off several consecutive months of rumors and drama surrounding Russell.

After that trade went down on Wednesday, the deadline was not due to expire for 18 more hours, and Wolves fans suspected another deal might still be in the works. Tim Connelly has certainly been unafraid to make moves and take risks in his nine months as team President, and players like Naz Reid were still being mentioned in rumors.

But in all, Minnesota determined they were best off dealing with players like Reid and Jaylen Nowell’s situations come summertime. They clearly believe in the group they have, and saw Conley as a major upgrade over their previous situation. In all their dealings with other teams leading up to the trade deadline, there was one player they were unwilling to even discuss parting ways with: Jaden McDaniels.

The Minnesota Timberwolves refused to consider trading Jaden McDaniels

According to HoopsHype, the Timberwolves were contacted by around half the teams in the league regarding the availability of Jaden McDaniels. They undoubtedly received some intriguing offers for him, but Minnesota showed their commitment to their talented young wing by refusing to have any conversations about trading him.

The Timberwolves cited their view of McDaniels as a member of the team’s core as their main reason for not considering any deals for him. This is extremely encouraging for Minnesota fans, who were no doubt nervous that the team’s front office might receive a deal that they felt was too good to pass up on.

He may not be quite as beloved as Karl-Anthony Towns or Anthony Edwards, but Jaden McDaniels is becoming more of a fan favorite in the Twin Cities by the week. He was granted a larger role as the Wolves’ starting three in preseason, and his progression this season has been noticeable.

Minnesota’s decision will allow them to sign McDaniels to an extension this summer

This progression will be the main reason the Timberwolves will likely be doing everything they can to sign McDaniels to an extension this offseason. There are other players on Minnesota’s roster that will be extension-eligible in the summer as well, but McDaniels’ importance should be all the way at the top of the list.

After coming into the league in the same draft as Anthony Edwards, McDaniels has proven to be nearly as valuable as his All-Star draft classmate. His offensive repertoire has expanded, and he is operating far less as a spot-up shooter than before. But despite taking more difficult shots against starter-level competition, he has seen a career-high shooting mark of 51% from the floor for the season.

To add to this, his effectiveness has not dropped while still being asked to guard the opposing team’s best offensive player. McDaniels is budding into a two-way star, and Minnesota is well aware that they have another game-changing player on their hands. Keeping Jaden McDaniels around long-term will be paramount to the Timberwolves remaining a contender in the West.

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