The Timberwolves trade of D’Angelo Russell was inevitable

(Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
(Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Timberwolves were active at the NBA Trade Deadline. In 20/20 hindsight, it appears as though the team was painted into a corner and needed to make a move. Why? Well, we are now finding out more about the team’s struggles than we originally knew.

Whenever an NBA player is among the three highest-paid NBA Players on the team, the bar is elevated a bit. It makes sense, as the amount of money paid is theoretically proportional to the team’s value on the player. The more the team values the player’s contribution to the team, the higher the compensation. While it’s not a hard set of rules, it does come with expectations and expanded responsibilities within the territory.

Timberwolves needed a leader at PG

But sometimes players struggle to understand the increased responsibility for the overall team as their salary increases. That appears to be the case for what developed for the Minnesota Timberwolves’ player dynamics this season.  On the face of it, it all seems pretty horrendous. Then, if you start to dig, it does not seem to be as bad as originally thought.

But after digging further, and then pausing to contemplate what it all meant to the team, it certainly approaches, if not downright crosses, the threshold of deal-breaker for Timberwolves PG D’Angelo Russell, and his role with the team.

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What do we mean? Ultimately, we know that the Timberwolves needed better play from their point guard role as long ago as the 2021-22 NBA Playoffs, when the team needed a point guard who could step up for the team, but the lineup did not have DLo on the floor. That was a harbinger of things to come. The Timberwolves tried to improve D’Angelo Russell by adding center Rudy Gobert. But we will soon discover that it only made the situation worse.