The Timberwolves trade of D’Angelo Russell was inevitable

(Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
(Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Minnesota Timberwolves News Timberwolves roster Rudy Gobert D'Angelo Russell
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Background details surface

When the Minnesota Timberwolves traded for center Rudy Gobert, one of the goals for the move was to help to facilitate the performance of PG D’Angelo Russell. At the time, the team hoped to find the secret formula that could promote DLo’s on-court performance to emulate that of his Brooklyn Nets days.

In theory, the addition of Gobert was intended to give Russell a safety valve of sorts, a player who would be in a position to be fed lob passes, set screens, and help D’Angelo Russell run those pick-and-roll plays that would allow him to retain his offensive output while enabling him to distribute the basketball to open shooters more consistently.

Unfortunately, that never happened.

What derailed those plans?

It was pretty clear from the opening game that the best facilitator for the newly arrived Rudy Gobert was not D’Angelo Russell but rather was Karl-Anthony Towns. It was Towns who made it a point in the early going to feed the ball to Gobert, getting him involved quickly in scoring for the Timberwolves. After KAT fell to injury, it was not D’Angelo Russell who assumed that facilitator role.

Initially, the hope was that backup PG Jordan McLaughlin could handle the load and be a major facilitator for the team. But he was injured, which negated his ability to do so. Rather it was point forward Kyle Anderson, and then it was shooting guard Anthony Edwards who was tasked with involving Rudy Gobert in the offense. And now, those cryptic words from Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch about Rudy Gobert make perfect sense. The Timberwolves were scrambling to win, and the broken dynamics of the team’s roster would simply have to wait.

Those broken dynamics were shared by The Athletic’s Senior Writer, who covers the Minnesota Timberwolves. In a recent interview on KFAN 1003 sports radio, the Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski detailed the locker room dynamics for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the details do not portray DLo in a very positive light:

He followed that up by sharing more details on social media after the fact, clarifying his original statements.