The Minnesota Timberwolves will have plenty of difficult roster decisions this off-season. Of course, the team wisely eliminated the elephant in the room, opting to trade the expiring contract of PG D’Angelo Russell with less than 30 games remaining in the season, and taking on PG Mike Conley through the 2023-24 NBA season, a far more affordable SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker through the end of the 2022-23 NBA season.
But there will always be regrets. the wishful moments of what would have, could have, should have scenarios that bring doubts to the minds of Minnesota Timberwolves fans. Will the Timberwolves regret giving up on D’Angelo Russell? From the reports that surfaced after the trade, it was necessary simply for the locker room chemistry. But that raises an important concern. Have the Minnesota Timberwolves bailed on a promising player too soon?
Before any research began, we know the answer to that question is yes. But after we began digging, we found nine players the Minnesota Timberwolves gave up on too soon. Here they are, and let us know what you think:
Number IX: Walker Kessler
When the Minnesota Timberwolves chose center Walker Kessler in the 2022 NBA Draft with the 22nd overall pick, nobody got the memo that he would be packaged as part of a five-player four-pick trade to acquire center Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz. In fact, the trade happened so quickly that the Timberwolves had to cancel plans to have Kessler compete on their NBA Summer League team at point-blank range.
Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly was hired by the Minnesota Timberwolves’ new ownership group due, in part, to his reputation as an NBA Draft whisperer. That is, he has an uncanny knack for finding the golden needles in the NBA Draft haystacks, and there is evidence that Walker Kessler is one such player. In fact, Walker Kessler has been playing so well for the Utah Jazz that he is already getting the reputation as the ‘one who got away.‘
He already is scoring an average of 8.7 points per game, and hauling in 8.4 rebounds per game. Those numbers will only improve rapidly in the future. The 7-foot-1 245-pound center was an unexpected selection for the Timberwolves at 22, but now, he already appears to be a bargain who may have gotten away.