After the Minnesota Timberwolves failed to advance in Round 1 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs against the NBA Western Conference top seed, the Denver Nuggets, the trolls and NBA pundits who had a year’s worth of vitriol had a field day ridiculing the Timberwolves team. This was a Timberwolves team that dared to dream bigger, and in so doing rolled the dice on trading four draft picks and five players to the Utah Jazz for center Rudy Gobert.
That blockbuster trade that acquired Gobert sent C Walker Kessler Jr., SG Malik Beasley, PF Jarred Vanderbilt, PG Patrick Beverley, and SF Leandro Bolmaro. Since that trade, the Jazz has kept just Walker Kessler Jr, opting to release Bolmaro from their roster outright, and trading Beverley to the Los Angeles Lakers in one trade, then following up with a second trade that sent Vanderbilt and Beasley to the Lakers at the NBA Trade Deadline.
So, the result is a center for a center and some picks.
Timberwolves trade extended NBA Playoffs streak
While the Minnesota Timberwolves trade did not translate into this team advancing to Round 2 or beyond of the NBA Playoffs, how many have considered the fact that the team may not have earned a berth in the NBA Playoffs without that trade in the first place? After all, it was not just the trade that altered this Timberwolves roster, but the subsequent free agents who were added to round out the roster.
The Timberwolves had to create room for some of the younger players to grow, and a bit of pruning on the roster, removing some of the players who were competing for minutes, was perfectly timed. It was that void that allowed both shooting guard Anthony Edwards and small forward Jaden McDaniels to spread their wings and grow significantly this season. But it was also the presence of veteran Rudy Gobert who helped to mentor McDaniels, Edwards, and even backup centers Naz Reid and Luka Garza, in upping their defensive game.
To improve the entire Timberwolves roster, the team needed to enhance the level of play at one position to raise the bar for everyone. Now, with the 2022-23 NBA season in the history books, what should the Timberwolves take away to apply to do a better job in the 2023-24 NBA season? We have 4 such mistakes that this team must avoid making this summer. Such as? Read on . . .