There are plenty of scenarios right now that point to the Minnesota Timberwolves panicking after one injury-riddled season and selling key assets at depressed value. Huh? It’s almost as though it’s the NBA version of Black Friday, and the Timberwolves are suddenly the epicenter of 50 to 90 percent off sales of NBA players, under the guise of ‘building around Anthony Edwards.’
I don’t know that I’m buying all that.
Next season? Yes, I could see that. In several years without an NBA Championship for the Minnesota Timberwolves? I could see that too. But right now, the Minnesota Timberwolves squeezed out a 42-40 season in a year when this team rightfully had every excuse not to make the playoffs. And after a season in which Karl-Anthony Towns played just 29 regular season games, and had a significant sub-par performance in the NBA Playoffs, he’s gone?
So much for buying low and selling high, eh?
I’m not convinced that the Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly is thinking along those lines right now. While the Timberwolves did not exactly power through the NBA Playoffs, advancing further than Round 1, this team did return to the NBA Playoffs for the second consecutive year. And much of that success was due to the fact that the team finally found a point guard who can drive the bus in veteran PG Mike Connelly.
No urgency for Timberwolves to trade anyone right now
While there is a growing sentiment that the Minnesota Timberwolves must ‘do something,’ that is not shared by the Timberwolves’ think tank. In fact, after shaking up the Timberwolves roster twice last season, the front office is likely more inclined to attempt a sequel, hoping that a healthier roster can find its way to continuity and complementary basketball.
Fans may be nervous, sure. This is a Minnesota Timberwolves basketball team that has not tasted sweet success in postseason competition for 20 long years. Will trading away players who missed most of the season be the smartest move?
Do you sell your car after you make a major repair? Do you renovate your home to then put it on the market in a depressed market? Do you sell your stock investments in the midst of a selloff? If you answer yes to any of these questions, then trading players from the Minnesota Timberwolves roster right now likely makes sense to you.
Play today, trade tomorrow
Here’s an alternative plan. Recast as many of the same players in 2023-24 as competed in 2022-23. Let the Minnesota Timberwolves gel. Let Karl-Anthony Towns play 70+ games in the regular season, and let him restore his production in the NBA Playoffs next year. If he does so, his value skyrockets. If he does not, then you simply know what you have to do.
Both teams in any trade scenario must feel as though they have added value in the aftermath, otherwise, why do it? The Timberwolves can get just as much if not more value simply by letting everyone play in 2023-24. Is the Timberwolves roster as good as it gets as is? Perhaps not.
But trading away players when their values are at their lowest is a surefire way to deplete this Timberwolves roster of its competitive edge. The Timberwolves have tended to part ways with players too soon. Let’s hope that this time, the Minnesota Timberwolves stay the course long enough to be sure.