At the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline, the Minnesota Timberwolves traded veteran guard D’Angelo Russell.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and former point guard D’Angelo Russell were clearly not a fit for the 2022-23 NBA season. It’s nobody’s fault, sometimes that is just how things work out. But in the end, the Timberwolves managed to find a way to swap out Russell for a better fit at point guard, veteran PG Mike Conley Jr., and in that three-team trade the Timberwolves pulled off that also landed a promising young shooting guard in Nickeil Alexander-Walker as well as adding three future second-round draft picks to the coffers.
Of course, the trade never happens if the team and the player were able to come to an agreement in kind, perhaps that exchange at the NBA Trade Deadline never happens. But as is often the case, it comes down to Suivez L’argent – or Follow the Money.
What do I mean?
NBA Rumors: Suivez L’argent
In his latest Hoops Hype report, Michael Scotto shares a Noah’s Arc full of intel and NBA Rumors about the future of the Los Angeles Lakers roster, and he touches base on the progress, or lack of progress, in contract negotiations between the Minnesota Timberwolves and veteran PG D’Angelo Russell.
In his article, Scotto cites the fact that the Timberwolves’ offer and Russell’s demands were far apart, with little chance of closing the gap. Per Scotto:
"‘Previously, I think there were rumblings out there that he was hoping for $25 million annually. That was when he was with Minnesota, and they came lower than that at what I believe was $20 million annually. He ends up getting traded to L.A.’- per Michael Scotto in his article Lakers Rumors: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, Free Agency"
The pieces to the puzzle are starting to fit into place. With a huge chasm of expectations separating the two sides in contract negotiations, and with locker room morale plunging from Russell’s unwillingness to promote his teammates in the offense, the Timberwolves pulled the trigger.
Did the Timberwolves salvage a win from what might have been a disaster? I fully believe so, but you can decide for yourself. What I do know is that the Timberwolves would never up the ante to meet the $25 million per year contract demands of D’Angelo Russell. And from what we’ve seen from his NBA Playoffs performance with the LA Lakers, I don’t think the Lakers will either.