Meet the Timberwolves’s hidden European gem

Matteo Spagnolo, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Roberto Finizio/Getty Images)
Matteo Spagnolo, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by Roberto Finizio/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /

Shining in the Playoffs

This Trento team had its best regular season record since 2019, reaching the Playoffs for the first time since that year, where they were eliminated in the first round. This year however, that outcome wasn’t much different, losing 3-1 to 3rd seed Tortona, but the focus here isn’t the elimination, it’s the individual performance of our intriguing prospect.

In game 1, Matteo had an all-around game, not excelling on any particular side of the court, but filling his stat sheet with 9.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.0 assists, in a loss by only one point.

In game 2, things started to heat up as Coach Emanuele Molin put some trust in Spagnolo and increased his minutes. The results were evident.

Although he lost, the Italian had himself a very solid game, with 17 points and five rebounds. Better yet, he was getting more and more confident.  That confidence and bravado carried over into Game 3, the only win his team achieved. In the victory, Matteo had the most shots in his squad, scoring 16 points and getting 4 rebounds.

However, the real highlight was in Game 4.  In that one, despite being awarded the LBA playoff top performer honor, his Trento team was eliminated from the competition. With an insane stat line of 23 points, 8 rebounds, and very good shooting efficiency, Matteo got to showcase his phenomenal skill in attacking the basket, his floater game, and even some mid-range shooting.

What’s the next step?

Well, after this insane performance in the Playoffs, Matteo returns to Real Madrid, where he is still under contract until 2024, but the future is very promising for the young Italian guard, as the Euroleague competition just keeps on getting better, him getting some reps in would be the best case scenario.

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For now, Spagnolo has an entire off-season to improve his shooting, defense, and playmaking.  After all, he wants to make sure to impress the Real Madrid staff that he deserves this opportunity to compete for their team.  Still, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he just ended up somewhere on loan again, somewhere where they would bet on him as Trento did in the Playoffs.  After all, for his final season in the Euroleague, that is exactly what the kid needs.

And then? He will be welcomed to the NBA by the Minnesota Timberwolves with open arms.