While some may not truly appreciate the efforts of Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly, perhaps some of the disconnects have more to do with how we have imagined how the 2022-23 NBA season should have gone than what actually took place.
While some point to the fact that the Timberwolves won fewer games in the 2022-23 season (42) than in the 2021-22 season (46), how do those who cite that regression factor in the absence of Karl-Anthony Towns for 53 games? In my estimation, the Timberwolves’ trajectory in the same injury scenario was a 2022-23 season with just 36 wins.
And for those who cite the emergence of Utah Jazz rookie center, Walker Kessler, who are you kidding? There is no way that the Minnesota Timberwolves move Karl-Anthony Towns to power forward for a rookie center, and there is no way that the team would have Walker Kessler anywhere on the depth chart other than behind Towns and Naz Reid.
Are more Wolves moves happening this year?
The Timberwolves made risky but worthwhile moves a year ago to improve the team. Now the question is, are similar moves likely this year? Well, that question was posed directly to Timberwolves President Connelly in a recent interview. A segment of that interview is available in the Tweet below:
So what was his answer?
"‘. . . proclamations that I will never trade you. I think that is . . . I would never say that. There’s countless (NBA) players out there. But I don’t think that there’s any real expectation that our team is going to be much different.We’re pretty fired up to have two elite guys in Karl-Anthony (Towns), and a guy we think is going to revert back to his more of his form in Rudy (Gobert) and be the best defensive player in the NBA next year. We have a guy in Jaden (McDaniels) who is growing up right in front of our eyes and is really exciting to watch. And we’ve got a great general in Mike Conley (Jr.).I love what the starting five looks like, and I’m fortunate to work with those guys. And I think that’s a pretty strong group.’ – Per Tim Connelly as per the video above"
While there is a lot said, it’s pretty clear that the Minnesota Timberwolves seem to have two distinct objectives this offseason:
I – Focus on building a full NBA roster around the team’s starting five
II – Perhaps listen to offers that could blow them away, but it really does not feel like this is a team that is shopping for or considering trading away any star contributors right now.
Of course, things can and have changed rapidly. A year ago, the team committed to re-signing D’Angelo Russell, but it was clear that a trade was needed, both from the financial chasm that had grown between the player and the team, and the lockerroom problems that Russell seemed to be comfortable with.
Now, the message is that the team is happy with the starting five. Of course, there is always:
‘proclamations that I will never trade you. I think that is . . . I would never say that.”
So stay tuned, business could be picking up at any moment.