Timberwolves Connelly dodged a Harden-Morey doomsday showdown

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves may or may not be winning your confidence with the choices made to restock, refurbish, and reset the Timberwolves roster, but they certainly are trying to take a proactive approach, aren’t they? I mean, the Timberwolves have been quite active at almost every turn. Not just to make a trade or signing for the sake of doing so but in the hope and earnest effort to make the Timberwolves team better.

If you dare to play the “What if . . .?” game with moves made by the Minnesota Timberwolves, you are in luck. The recent tragic path taken by Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard James Harden and his earnest desire to be traded away from the 76ers has taken a very dark turn.  And that has gone viral on NBA headlines.

The fact that James Harden is actively and publicly calling  Philadelphia 76ers executive Daryl Morey a liar is something that you never want to see happen. But it does throw the decision to trade away veteran PG D’Angelo Russell into a completely new light, doesn’t it?

Revisiting Wolves offloading DLoading

Let’s revisit the Timberwolves situation. D’Angelo Russell was a veteran point guard in the last year of his contract. He let it be known that he wanted his sack of cash early in the season, but his role with the Timberwolves roster was compromised as he became adversarial with center Rudy Gobert.  Seeing a no-win scenario in the windshield, Timberwolves President Tim Connelly opted to trade away D’Lo at the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline for PG Mike Conley, SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and three second-round draft picks.

The Philadelphia 76ers executive Daryl Morey made a commitment to trade oft-disgruntled shooting guard James Harden after another failed effort to win the NBA Championship. But the offers for Harden came in much less than hoped for, creating a chasm between Harden and the 76ers.

The Timberwolves didn’t have to trade Russell. In fact, some thought that the Timberwolves needed to keep an unhappy D’Angelo Russell as the team was pushing for the 2023 NBA Playoffs. What would the situation be now if the team had extended D’Lo for a year? The scenario would likely resemble that of the Sixers’ scenario with Harden. An unhappy veteran looking for a new team and trying every trick in the book to force a trade.

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Never harness negative energy

The Minnesota Timberwolves acted swiftly to offload a veteran who was unhappy in his role on the Timberwolves roster. So quickly in fact that the Timberwolves seamlessly restocked the roster and are now stronger than ever.

Sometimes, the cost of committing to get the perfect price point for a player results in harnessing a lot of negative energy that derails and demoralizes the entire team. The Timberwolves swiftly pivoted from an unhappy and dysfunctional point guard to a true field general and facilitator helped the Timberwolves roster turn the corner and set this team up for a huge 2023-24 NBA season.

You may not always get the price you want. But like a bad relationship, you cannot improve your situation until you let go of the past and the hurt. Brighter days arrive after you let the rainy day end.

I’m not here to throw shade at the Philadelphia 76ers or James Harden. It’s an ugly situation that will likely turn uglier before any resolution arrives. That’s a shame because the fans are held hostage in the meantime.

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I’m simply pointing out that the Minnesota Timberwolves nimbly sidestepped their own doomsday scenario. Perhaps, just maybe, Tim Connelly is better than some are giving him credit for . . .