Unpacking Gobert’s potential did not happen in 2022-23
We also know that the realization of just how much of a positive impact Gobert could make on the Timberwolves roster was not salvoed overnight. Rather, it was a complex matter that required several weeks simply to comprehend the tip of the optimistic iceberg.
All the while, the Minnesota Timberwolves simply had incredibly poorly timed the move to acquire Gobert. Almost immediately after his arrival, the Timberwolves lost PF Karl-Anthony Towns for 53 games in the heart of the 2022-23 NBA season. Worse yet, the fact that Wolves PG D’Angelo Russell had no desire to facilitate Gobert in the lineup sabotaged the Wolves efforts to turn the team from a team that must outscore opponents to a team that can win on both ends of the basketball court.
The Timberwolves traded DLo at the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline and added both PG Mike Conley Jr and SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker, as well as a trio of Round 2 draft picks. But the damage was done, as Gobert finished the 2022-23 NBA season below his scoring, rebounding, and blocking averages.