4. 2023 trade deadline deal
As the 2023 NBA trade deadline approached, the Timberwolves were still hovering around .500 and many felt a deal had to be made. Much had been made of D'Angelo Russell's situation, who was playing on an expiring contract and could depart in free agency the following summer.
Knowing this, Tim Connelly worked to find a suitable replacement while improving Minnesota's overall situation as well. In the end, he accomplished all that and then some. Connelly dealt D'Lo in a three-team trade with the Jazz and Lakers that landed the Wolves two second-round picks, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and their new starting point guard, Mike Conley.
At the time, some saw this as a bit of a lateral move, given that D'Angelo Russell is a bit younger and more athletic than Conley. But as we have seen, Conley turned out to be just what this team needed. Having played alongside Gobert in Utah, he brought instant chemistry with the big man that helped to unlock his game.
Conley also brought his much-needed veteran leadership and locker room presence to the Timberwolves, which has played no small part in helping them reach the top of the Western Conference standings this season. Nickeil Alexander-Walker has been an excellent addition to the rotation as well.
In all, this move may prove to be Tim Connelly's greatest feat. Trading for Rudy Gobert laid the foundation of a contender, but Mike Conley has supercharged the Timberwolves' starting lineup and set them on the path Connelly envisioned all along.