A sad ending and a missing 3rd.
The Timberwolves season ended with a round of applause for KAT as he showed his gratitude before walking back to the locker room. Meanwhile, Memphis and Ja Morant hit the griddy on the center court like they were pushed into the middle of the circle at a high school dance. One month and a new front office later we sit with multiple questions and only a few answers.
What Happened to D’lo?
After a streaky up and down season with some big ice-in-my-veins shots. D’Angelo Russell stepped up in the play-in game and helped will the Wolves to victory. After the post-game interview where D’Lo exclaimed “we’re not happy, this is where we expect to be”. His check engine light turned on, the motor started smoking and the Wolves called AAA to get his motor back up and running hopefully. Nothing worked, through each game of the Memphis series, it ended up getting progressively worse. It sadly ended with the 33 million dollar player being subbed out in the final minutes for a 2 million dollar third-string point guard. As we sit today the Wolves have a clear 1-2 tandem with Kat and Ant. They will still be searching for the third piece of the puzzle to help ascend them to the next level.
Decisions, Decisions.It’s widely believed the Wolves are actively searching the trade market. Currently, looking to offload D’Angelo’s contract after his miserable post-season run, but for who? Selling on a player at his lowest value is never a good strategy. By all means, the Wolves’ overall regular season was very good compared to years past. Jordan McLaughlin isn’t ready to be the answer. Patrick Beverley is a quality PG but with his age and injuries, he’s not someone who you can rely on for a full year. Lastly, Leandro Balmaro sits as the Wolves’ final PG on the roster. To put it lightly he has a ton of work to do before he earns minutes on the roster.
Free Agent Possibilities
The free-agent market is slim. With players like John Wall or Russel Westbrook opting out of their player option. Which is highly unlikely due to the money coming their way. There’s always the controversial Ricky Rubio who some love and others love to hate. After his last departure and coming off of injury I have a hard time seeing him come back to Minnesota. One free agent I would like to see back would be former Wolf Tyus Jones. He will become available this off-season looking for a starting role and a couple more zeros on his check.
NBA Draft PossibilitiesThroughout multiple mock drafts, only two-point guards are projected to be selected in the first round. The Kentucky freshman TyTy Washington will be a top ten pick. Which the Wolves could look to trade up if they fall in love with him. Tennessee freshman Kennedy Chandler is an undersized point guard standing at 6 feet and 170 pounds. For someone that small you might not be able to pick him out of a lineup at you’re local YMCA.
Run it back.
For me, there’s only one thing to do if you’re Tim Connelly. Give the core another year and let Chris Finch fix what didn’t work. What I suggest is to take the good with the leadership and knowledge that D’Lo brings. We can limit his shot-taking and poor decisions that hurt him so much in the playoffs. A refreshed and confident D’Angelo Russel can be an all-star talent.
A confident D’Lo could help lead this team past the first round of the playoffs. As Minnesotans, we are so quick to toss a player to the side and look for something else even tho it could be a worse alternative. Hell, most of you wanted Kat traded after his first two playoff games this season. Now he’s the first All-NBA player the Wolves have had since Kevin Love. Take a breath wolves fans. Allow this team to grow together and get back to the playoffs next year with a new sense of hope. I’m not out on D’lo just yet and you shouldn’t be either. With free agency coming and talks of a new stadium in the works, relax and enjoy the summer. Before you know it the Wolves will be Back.
7th-year Senior at UND. (not a doctor). 2021 6v6 sand volleyball champion. Read my thoughts on the Wolves, Gophers, and USMNT.
Call me out on Twitter @RG__II