Timberwolves Owner Talks Saunders, D-Lo, Wiggins

Although Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas is responsible for making roster decisions in Minnesota, any trade requires the approval of owner Glen Taylor. As such, Taylor was very involved in basketball decisions at this year’s trade deadline, when the Wolves traded away half their roster in a series of major deals.

In a conversation with Sid Hartman of The Star Tribune, Taylor said that he and Rosas “talk quite often” and that the team had spent much of the season preparing for moves like the one that sent Robert Covington to Houston and especially the one that saw D’Angelo Russell land in Minnesota.

Taylor said he’s “excited” to have acquired so many promising young players that are in the same age range as Karl-Anthony Towns, suggesting that the team’s hope is for those players to continue to improve and grow together.

Taylor’s conversation with Hartman included a handful of other noteworthy comments, including the Wolves owner’s thoughts on head coach Ryan Saunders‘ job security, trading former No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, and more. Here are a few of the highlights:

On whether he has considered replacing Saunders during the Timberwolves’ current 6-29 stretch:

“No, no, no, he is hired. A young guy and he is going to get better as time goes on and we just have to give him that time.

“[Saunders] is excited about this change that now he has guys that can play the kind of basketball he wants. He is really a believer in the three-point shot, moving the ball fast, and getting up and down the court. He needed some players that were better three-point shooters than what we had previously.”

On the front office continuing to push for Russell after completing its Covington trade:

“They kept working on Russell, that was the main thing that they wanted to accomplish. They were able to do that and get two young guys out of Denver (Malik Beasley and Juan Hernangomez) that were part of our hopes for the future. It just dragged on — these things are difficult — almost to the last few hours before everything fell into place. But it was very interesting to me that normally if part of this would have fell into place, we would have been happy. But in this particular case, everything went our way. We think we have helped our team and we have probably helped some other teams. It is probably a win-win.”

On Wiggins becoming easier to move this season than he was last summer:

“I don’t think there was any secret to that. Andrew worked really hard. He didn’t have the best year last year, and we worked really hard with him this summer to improve and I think we saw some improvements. That allowed us to have the chance to make a trade this year where last year I don’t think it was there with any team.”

“… I think [Warriors head coach] Steve Kerr said it exactly right, this should be a win-win. Us getting Russell should really help us and them getting Wiggins on their team should really help them. Wiggins won’t be expected to be the main scorer. He can fit in with their team. I’m hopeful it works out for him, and I’m confident it will work out with Russell on our team.”

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20 thoughts on “Timberwolves Owner Talks Saunders, D-Lo, Wiggins

  1. Jason Lancaster

    Did Taylor say anything about selling the team? Because that would really help their record.

  2. tomjoadsghost

    The guy who maxed out Wiggins and KAT is still the decider with trades. Yikes. Minnesotans deserve better.

  3. x%sure

    I think Rosas privately wanted to to follow the Denver/Dantoni way, trying out different Offensive players to see who fits with Towns & D’Lo, sacrificing winning this year while they still have their pick, before getting defensive help for next year when GSW has it.

    Wolves sent out RoCo before the Wiggins deal. If the sequence was reversed, they might cancel the RoCo deal to have him fill the open SF spot and balance D’Lo on defensively. (Three other teams would have to start the trade over!)

    Now did GSW wait to the last minute to accept that offer, or did Rosas hold off on the eventual package, offering less, until he dealt RoCo? Taylor does not say.

  4. nentwigs

    Taylor is structuring the Timberpuppies in such a way that they can make a serious championship run – the championship of the G League ….

  5. Andrew Wiggins is balling out, especially on defense (granted for a weak 2020 GS team).

    23/4/3 with 53% of 3 point shooting on 5 attempts per game. Also 2.3 steals and 1.7 blocks per game.

    Works well in open space and Kerr’s system. Definitely making the trade more of a win for the Warriors.

    • ThePeople'sElbow

      incredibly SSS, but yes early returns are looking positive.

      got a better positional fit, at the same salary-ish and got a lottery pick on top of it.

      everyone forgets the Dubs first Chip. The core 3 won with Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli as the other 2 starters. Sure looks like Wiggins and Chriss are going to be more competent and contribute at higher levels than either of those two.

      Sure Steph, Klay and Dray are 5yrs older, but damn if I’d bet against their competitive spirit. LBJ better win this year as his window might be shut moving forward.

      • Completely agree with you.

        Yes they had iggy snd linvingston. However if paschall and Poole Can improve from their rookie seasons, the gap will be closer (bench productivity).

        • Plus whatever vets that want to join next season. The guys GS shipped to Phila would be nice to have back or similarly on min salary

          • ThePeople'sElbow

            oh Burks is gonna wanna come back, unless someone offers him a major deal.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        Ezeli may have been a semi-regular starter for the Warriors during his rookie year, but that was two years earlier. He missed 36 games in each of his last two seasons with them (before he retired at age 27). Their starting center that season was Bogut, the top pick in the 2005 draft.

        • ThePeople'sElbow

          Bogut and Ezeli split minutes in the postseason at the 5.

          It didn’t matter the Death Lineup was on the floor in crunch time. Iggy, Steph, Klay, Dray and S.dot.

          you’re jealousy and desperation for a championship is so pathetic. are you Darryl Morey? Darryl?

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        And no, Wiggins and Chriss are not more competent than Barnes and Bogut nor will they contribute at higher levels, not by a long shot. The latter two were both excellent defenders, far better than either Wiggins or Chriss. And the Big 3 of Curry, Klay, and Green are no longer even close to being the players they were five years ago.

        • hah, unless they can’t comeback from injury, steph and klay were better than they were five years ago. the only one who has declined is green.

          And even then, you can’t go based off this seasons stats.

        • Dodgethis

          Uh, if by no longer even close you mean exponentially better than yes, you are correct. Curry is a much better defender and Klay learned how to dribble. Draymond seems to have lost his shot but that’s the only knock. They are physically at their peak. And shooting ages well.

          Curry Thompson Barnes Green Bogut Iguodala Lee Barbosa Livingston Ezeli

          It was an incredibly deep team, which is what the warriors sacrificed to get Durant. With 2 first plus everyone on the roster now, warriors can return to strength in numbers with 2 low lotto picks and incredible veterans. Or they can try to package it all for another superstar, which I don’t think they will do.

        • ThePeople'sElbow

          uh yes they are, mr biased HOU fan. Also Wiggins and Chriss are 25 and 23 respectively, hard to imagine they won’t continue to improve. How many minutes of Dubs game you watched this season? GTFOH Jabroni.

        • ThePeople'sElbow

          just like Westbrick isn’t even close to being the player he was 5 years ago. HA!

    • jeb39999

      He is a streaky player but yes he is on a hot streak. He won’t need to fill the stat sheet next year so it will probably work but he will be vastly over paid for his role on the team. They should look to move him this offseason when his value will be its highest because he will have little to no trade value as the 4th option on this team next year.

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