The Timberwolves sitting idly by as three power forwards to whom they’d previously been linked switched teams, all while the club has a conspicuous question mark at the four spot, could be a byproduct of their continued pursuit of disgruntled Sixers point guard Ben Simmons, writes The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski.
The Wolves’ interest in the 25-year-old is one of the league’s worst-kept secrets, and Krawczynski writes that even though it’s possible the Wolves don’t have the assets required to land Simmons, the chance at landing him, however small, could potentially have outweighed the appeal of making a more marginal upgrade.
Krawczynski adds that he’s told by those around the league that if there’s any decision-maker who would ignore the optics and noise and keep pushing until he gets the deal he wants, it’s Daryl Morey. That said, the sense Krawczynski gets is that, given the improbability of Damian Lillard demanding a trade before the season, teams are content to wait and let the Sixers situation get worse, knowing eventually Morey will have to make a decision.
We have more news from the Wolves:
- There are still questions as to whether rookie standout Jaden McDaniels is better suited to playing small forward or power forward, Krawczynski writes in the same piece. McDaniels’ defense was a major high point for the Wolves last season, but at 6’9″ and 185 pounds, he gives up a lot of size and doesn’t solve the team’s rebounding issues. Part of his role going forward will be determined by whether the team takes an offense-first or defense-first approach to the starting lineup, Krawczynski says.
- The Wolves issued a press release today announcing some new hires. Among the names: Assistant Coach Elston Turner. According to Darren Wolfson of SKOR North, Turner had previously interviewed for the team’s head coach job and comes with a reputation as a defensive-minded coach.
- The Timberwolves didn’t get better this summer, writes Zach Harper in his Offseason Review for The Athletic, which is why he gives them a D+ grade for their moves, or lack thereof. Harper adds that their avenues to success involve monster defensive performances from their role players (McDaniels, Patrick Beverley, RFA Jarred Vanderbilt) and the hope that the team’s record of 13-11 with D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns playing together is the real deal.