Northwest Notes: Wolves, Beverley, Lillard, Sneed

Back in 2017, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Zach LaVine were in the early stages of their respective careers with the Timberwolves and had picked out a neighborhood where they’d all have homes within walking distance of one another, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

“I remember us all talking about getting houses in the same cul-de-sac so we could be locked in every single day with each other and make that camaraderie and unity that we needed to win a championship,” Towns told Krawczynski.

The trio’s plan to turn the Timberwolves into a contender together was derailed when LaVine was traded to Chicago and Wiggins was later sent to Golden State, but Towns, Wiggins, and LaVine were reunited at this weekend’s All-Star Game in Cleveland, each representing a different team.

As Krawczynski relays, former Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders said his father – the late Flip Saunders, who built that Wolves roster – would have been “so proud” to see all three players make the All-Star team, even if they were no longer teammates in Minnesota.

“It was just really cool to see us all on that stage and where we came from, being together on the same team and us all leaving and figuring out our own way,” LaVine said. “Everything happens for a reason.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • John Hollinger of The Athletic takes a look at the Timberwolves‘ decision to sign Patrick Beverley to a one-year, $13MM contract extension, noting that the team will be over the cap and under the tax line this offseason and didn’t really sacrifice any flexibility to extend Beverley. Minnesota remains in good position to potentially use cap room in 2022/23, Hollinger adds.
  • Speaking to Adam Caparell of Complex Sports, Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard reiterated that, despite a disappointing season, he remains committed to the franchise for the foreseeable future. “I’m loyal to what I believe,” Lillard said. “I do love living in Portland. I do love playing for the Trail Blazers. But I’ve built this. I’ve been part of this for 10 years. I’ve been part of the change here and us being a successful franchise. I know what means something to me in my heart. And that’s winning a championship here.”
  • Xavier Sneed‘s new two-way contract with the Jazz is a two-year agreement, covering 2022/23 in addition to the rest of this season, Hoops Rumors has learned. That doesn’t guarantee that Sneed will remain with the team next season, but it gives Utah the option to hang onto him without needing to sign him to a new deal.
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