The Timberwolves are off to a disappointing 22-24 start this season, but Rudy Gobert‘s former teammates continue to preach patience and still believe the center can be successful in Minnesota, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Gobert’s fellow All-Star in Utah, Donovan Mitchell, says he let friends Anthony Edwards and D’Angelo Russell know that building rapport with the big man on both sides of the ball wouldn’t be an overnight process.
“I told them, ‘It’s not just going to happen,'” Mitchell said. “‘You’ve gotta stay building that bond and chemistry. It’s going to take time to see it continuously build gradually.'”
Meanwhile, ex-colleagues of Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly have faith in the former Nuggets executive’s ability to right the ship in Minnesota, raving about his ability to stay positive in the face of adversity, as Krawczynski details in another story for The Athletic.
“This may sound strange, but in a long, emotional NBA season, he’s going to find a way to bring some comedy and some lightness to it, which I think is needed,” Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said of Connelly. “I’m sure everybody here in Minnesota is not happy with their play. Getting down and getting negative will not help that. That will only make it worse. So Tim is definitely the guy that can get this team out of that.”
Here’s more from around the Northwest:
- Appearing on the Rip City Radio 620 show in Portland, Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report said he hasn’t heard anything so far about the Trail Blazers dangling players in trade talks, though he acknowledged that could change within the next three weeks (story via Matthew Legros of Blazer’s Edge). Haynes added that the team considers guard Anfernee Simons close to untouchable.
- Filling in this week for Michael Malone, who was placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Nuggets assistant coach David Adelman received a strong endorsement from two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, writes Mike Singer of The Denver Post (subscription required). Jokic believes it’s just a matter of time before Adelman is named a permanent head coach by an NBA team. “I really think that DA’s a guy who’s gonna be next head coach because he has that, I’m gonna say ‘head’ for a head coach,” Jokic said. “… He knows the answers. He reads, reacts.”
- Andy Larsen of The Salt Lake Tribune explores the rumors linking Jazz point guard Mike Conley to the Clippers and considers what a trade package might look like. Larsen suggests that a combination like Robert Covington, John Wall, and one minimum-salary or near-minimum player might work, adding that Utah could seek a second-round pick depending on who that third player is.