Timberwolves Notes: Conley, Trade Targets, Reid, Edwards

The Timberwolves brought in veteran Mike Conley to run the point and dealt impending free agent D’Angelo Russell. Coach Chris Finch believes Conley will be a better fit to initiate their offense, Chris Hine of The Star Tribune writes.

“(Russell has) grown to have a lot of fans around the league and we were able to make a move that we felt matched us up a little bit better as we grow into this roster, get a little bit healthier,” Finch said. “We get KAT (Karl-Anthony Towns) back, Ant’s (Anthony Edwards‘) ascendancy — we just kind of needed a connector. I felt we needed a guy who was a connector there. When you have a chance to get a guy like Mike, you don’t think too much about it.”

We have more from the Timberwolves:

  • Minnesota was looking to make more deals, particularly for shooters, before the deadline passed on Thursday, according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski. Among the players the Wolves pursued were Denver’s Bones Hyland, Phoenix’s Jae Crowder, Detroit’s Saddiq Bey and Miami’s Max Strus. All of those players except Strus got traded elsewhere.
  • In the same story, Krawczynski reports that the Timberwolves fielded many inquiries regarding center Naz Reid. More than a dozen teams asked about his availability but the Wolves didn’t come close to moving him. He’ll be an unrestricted free agency after the season.
  • Conley is not only busy meshing his on-court skills with his new teammates — he’s also quickly establishing himself in the locker room, Krawczynski writes in a separate story. “Leadership. Just being that veteran in the locker room that we needed,” Edwards said. “He can shoot the ball really good. Pass the ball. Him and Rudy (Gobert) got a really good connection, so I think it should be pretty good.”
  • The fact that Conley is signed through next season also added to the appeal of acquiring his services, GM Tim Connelly told Hine. “There was some appeal of the contract of Mike as well,” Connelly said. “You’re always trying to think for the here and now and think of next year and beyond. It was not done lightly, and (Russell) was not a guy we were looking to move just to move.” Conley’s $24.36MM salary for next season is partially guaranteed for $14.32MM.
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