Timberwolves Notes: Connelly, Nori, Finch, Ownership

Timberwolves team president Tim Connelly joined the organization two years ago with a deliberate, aggressive plan in mind for returning Minnesota to contender status, writes Chip Scoggins of The Star Tribune.

With core pieces Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jaden McDaniels already all in place, Connelly opted to go for size and veteran help, ultimately rounding out his starting five with former Jazz stars Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley.

Now, Minnesota’s defense in all facets is helping guiding the club deep into the playoffs. The Timberwolves, the West’s No. 3 seed with a 56-26 regular season record, have won a playoff series for the first time in 20 years. Scoggins concedes that he did not appreciate just how good Conley still was when Minnesota acquired him in a February 2023 trade, while also noting that much of the league was critical of Connelly’s decision to obtain Gobert for major future draft equity.

There’s more out of Minnesota:

  • Connelly recently addressed questions about how the team will handle what could be a very pricey roster in the offseason, per Chris Hine of The Star Tribune (via Twitter). “I think we’re a contender now,” Connelly said. “We have to believe it. We’re entering the second round with an unblemished playoff record. This room certainly thinks we’re a contender. Relative to what the offseason looks like, it would be unfair to answer those questions prior to our conclusion and what we hope not to conclude for a long time.”
  • Connelly also had high praise for assistant coach Micah Nori, who finished out the closing minutes of team’s Game 4 win over the Suns after head coach Chris Finch left the bench due to a patellar tendon injury. Micah is gonna make a great head coach when some smart team hires him,” Connelly said, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link). “The whole staff is really connected and I think Finch empowers those guys, so it’s a collective.”
  • Just one day removed from a surgery on his ruptured right knee patellar tendon, Finch was back in action on Thursday with the Timberwolves, overseeing a team practice, writes Andrew Lopez of ESPN. Minnesota intends to have Finch available with the the team once its second round series against the Nuggets tips off in Denver on Saturday. “Finch is obviously a leader and a super tough guy,” Connelly reflected. “I have a ton of respect for him bouncing back so quickly… He’s really excited about the series and it’s great to have him back.”
  • Mediation efforts between Timberwolves minority owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez and majority owner Glen Taylor did not ultimately succeed in resolving the two sides’ ownership dispute, Darren Wolfson of KSTP Sports tweets. They’ll move on to arbitration, which Wolfson believes could happen several weeks from now.
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