Juan Toscano-Anderson

And-Ones: Holland, Toscano-Anderson, All-Star, MVP Race, Reid

G League Ignite forward Ron Holland underwent surgery on his injured right thumb on Tuesday in order to repair a complete tendon rupture, a source tells Marc J. Spears of Andscape (Twitter link). Spears had reported over the weekend that Holland would miss the rest of the NBAGL season due to the thumb injury, but didn’t say at that time that the young prospect would be going under the knife.

Based on Holland’s projected recovery timeline, he should be back on the court within six-to-eight weeks, according to Spears, which will allow him to participate in the pre-draft process this spring.

Although Holland’s stock has slipped a little over the course of the 2023/24 season, he still looks like a probable lottery pick if he’s fully healthy, ranking 10th on ESPN’s latest big board.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • Veteran swingman Juan Toscano-Anderson, who played for the Mexico City Capitanes earlier in the season, has rejoined the G League club following a stint in Sacramento, per a press release (Twitter link). The Capitanes have a 10-6 regular season record, good for fourth place in the NBAGL’s Western Conference.
  • The NBA has updated its criteria for hosting an All-Star weekend, requiring a city to reach certain benchmarks in terms of hotel rooms, convention center space, and flights, per Joe Mussatto of The Oklahoman. Oklahoma City, one of the league’s smallest markets, doesn’t meet any of the three requirements, making it unlikely that the Thunder will host an All-Star game anytime soon, Mussatto notes.
  • With the schedule set to resume following the All-Star break, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press checks in on the contenders for Most Valuable Player, suggesting that it could be one of the most wide-open MVP races in years.
  • Former NBA wing Robert Reid, who played in the league from 1977-91, passed away this week at age 68 after a battle with cancer, according to Jyesha Johnson of FOX26 Houston. Reid appeared in over 900 regular season games, primarily with the Rockets, averaging 11.4 points and 4.5 rebounds in 27.3 minutes per night. Our condolences go out to his friends and family.

Kings Re-Sign Toscano-Anderson To 10-Day Deal

JANUARY 9: The Kings have re-signed Toscano-Anderson on a 10-day contract, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee tweets.

JANUARY 7: As expected, the Kings have officially waived reserve wing Juan Toscano-Anderson, according to James Ham of ESPN 1320 Sacramento (Twitter link). However, Ham reports that Sacramento intends to re-sign Toscano-Anderson to a 10-day deal if and when he clears waivers.

Toscano-Anderson first joined Sacramento last month, though he never cracked the regular lineup, only playing 19 minutes of mop-up duty across eight games. He scored a total of two points, grabbed five cumulative boards, and dished out three dimes.

After spending two days on waivers, the 30-year-old will have earned a total of $323,506 from the non-guaranteed minimum deal he initially signed on December 15.

Given that today marks the NBA’s deadline to lock in non-guaranteed salaries, it makes sense that Sacramento wants to maximize its flexibility on the fringes of its roster, with just over a month until this year’s February 8 trade deadline. Toscano-Anderson would again fill the Kings’ 15th and final roster spot once he rejoins the team.

Across his five NBA seasons spent with four teams now, the 6’6″ swingman boasts averages of 4.1 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.9 APG, and 0.6 SPG. He went undrafted out of Marquette in 2015. Following stints with pro clubs in Mexico and Venezuela, he latched on with the Warriors’ Santa Cruz NBAGL affiliate in 2018. Toscano-Anderson signed on with Golden State proper in 2020 and won a title with the club in 2022. He has spent the past two seasons with the Lakers, Jazz, and now Kings.

Kings To Cut Juan Toscano-Anderson

The Kings intend to waive Juan Toscano-Anderson prior to Sunday’s salary guarantee deadline, reports James Ham of The Kings Beat (Twitter link). The move will open up a spot on Sacramento’s 15-man roster.

Toscano-Anderson signed a non-guaranteed minimum-salary deal with the Kings on December 15, providing some depth on the wing for the club. However, he didn’t end up earning a role outside of garbage time, logging 19 total minutes in his eight appearances. He had two points, five rebounds, and three assists in his limited action.

Waiving Toscano-Anderson ahead of tomorrow’s salary guarantee date will give Sacramento some extra roster and financial flexibility ahead of the February 8 trade deadline. Assuming he officially hits waivers today and goes unclaimed, the 30-year-old will count for $311,063 against the Kings’ cap for his 25 days of service with the team. A club interested in claiming Toscano-Anderson would have to be prepared to guarantee his full $1,517,989 salary.

Sacramento, meanwhile, would be under no obligation to immediately fill the newly opened roster spot. However, the Kings could sign a free agent – including Toscano-Anderson, if he clears waivers – to a 10-day contract or two if they want to fortify their depth in the short term while keeping their options open for the trade deadline.

Pacific Notes: Beal, Toscano-Anderson, Murray, Lakers

The Suns expect Bradley Beal to be sidelined for two to three weeks with the ankle injury he suffered Friday night, sources tell Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. Friday marked just the second time all season that Beal, Kevin Durant and Devin Booker were able to start a game together, but Phoenix’s “big three” didn’t last long as Beal’s injury occurred in the first quarter.

“Twisted his ankle, but he’s a strong-minded player, person,” Durant said. “Get ready for the rehab and looking forward to having him back. It’s a tough situation, but he can deal with it.”

It was only the sixth game of the season for Beal, who has been dealing with back soreness since training camp. Rankin notes that Beal missed the first seven games of the season, then played in the next three before re-injuring his back in a November 12 contest. The team rested Beal for three weeks to allow him to heal, and Friday was his third game since returning. The inactivity has affected his scoring as he’s averaging 14.7 PPG, the lowest figure since his rookie season.

“Super unfortunate,” Booker said. “Been waiting on him to get back. Uncontrollable incident. Hate to see it.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Juan Toscano-Anderson is thrilled to be back in the NBA after signing with the Kings on Friday, tweets Marc J. Spears of Andscape. The veteran swingman, who had been with the G League’s Mexico City Capitanes, sees numerous ways he can help his new team. “I’m just hella grateful and blessed to get another opportunity,” Toscano-Anderson said, before listing the attributes he brings to the club. “Leadership. Energy. Toughness. Versatility. Camaraderie. Defense.”
  • If the Kings make a trade before the February 8 deadline, it’s extremely unlikely to include second-year forward Keegan Murray, according to James Ham of The Kings Beat. A source tells Ham that Murray hasn’t been included in any trade talks is “considered part of the franchise’s foundation moving forward.”
  • The Lakers were missing three starters for Friday’s loss at San Antonio and only had eight available players on standard contracts, notes Khobi Price of The Orange County Register. None of the starters’ absences appear to be long-term as Anthony Davis rolled his left ankle in Wednesday’s game, Cam Reddish had soreness in his right knee and D’Angelo Russell was dealing with a non-COVID illness.

Kings Sign Juan Toscano-Anderson

DECEMBER 15: The Kings have officially signed Toscano-Anderson, tweets Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. His contract is non-guaranteed, per James Ham of The Kings Beat (Twitter link).

DECEMBER 14: The Kings are signing Juan Toscano-Anderson to a one-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Toscano-Anderson, 30, had stints with the Warriors, Lakers and Jazz and will now fill Sacramento’s final open roster spot after impressing with the G League’s Mexico City Capitanes.

In 11 Showcase Cup games with the Capitanes, Toscano-Anderson averaged 19.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks. He holds career averages of 4.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG and 1.9 APG in 191 career NBA appearances (37 starts).

Toscano-Anderson worked out with the Warriors this offseason, but ultimately didn’t come away with a deal of any sort. However, Andscape’s Marc J. Spears tweets Kings head coach Mike Brown had strong interest in bringing Toscano-Anderson to training camp this offseason, though that never materialized.

As The Sacramento Bee’s Jason Anderson notes (Twitter link), Brown and Toscano-Anderson have familiarity with each other. Toscano-Anderson played for the Warriors for three seasons while Brown was lead assistant, and the duo won a championship together in 2021/22.

The Kings opened up a spot on their 15-man roster last month when they waived Filip Petrusev, who they acquired for cash after he was sent to the Clippers in the James Harden blockbuster. After surveying its options, Sacramento landed on signing Toscano-Anderson.

Anderson notes in a piece detailing the move that the Kings needed to address their wing depth after experiencing matchup difficulties in recent losses to the Pelicans and Clippers, and signing the Marquette product should help with those issues.

It’s unclear how much playing time Toscano-Anderson will receive right away but its possible the veteran could make an immediate impact on the rotation. Players like Keon Ellis, Jalen Slawson, Colby Jones and Kessler Edwards make up Sacramento’s forward and wing depth on the deep bench.

Juan Toscano-Anderson Signs With Mexico City Capitanes

Forward Juan Toscano-Anderson has signed a G League contract with the Mexico City Capitanes, the team announced (via Twitter).

Despite the move, Toscano-Anderson remains an NBA free agent. G League deals don’t impact NBA rights.

A four-year NBA veteran, Toscano-Anderson worked out for the Warriors last month after spending last season with the Lakers and Jazz. He was sent to Utah in February as part of a blockbuster trade.

Toscano-Anderson, who played college ball at Marquette, spent his first three NBA seasons with Golden State, winning a championship as a role player in ’21/22. For his career, he has averaged 4.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 191 regular season games (37 starts, 16.1 minutes), with a shooting slash line of .506/.331/.646.

The 30-year-old swingman is Mexican-American and played professionally in Mexico after going undrafted in 2015, so it will be a reunion of sorts for Toscano-Anderson. The Capitanes are one of two unaffiliated teams in the G League, along with the Ignite.

Warriors Auditioning Veteran Players

The Warriors are continuing to hold workouts with veteran NBA players as they look to fill out their roster, writes Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

In addition to Kent Bazemore and Juan Toscano-Anderson, who were previously identified as working out for the team, Scotto names Dewayne Dedmon, Will BartonJaylen NowellStanley Johnson and Derrick Favors as others who have been given tryouts.

Scotto notes that three of those players have previous experience with the organization. Bazemore signed with Golden State for the 2020/21 season, Toscano-Anderson was part of the 2021/22 title team, and Dedmon played four games for the Warriors during his rookie season.

Barton also has an upcoming workout with the Pelicans, sources tell Scotto. He was a starter with the Nuggets for several seasons, but saw his role diminish last year after being traded to the Wizards and then joining the Raptors as a free agent.

Favors recently worked out for the Trail Blazers, Scotto adds. The 32-year-old big man didn’t appear in any games last season, although he signed a 10-day contract with the Hawks in January.

Nowell averaged a career-high 10.8 PPG for the Timberwolves last season, but he hasn’t found a new team, even though Minnesota was believed to be open to a sign-and-trade deal. A report this summer indicated that the Mavericks had interest in Nowell, but nothing came of it.

Johnson, who has been with five teams over the past four years, averaged 5.8 PPG while shooting 45% from three-point range in 30 games with the Spurs last season.

Golden State has 13 players with guaranteed contracts and is expected to fill one of its two roster openings before the start of the season. The Warriors also have one two-way slot filled and commitments for three Exhibit 10 deals, so they can sign four more players before training camp opens.

Warriors Notes: McGee, Toscano-Anderson, Saric, Weems

The Warriors should consider a reunion with JaVale McGee once he gets waived by the Mavericks, writes Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. Dallas reportedly plans to use the stretch provision on the remainder of McGee’s contract, so he would have to be let go before the deadline to do that arrives at the end of the month.

The 35-year-old center spent two seasons with Golden State and was part of title-winning teams in 2017 and 2018. Although he averaged less than 10 minutes per game in both years, he made valuable contributions as a rebounder and rim protector off the bench.

Johnson points out that McGee would be the only seven-footer on a roster that needs size, and his understanding of the team’s culture could give him an edge in filling one of the final spots. With Kevon Looney and Draymond Green handling most of the minutes at center, McGee wouldn’t have to play extensively and he could help tutor young players such as Trayce Jackson-Davis.

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Former Golden State players Juan Toscano-Anderson and Kent Bazemore are part of a group that was scheduled to work out for the team this month. If the Warriors are planning to bring back someone who has played for coach Steve Kerr, Johnson sees Toscano-Anderson as the best candidate because he’s younger and more versatile than Bazemore or McGee.
  • Dario Saric‘s performance in helping Croatia win an Olympic pre-qualifying tournament demonstrated why he was Golden State’s top free agent target this summer, Johnson adds in a separate story. Saric posted 22 points and 11 rebounds in the final game, and Johnson notes that he looked like a perfect fit for Kerr’s system. He seems fully recovered from the torn ACL he suffered in the 2021 NBA Finals, and he had plenty of experience running the two-man game with new Warriors guard Chris Paul in Phoenix.
  • Newly promoted assistant coach Kris Weems will have a large role in determining how successful Paul will be in his first year with the team, according to Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle. Weems, who was promoted to the front of the bench after two years as a player development coach, replaces Jama Mahlalela, who was responsible for determining who was on the court at any given time.

Warriors To Work Out Six Veteran Free Agents

The Warriors are working out numerous veteran free agents over the next two weeks, The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Anthony Slater report (Twitter link).

That group includes Dion Waiters, Tony Snell, Kent Bazemore, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Harry Giles and Trey Burke. The Warriors have two vacancies on their 15-man roster and a camp competition is expected among several candidates, Slater tweets.

Waiters, now 31, hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2019/20 season. He attended a mini-camp with the Mavericks last summer, but wasn’t able to land a job.

Snell, also 31, wasn’t in the league last year after playing a combined 53 games for Portland and New Orleans in 2021/22.

Bazemore, 34, was also out of the league last season after appearing in 39 games with the Lakers in 2021/22. Bazemore was waived by the Kings last October.

Toscano-Anderson, 30, appeared in a total of 52 games with the Lakers and Jazz last season. He hasn’t been able to land a contract after entering free agency this summer. He and Bazemore both previously played for Golden State.

Giles, 25, was a first-round pick in 2017 but hasn’t been in the league since the 2020/21 season, when he played 38 games for the Blazers. He worked out for the Magic recently and his scheduled workout with the Warriors was previously reported. Giles could also be a candidate for one of Golden State’s two-way slots.

Burke, 30, didn’t play in the NBA last season after appearing in 42 games with the Mavericks in 2021/22. He was traded twice last summer and then waived by the Thunder. He had a stint with the Kings’ G League affiliate last season.

Trade Breakdown: Lakers/Jazz/Wolves Three-Team Blockbuster

This is the fourth entry in our series breaking down the significant trades of the 2022/23 season. As opposed to giving out grades, this series explores why the teams were motivated to make the moves. Let’s dive into a blockbuster deal between the Jazz, Lakers and Timberwolves.

On February 9, the Lakers acquired D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt; the Jazz acquired Russell Westbrook, Damian Jones, Juan Toscano-Anderson and the Lakers’ 2027 first-round pick (top-four protected); and the Timberwolves acquired Mike Conley, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and three second-round picks (one from L.A., two from Utah).

Notes: Westbrook subsequently reached a buyout agreement with the Jazz and signed with the Clippers. All three teams involved in this deal generated traded player exceptions, which can be found right here.

The Jazz’s perspective:

The Jazz weren’t invested in continuing the season with their current roster, despite a surprisingly fun ride in a year that they were expected to be at the bottom of the standings.

The move opened up playing time for Ochai Agbaji, Collin Sexton and Talen Horton-Tucker, three young players who had been in and out of the lineup (Sexton has been a rotation regular, but he’s dealt with injuries – this deal moved him into the starting lineup). Vanderbilt had already been moved to the bench due to the emergence of Walker Kessler, and the two were an awkward fit together offensively because neither is much of a threat to shoot (Vanderbilt compensates for his lack of shooting somewhat by being a good passer and ball-handler for a power forward).

Many fans think the Jazz “lost” this deal. That perception seems to stem from two things: the Lakers only giving up one first-rounder, when it was assumed they’d have to move off one just to trade Westbrook’s $47.1MM expiring salary, and the Jazz’s asking prices not being met.

The Jazz were reportedly looking for first-round picks for all three of Conley, Beasley and Vanderbilt. But that was never a realistic expectation.

Based on the structure of the deal, it’s pretty clear the Jazz were motivated to move off Conley’s contract for ‘23/24, which is partially guaranteed at $14.32MM ($24.36MM base salary), and didn’t at all mind adding Westbrook’s expiring deal to do it (it’s worth noting that the Jazz did add Jones’ $2.6MM player option for next season, which will almost certainly be exercised; Toscano-Anderson is on an expiring minimum-salary deal). I viewed Conley’s contract as having negative value leading up to the trade deadline, as he’ll turn 36 years old next season and has already declined on both ends of the court, particularly defensively.

Beasley provides something that every team wants: high volume 3-point shooting. However, he’s a very streaky shooter, and doesn’t offer a ton in other areas. He makes $15.56MM this season with a $16.52MM team option for ‘23/24. I thought Beasley had slightly positive value, but nothing special – maybe a heavily-protected first-round pick or a few seconds.

Vanderbilt was the player who had the most value of the three, in my opinion, due to his age (23), rate of improvement, versatility, strong defense, and team-friendly contract – he makes $4.37MM this season and $4.7MM in ‘23/24 (only partially guaranteed at $300K). I thought Utah could get a late first-rounder this season or a lottery-protected first in the future for him.

In aggregate, that’s one player with solid value, one with slightly positive value, and one with negative. Not a ton of overall value despite the three being rotation players for a decent team.

Obviously, the Jazz highly valued the lightly protected pick from the Lakers. Even in a scenario where the Lakers have the worst record in ’26/27 (they probably won’t, but you never know), there would still be a 47.9% chance the pick lands at fifth overall and goes to Utah. The major downside – and the upside for the Lakers – is if it does fall in the top four, the Jazz only receive the Lakers’ 2027 second-rounder.

Another factor in this trade from Utah’s side of things that I thought was interesting is also pretty cynical. If the Jazz believe Minnesota going from Russell to Conley is a downgrade — and it is at this point in their careers, which is why the Wolves got second-rounders back — then that increases the odds of the Wolves missing the playoffs. In that scenario, the Jazz would get a lottery pick in 2023 (they control Minnesota’s pick due to the Rudy Gobert trade).

They could also reasonably view the deal as a short-term upgrade for the Lakers, which would increase L.A.’s odds of passing Minnesota and Utah in the standings, and thus increase the odds of the Jazz controlling two lottery picks. For the rest of the season, the better the Lakers do and the worse the Wolves and Jazz do, the better it is for the Jazz as far as those first-rounders go.

The Jazz held out for a long time to get the best deal they could. This turned out to be it.

The Lakers’ perspective:

I think the Lakers made out well in this deal, but it did reduce their draft arsenal to go for a star in the future (that may or may not have been realistic). Still, they upgraded their roster, got younger, and the players make sense for what they need.

Los Angeles replaced one player who was a poor fit and two little-used reserves for three potential starters; at worst they’re rotation regulars. None of the outgoing players were shooters, and they picked up a couple pretty good ones.

Russell, 27, is having a strong year from an efficiency standpoint, shooting career highs from all over the court (54.3% on twos, 38.9% on threes, 85.0% from the line). However, he is not a great rebounder or defender, and his decision-making can be questionable as a lead ball-handler.

That’s less of a concern with the Lakers, as he can play alongside James and/or Dennis Schroder. That allows Russell to function both on and off the ball, which is ideal for his skill set. Unfortunately, he sprained his ankle in his fourth game back with Los Angeles, but the injury isn’t considered a long-term concern.

As I’ve mentioned previously, Beasley is a feast-or-famine type shooter who can go off at any given time. It’s a bit of roller coaster ride watching him from game-to-game because you never know if he’s going to be on that day or not, and he doesn’t stop shooting even if he’s off.

While he doesn’t provide a whole lot else, opponents treat the 26-year-old like a sharpshooter who has to be accounted for at all times, and that creates space for teammates. The Lakers didn’t have anyone like that on the roster before the deal, even if Beasley is more of a very willing good shooter than a great one.

Vanderbilt is the player I think fans will be most excited about of the three, despite being the least well known. He brings a much-needed infusion of speed, length, defensive versatility, hustle and rebounding the team has lacked all season.

Still just 23 years old, Vanderbilt instantly becomes the best wing defender the Lakers have had since they decided not to re-sign Alex Caruso in 2021 free agency. His energy is infectious and can swing the tide of games – he was absolutely instrumental in the team’s huge comeback victory over Dallas on Sunday.

The three players were teammates on the Wolves from 2020-22, so they already have some built-in chemistry (strangely, Beasley and Vanderbilt have now been packaged together in three separate trades). Only Vanderbilt has a small partial guarantee for next season, which gives the Lakers the flexibility to move on from any of them in the offseason, though I think that’s unlikely.

Another positive aspect of the deal is the Lakers added more desirable contracts. Almost their entire roster was on minimum- or maximum-salary deals before the deadline, but now they have more variety in that regard, assuming they retain all three players.

I don’t think this trade suddenly transformed the Lakers into title contenders this season, but I do think it made them much better than they were — now and going forward.

My biggest question mark from the Lakers’ side is, if this trade was available in February, could they have done it earlier in the season? Because they have to dig themselves out of a hole to climb up the standings, and there aren’t many games left in which to do it – a task made even more difficult by the foot injury to James.

The Wolves’ perspective:

One of the downsides of dealing away multiple starters at once — Patrick Beverley and Vanderbilt last year in the Gobert trade — is that it can erode a team’s chemistry. The Wolves clearly got on well last season. That matters for a young team, especially one that historically has been a bottom dweller in the standings.

The Gobert trade upended that chemistry, transforming a fun up-and-coming team with low expectations into a win-now team with high expectations. It’s pretty clear some of the remaining players were less than thrilled with the deal, especially at the start of ‘22/23. Some moved on and slowly learned how to work with Gobert. Some did not.

Russell was in the latter group. He frequently had terrible body language this season, specifically anytime Gobert made a mistake (fumbled passes, etc.).

Perhaps more than anything else, this deal was a pretty clear vote of no confidence in Russell. Obviously, the Wolves did not value him at whatever he was asking for in contract extension negotiations.

The Wolves could not have easily cleared a significant amount of cap space in the offseason even if they had let Russell walk in free agency. Instead, they decided to push that decision a year down the line and replace his salary slot with Conley, a mature veteran who should be able to provide leadership for a team that, from the outside looking in, is lacking in that department.

Minnesota is trying to remedy some of the chemistry issues by adding a calming, professional locker-room presence in Conley. The fact that Conley played with Gobert for three seasons was obviously a motivating factor as well. They already have some built-in chemistry, which was clearly lacking with Russell.

He’s also a much better decision-maker than Russell on the court, with his assist-to-turnover ratio at 4.4-to-1, which ranks fifth in the NBA (Russell’s is 2.31-to-1, which ranks 112th). That’s important for a Wolves team that ranks 28th in the league in turnovers per game.

I have a lot of respect for how Conley carries himself, both on and off the court. He was one of the league’s most underrated players during his 12 years with Memphis, and his teams have consistently been better when he’s playing — that was true for Utah this year too (better on offense and worse on defense, but still plus overall). He has a high basketball IQ and generally doesn’t beat himself with careless mistakes.

Alexander-Walker was likely more of a throw-in for salary-matching purposes, but the Wolves will get a closer look at him for the rest of the season (he can be a RFA if they give him a qualifying offer). The former 17th overall pick is having a solid year from an efficiency standpoint and has impressed me in some late-game situations with his defense, even if he wasn’t consistently in Utah’s rotation.

While I understand the logic behind the move from Minnesota’s side of the deal, I also think the Wolves took on the most short- and long-term risk.

Make no mistake, the Wolves knew this was was a downgrade from a production standpoint — that’s why they got back three second-round picks in the deal. Considering his age, size (6’1″, 175 pounds) and contract, if Conley declines any further, it will be very difficult to move him next season.

Russell may have his flaws, but he was also clutch this season, having bailed them out on several occasions during second-half collapses (a season-long problem). He was the team’s second-leading scorer with Karl-Anthony Towns sidelined for most of the season, and removing him from the equation puts a lot of pressure on the rest of the roster to replace Russell’s scoring – the Wolves are just 21st in the league in offensive rating.

The early returns haven’t been promising. Minnesota has gone 1-4 since the deal was finalized, though in fairness some key rotation players have been in and out of the lineup.

The key takeaway from the Wolves’ end is that they preferred to get something back for Russell rather than losing him for nothing in free agency. Not wanting to make a significant investment in Russell makes sense to me if they didn’t view him as a long-term fit. Still, if they miss the playoffs and the Jazz get extremely lucky and that pick lands early, it would be an unmitigated disaster for Minnesota.