As we relayed on Thursday, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly spoke during an appearance on The Jon Krawczynski Show about the team’s desire to keep Jaden McDaniels around for the long term, telling Krawczynski that he’d love to get an extension done with the young forward before the season begins.
Connelly’s comments about McDaniels weren’t the only interesting takeaway from that conversation. As Krawczynski writes for The Athletic, the Wolves’ lead decision-maker also addressed several other topics related to the club’s offseason and expectations for the 2023/24 season, including why Minnesota is more optimistic about the pairing of Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns heading into their second year together.
“We don’t have too much video, but we have enough video to understand where we were wrong and where we were right and kind of drill down on those things that were working and say, ‘Maybe we were wrong with this is how things potentially could work,'” Connelly said. “So I just think collectively, knowing all the actors is going to make things a whole lot easier.”
Here are a few more highlights from Connelly during his interview with Krawczynski:
On whether the Wolves viewed 2022/23 as a down year for Gobert:
“I think at times we kind of don’t appreciate how impactful it can be (for a player) to make a big move. And the first one. So I think Rudy was very good last year by NBA standards. I thought by his standards, I don’t think he played up to his standards. I think he’d be the first to tell you. He was coming off a brutal European championship where I think he played until maybe eight days before the season. Nobody works harder than Rudy. Nobody pays more attention and detail to every single aspect of his game, his body, his mental approach. And he’s super, super excited to have a more comfortable season both on and off the court.”
On why he has big expectations for Anthony Edwards this season:
“I think he’s primed to have a monster year. … His work ethic has been insane this offseason. I mean, the guy’s in the best shape of his life. He’s so excited to take the next step, excited with the guys on this team and what they can do as they grow together. But I think with him, anything that’s not sincere or not kind of true to who he is, I think he smells it out quickly. So him forging his path, I think is the challenge that we’ve given him. And how can we help ensure he’s doing it in a way that’s reflective of who he is?”
On the role the Wolves envision for free agent addition Shake Milton:
“We view Shake as a point guard. He’s started enough NBA games at that position where we feel confident that he can handle that load. He’s a guy that, when given the opportunity, he always produced and produced for good teams. Philadelphia has won as many games as anybody in the last three or four years. So we were excited to get him in. I think it gives us a different look with size at that position, his ability to score around the paint and his ability to be a good match for our bigs. He can make some of the passes that, at 6’5″, 6’6″, he’s allowed to make that maybe smaller guards can’t make. So we’re excited about him.”