The Timberwolves wanted to add size to their front line, but the closest they came to making a trade at the deadline was a proposed swap with the Wizards involving Montrezl Harrell, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Harrell could have helped a Minnesota team that has been near the bottom of the league in defensive rebounding all season, but Krawczynski states that there was internal debate about how he would have fit in. He’s only 6’7″ and isn’t a good outside shooter or an outstanding defender, so the Wolves passed on the deal and Harrell wound up in Charlotte.
Minnesota talked to the Celtics about acquiring Marcus Smart, but never made much traction, Krawczynski adds. Boston offered Josh Richardson and Romeo Langford in exchange for Malik Beasley, but the Wolves turned it down, feeling that Beasley’s outside shooting is too valuable to part with.
There’s more from Minnesota:
- Executive vice president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta had plenty of incentive to make a huge trade by the deadline, but he didn’t feel like the right offer was available, Krawczynski writes in the same piece. Gupta, who took over his position when Gersson Rosas was fired before the start of training camp, could have felt pressure to shake up the roster before the new ownership group decides on his future with the organization. “I could imagine the perception that I would want to put my stamp on things and make a move just for the sake of it. But that’s just not how I operate,” Gupta said. “I’m going to operate from a position of what is best for this franchise, not for me.”
- The Timberwolves had been mentioned frequently as Ben Simmons suitors since last summer, but the package the Nets got from the Sixers on Thursday is far better than anything Minnesota could have offered, contends Michael Rand of The Star Tribune. The Wolves didn’t have the star that Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey was seeking, and they weren’t able to convince a third team to get involved. Rand also suggests that Minnesota may have benefited from keeping its young core together, rather than breaking it up for a shot at Simmons.
- The Wolves have an open roster spot, but they won’t address it right away, at least not on a permanent basis, tweets Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Gupta said the team doesn’t expect to fill that spot with more than a 10-day contract until at least March due to luxury tax concerns.