If D’Angelo Russell is wearing a Timberwolves uniform by this weekend and Andrew Wiggins is on somebody else’s payroll, Gersson Rosas should receive a celebratory toast and perhaps a statue outside Target Center.
If nothing else happens and the Wolves are left with this …. whatever this is, well, here’s some great news, fans: Pitchers and catchers report in less than a week.
There has to be more coming, right? Something big. Something compelling. Something that makes an irrelevant team more interesting.
Please show that trading away half of a hodgepodge roster for a different hodgepodge roster is merely one necessary step in accomplishing a much more significant transaction. Otherwise, the rest of this season will resemble an NBA tryout camp.
Rosas, the Wolves president, has asked for patience, and he deserves patience since he’s still new to his job, but I sure hope that these First Avenue metrics mavens know what they’re doing and can turn their master plan into reality. Because things look like a disjointed mess at the moment.
The Wolves fielded a partial team Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks while a four-team trade involving roughly 500 players was being finalized with the NBA office. That still was no excuse for the effort put forth against a 13-win team. The Wolves looked largely disinterested defensively in a 127-120 loss.
A day earlier, Rosas jettisoned five players, took back four, collected a first-round pick and left a lot of us with the same reaction: What happened and who are these guys?
Rosas clearly is maneuvering to land a big fish. His fascination with Russell is well-established. If not him, then some other star, because the Wolves desperately need an alpha to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns to A) win and B) keep Towns happy and committed to staying in Minnesota.
Rosas accumulated trade capital with his roster purge to make a splash before Thursday’s deadline or, at worst, this summer. But nothing guarantees the organization will be able to pull off a franchise-altering deal this summer if forced to wait.
The new Wolves regime is overhauling the entire operation, which requires time and patience. And hope. But the reservoir of patience and hope with fans is just about empty by now. The Wolves rank dead last in the NBA in attendance — the only team averaging less than 15,000 in announced gate.
Is this reboot No. 85 or 86 for the organization? There have been so many it’s hard to keep track. This reboot carries such sweep and uncertainty that it’s hard to focus on the big picture when the here-and-now is this chaotic and, frankly, awful.
Rosas brought the three-point-shooting revolution with him from Houston with the intent of modernizing the team’s style of play. That’s fine, but the pieces don’t fit the puzzle. Introducing a radically different system without the appropriate personnel is like pairing pancakes with filet mignon.
The Wolves are taking the third-most three-pointers in the league. They have the second-worst shooting percentage from that range.
That math doesn’t work.
“Everybody knows that we’ve been staying true to what we believe in,” coach Ryan Saunders said.
Trust us, we know.
Rosas’ to-do list is extensive. The Wolves need a point guard. Need more shooters. Need more defense. Need more toughness. Need to trade Wiggins.
The Wolves have won five games since December, which made Towns’ “disrespect” comments over the All-Star Game asinine. He has flourished offensively in a new system, but he also has missed 17 games, he plays for one of the NBA’s worst teams and he’s one of the league’s worst defensive centers.
The whole vibe feels dreadful. The organization needs a jolt. Trading for Russell would provide that, but the Golden State Warriors reportedly seem content to sit tight for now.
The Wolves will have a reconfigured team with this trade. It’s hard to know which players will stick and which ones will be short-timers. The sad reality is the Wolves are tanking without that intent.