In the summer of 2017, the Timberwolves seemingly went "all-in" by trading two young players (Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn) as well as the No. 7 pick to Chicago for Jimmy Butler and the No. 16 pick.
In reality, though, all-in would have gone another step further: finessing a trade for Kyrie Irving, who was on the market. There were persistent rumblings that the Wolves were strongly in the mix for Irving, and Tom Thibodeau even acknowledged it.
It would have made the Wolves a legitimate contender in the short term, but in light of the eventual volatility of both Butler and now Irving, I'm trying to imagine an alternative reality playing out in Minnesota: Butler and Irving still here after two blockbuster trades, and with the Wolves facing the prospect of either losing both of them or paying those two and Karl-Anthony Towns well in excess of $100 million combined per season for a bunch of years.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. email@example.com