ATLANTA – After a Timberwolves shootaround or practice, so long as Sachin Gupta isn't somewhere else scouting, you'll often see coach Chris Finch and the team's executive vice president sitting together for a few minutes to chat.

The two have had a relationship dating back to their days in Houston when Finch was getting his start in the NBA as the organization's D-League coach (now the G League) and Gupta was part of a Houston front office that was coming up with new and creative ways to think about the game. Finch would then take some of these ideas and implement them first at that level before the Rockets worked them into the NBA squad. They have a familiarity working together and will be doing so in advance of the NBA's trade deadline on Feb. 10.

"Very open, very honest, direct," Finch said of their communication. "We have great conversations. It's two ways. He's always including me on their process and he's always asking for feedback on the team and throughout our whole coaching staff, not just myself."

Gupta has classified the Wolves as "buyers" ahead of the deadline with the caveat that the Wolves are trying to improve over the next five years with any moves they make in addition to making immediate improvements. The Wolves see a possibility to finish as a playoff team that avoids the play-in this season. That would mean finishing as the No. 6 seed or higher.

One of the Wolves' glaring needs is rebounding. Before Wednesday's 134-122 loss to the Hawks, the Wolves were tied for the worst defensive rebounding percentage in the league.

When asked if rebounding would improve more through an outside acquisition or internal improvement, Finch said, "I think both can be true."

Finch has put an emphasis on his guards rebounding, something few of them have done on a regular basis in their careers outside of Patrick Beverley.

"Certainly, rebounding as much as it's a learned skill, it's also an innate one," Finch said. "A lot of the best rebounders just have a great nose for the ball, understand positioning, how to track a ball, not to mention just the effort which they put into their craft and I think we've gone a fairly long way with getting better at some of the fundamentals internally."

Edwards praises Thibodeau, in his own way

In a moment that was pure Anthony Edwards, the Wolves guard was scanning the boxscore during his postgame media session after Tuesday's 112-110 victory over the Knicks when he wanted to pay a compliment to the Knicks coach.

"The coach, what's the coach name?" Edwards asked.

A reporter told him it was Tom Thibodeau.

Edwards, not seeming to know Thibodeau coached the Wolves only a few years ago, then said: "Yeah, he played great defense. Credit to him. He played great defense."

Edwards, who gives some of the most entertaining interviews in the NBA, also memorably didn't know who Alex Rodriguez was when asked about the former baseball star a few days after it was reported Rodriguez would be the Wolves' new owner along with Marc Lore. He's also told a reporter his Irish accent was "tough" and once said, "I'm smarter than a lot of people think. I just look like this," among many memorable postgame sound bytes.


  • Multiple Wolves players have ties to the Atlanta area and had large contingents of family and friends at Wednesday's game. Edwards had at least 10 ticket requests in addition to several people who were expected to show up who already had tickets. Guard/forward Josh Okogie and guard Malik Beasley, also Atlanta natives, had requests for around 30 and 20 tickets, respectively.
  • Assistant coach Pablo Prigioni rejoined the Wolves' bench after clearing COVID protocols. Prigioni flew in before the game Wednesday afternoon, Finch said.