All Things 2022 Minnesota Timberwolves Off-Season Thread



jamiche

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He's past his prime. They'd be foolish to even consider him.

If he was a few years younger, then it'd be worth it. He'd help the Wolves get a top 4 seed in the Wset.
That's just the kind of "splash deal" meddling, dumbass rookie owners demand. Bring in a big name player (e.g. Westbrook, Dame or Parise, Suter in hockey) who's expensive, past his prime and/or not a fit. The media goes gaga for a week and poor Lore doesn't get to take his shoes off very often for the next five years.
 

Iceland12

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Iceland12

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Wiggins had 11 rebounds and 27 points last night as the Warriors won by 9.

Brunson went 0-11 for Dallas.

DALLAS -- As Andrew Wiggins took off from just inside the free throw line, as his body met Luka Doncic's in the air, as his head reached above the cylinder, the Golden State Warriors forward said he saw just one thing: "I just saw rim."

His poster on the Dallas Mavericks star was originally called as a charge, but Warriors coach Steve Kerr swiftly challenged it, and the decision was overturned.

Wiggins doesn't know where that dunk ranks in his collection, but Stephen Curry said it's the best he has ever seen from his teammate. Klay Thompson said Wiggins looked like Dominique Wilkins..


 
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short ornery norwegian

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Is there a 'mistress' clause in his contract?

Seriously, the guy has a good track record. the question is whether he has enough time before the draft to evaluate the roster and consider any possible deals.

D-Lo is the elephant in the room.
 



GopherWeatherGuy

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Taylor had no experience but he hired McHale and Flip, then he pretty much left them alone. They had a nine year run of competence, which wasn't bad. It would have been better if Taylor hadn't tried to screw his fellow owners by signing Joe Smith to a secret deal. That cost the team several draft picks over multiple years, IIRC.

Taylor has been a lousy owner. Nobody would argue that. He's compounding his mismanagement by turning the team over to two guys who don't own a controlling interest, have no NBA or sports ownership experience and one of whom is a serial liar. He's also compounding his mismanagement by turning the team over to two guys who have no reason to keep our team here and then lying about that part of the deal.

The message that Lore and ARod are sending is that they aren't going to leave their employees alone to do their jobs and, if you don't excite them, you're gone.

Rosas gets credit for putting this roster together. He gets the blame for the terrible DLo trade and the Culver trade/draft. If the rumors are correct that his staff opposed those two moves, it's probably safe to assume that Gupta was a part of that opposition. Rosas gets the blame for badly mismanaging the department. Gupta gets credit for restoring stability and morale to the department. Gupta gets credit for not making a trade at the deadline just to show ARod and Lore he was "doing something." I'm sure the other POBO's were circling him like chum in the water.

Finally, if the rumors are accurate that they are talking to Connelly about an eight year deal, what morons do eight year deals anymore? Angels for Pujols? Wild for Suter and Parise?

The wolves are going to turn their basketball ops over to a guy who has never won a championship for eight years? Crazy. When Lore and ARod and their cool shoes become distant memories, the wolves will be living for quite a while with that contract. If Lore and ARod actually find the money to complete the purchase of the team, it will cost them a lot of money to buy Connelly out once they are bored by him.

How many NBA owners or any owners of professional sports teams have experience owning a team before buying one? You don't like Connelly because he hasn't won a championship in 8 years? 6 different teams have won the NBA championship over the last 8 years. Steph Curry and LeBron James are responsible for 5 of the 8 championships. I guess he should have just signed one of them...

Tim Connelly replaced Masai Ujiri in Denver. Urjiri oversaw 3 first round exits before leaving for Toronto. Yet he won a championship in Toronto 6 years later. I guess he did know how to assemble a championship roster without ever doing it before.

Lore has been a very successful business owner to even be in the position he's in today. Connelly has proven to be a top executive in the league. It's quite obvious that you're letting your hatred for Lore/ARod cloud your judgement that the Wolves are adding a top, proven executive to their franchise, something all Wolves fans should be happy about.
 

BleedGopher

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Very good piece in The Athletic about how this deal came together and how it's a big time move for the Wolves. A few excerpts:

That eye for talent and development, coupled with a reputation as being an outgoing and gregarious leader, piqued the interest of Lore and Rodriguez. They got things started in the negotiations, showing an urgency to build on the success the Timberwolves had in their first season in the ownership group. Within 12 hours of their initial meeting with Connelly, they presented him with an offer to let him know they were serious about moving forward. The next step was getting final approval from Taylor.

Throughout the first year of Lore’s and Rodriguez’s tenure as co-owners with the Timberwolves, Taylor has shown significant desire to elevate the franchise’s stature. Taylor, Lore and Rodriguez worked hand-in-hand toward the completion of Connelly’s deal, culminating in a four-hour meeting on Saturday at Taylor’s home in Mankato, about a 90-minute drive from Minneapolis. Connelly, his wife, Negah, and two young children met with Taylor, his wife, Becky, CEO Ethan Casson and COO Ryan Tanke to get a feel for each other and get the final go-ahead, sources said.

Lore and Rodriguez have been determined to change the narrative around the Timberwolves and inject some energy into a team that hasn’t spent much time on the national radar. One of their first initiatives, dating back to their arrival last summer, was to ensure they had a top flight lead executive for the president of basketball operations.

Taylor wants to make sure his final years in control of the team have the best chance to be successful, so he made the request with Nuggets ownership to speak to Connelly several weeks ago. Connelly traveled to Serbia to present Jokić with his MVP trophy, but once he got back and engaged with Lore and Rodriguez, things got rolling.

A scout through and through, Connelly has a reputation for being a top-flight talent evaluator, having drafted Murray, Porter, Jusuf Nurkic, Malik Beasley, Gary Harris and Hyland in the first round and Jokić, Morris and Jarred Vanderbilt in the second round. There have been misses, of course, including Emmanuel Mudiay and Tyler Lydon. But he has helped build the Nuggets into a deep roster that was able to weather injuries to two of their top players and still finish with a 48-34 record, good for sixth in the West. They lost to Golden State in the first round of the playoffs.

There are reasons beyond financial for him to be optimistic about the situation in Minnesota. Connelly will be taking over a team with two stars in Towns and Edwards, promising young players in Jaden McDaniels and Vanderbilt and a top-notch coach in Chris Finch, who spent one season working with Connelly in Denver as an assistant on Malone’s staff. D’Angelo Russell had a strong season before struggling in the playoffs and Patrick Beverley asserted himself as a tough, veteran leader for a young group.

Finally, and not to be undersold, Connelly is coming to a team with a fan base that is building after this season’s playoff run and an ownership group that is proving to be eager to invest and build on the success that happened at Target Center this season. In signing off on the significant package, Taylor is signaling that he wants to do whatever it takes to make his last few years steering the ship as successful as possible and Lore and Rodriguez are showing that they can deliver on promises made.

Lore and Rodriguez had a visible presence all season long, attending games, meeting with corporate sponsors and engaging with rank-and-file employees to see what areas needed to be addressed. The push to make a big hire in the front office may not seem like a novel idea on its face, but it is a guiding principle of Lore’s “Vision, Capital, People” mantra. Identify the top talent, and pay whatever it takes to make it happen. That means that, from the moment they arrived and even before Rosas was fired, Lore and Rodriguez were already starting to consider if they could find a better, more accomplished leader of their basketball operations.

Hiring Connelly can be characterized as one of the biggest, most aggressive moves this franchise has made in a long time. Throughout the last season, as word spread of Lore and Rodriguez’s desire to hire a star, it was met with broad skepticism. Who would want to come to Minnesota? Are they really going to be willing to pay up? Will Taylor really sign off on it?

Closing the deal on Monday, luring a rival executive who is in charge of a Western Conference power with a superstar player, serves as an emphatic yes to all three questions. Lore and Rodriguez have not been bashful about their plans to change how this franchise is viewed. And this move provides tangible evidence that they deliver on their bold proclamations.


Howl Wolves!!
 

jamiche

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How many NBA owners or any owners of professional sports teams have experience owning a team before buying one? You don't like Connelly because he hasn't won a championship in 8 years? 6 different teams have won the NBA championship over the last 8 years. Steph Curry and LeBron James are responsible for 5 of the 8 championships. I guess he should have just signed one of them...

Tim Connelly replaced Masai Ujiri in Denver. Urjiri oversaw 3 first round exits before leaving for Toronto. Yet he won a championship in Toronto 6 years later. I guess he did know how to assemble a championship roster without ever doing it before.

Lore has been a very successful business owner to even be in the position he's in today. Connelly has proven to be a top executive in the league. It's quite obvious that you're letting your hatred for Lore/ARod cloud your judgement that the Wolves are adding a top, proven executive to their franchise, something all Wolves fans should be happy about.
Lore and Rod haven't bought the team yet. That's problem #1 with the move. Problem #2 with the move is that it's a cliche. Brand new owners have to make a splashy move. Maybe the "out of the box" move is to let the situation build and mature. You've got a guy who is very highly regarded, though not a self promoter, running the show. Maybe the creative move is to give him a couple of years with a strong coach to continue to build this thing. Problem #3 with the move is you are reportedly going to be tied to Connelly for eight years for a huge number plus some equity. That's a drowning deal, not a splashy deal. Problem #4 with the move is hubris. Lore/ARod's inability to admit that they don't know what they don't know. Just because you made G League money in one industry doesn't make you a genius seven or eight months into another industry.

You are correct that I don't like Lore and Alex. We now have three guys in the owners' suite who are bullshitters. It puts the Timberwolves as a Minnesota franchise in peril. In 1995 Bob Arum tried to steal the team and take it to New Orleans without actually having the money to buy it. We have a much more sophisticated, long play variation of that going on now.
 




jamiche

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They gave Connelly $40,000,000 and a piece of the franchise.

What they didn't have to do was give Denver any draft picks.

Welcome Mr.Connelly and Good Luck.
Glad they didn't give up any picks.

Hope he does well for the team.
 

Iceland12

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Hmm? Wonder if these guys knew that Connelly was coming to the Wolves? ;)

19T-WolvesNikola JovićPF – Serbia – HT: 6-11 – WT: 223 – WING: 7-0 1/4 – Int.03 – Jović is a 6-10 point-forward who can score inside and out and excels at passing the rock. International Elite 15Billy Owens

 

GopherWeatherGuy

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Lore and Rod haven't bought the team yet. That's problem #1 with the move. Problem #2 with the move is that it's a cliche. Brand new owners have to make a splashy move. Maybe the "out of the box" move is to let the situation build and mature. You've got a guy who is very highly regarded, though not a self promoter, running the show. Maybe the creative move is to give him a couple of years with a strong coach to continue to build this thing. Problem #3 with the move is you are reportedly going to be tied to Connelly for eight years for a huge number plus some equity. That's a drowning deal, not a splashy deal. Problem #4 with the move is hubris. Lore/ARod's inability to admit that they don't know what they don't know. Just because you made G League money in one industry doesn't make you a genius seven or eight months into another industry.

You are correct that I don't like Lore and Alex. We now have three guys in the owners' suite who are bullshitters. It puts the Timberwolves as a Minnesota franchise in peril. In 1995 Bob Arum tried to steal the team and take it to New Orleans without actually having the money to buy it. We have a much more sophisticated, long play variation of that going on now.

If there were still big questions about the sale to Lore and ARod not going through, I don't think this move happens. It's obvious to me that they have a plan in place that all parties, including Connelly, are in agreement on.

Connelly is one of the most highly regarded execs in the league, far more than Gupta. Plus he may keep Gupta around. Good owners will hire the best possible people they can for the job. Lore/ARod have now essentially handed the keys to the franchise to Connelly, one of the best in the business.

This is the type of competent move that Taylor could never make, and why the Wolves have been the worst franchise in sports under his ownership. This is a big win for the Wolves and Lore/ARod.
 

JimmyJamesMD

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Wolves have three second round picks. The one reason I'm happy with Connelly is he appears to take second rounders seriously, something the wolves have been historically bad or indifferent at
 

forever a gopher

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This is the type of competent move that Taylor could never make, and why the Wolves have been the worst franchise in sports under his ownership. This is a big win for the Wolves and Lore/ARod.
This. I'm not a big Lore/ARod fan. However, Taylor has been an absolutely terrible owner in that he has made horrible decision after horrible decision. Giving $40mil and equity to an executive seems somewhat risky to me, but good grief, can it really be any worse than letting Taylor make all the decisions? Having stable and competent leadership in this organization has been lacking for a long time. It seems many others around the league think highly of Connelly, so it seems like a risk worth taking.
 

jamiche

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If there were still big questions about the sale to Lore and ARod not going through, I don't think this move happens. It's obvious to me that they have a plan in place that all parties, including Connelly, are in agreement on.

Connelly is one of the most highly regarded execs in the league, far more than Gupta. Plus he may keep Gupta around. Good owners will hire the best possible people they can for the job. Lore/ARod have now essentially handed the keys to the franchise to Connelly, one of the best in the business.

This is the type of competent move that Taylor could never make, and why the Wolves have been the worst franchise in sports under his ownership. This is a big win for the Wolves and Lore/ARod.
If I'm working for a cheapskate owner and another team with decent assets comes along and offers me $40M guaranteed plus a small piece of the action, then my calculation will be that I'll let them figure out their ownership issues because I've got $40M rolling in, good players on the roster, a good coach and all of my picks.

Lore and ARod don't have the keys to turn over to Connelly. They don't own the team. They are limited partners. If Taylor decides to take away all of the fun perks they are enjoying and the say in decisions that are being made, he can do it.

This is actually the type of incompetent move that Taylor has historically made. Effectively turning over control of the franchise to partners who don't have a controlling interest and have no experience in professional sports management is mismanagement.

My comments are not a reflection on Connelly. By all accounts, he's very well regarded. He's very good at drafting, very good at leadership and culture, good at trading and weak on contracts. I highly doubt he's $40M better than Gupta.

The team is finally on a good path and has gained some traction. Sometimes disruption is good, especially if we are talking about the wolves. This is not one of those times.
 


GopherWeatherGuy

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If I'm working for a cheapskate owner and another team with decent assets comes along and offers me $40M guaranteed plus a small piece of the action, then my calculation will be that I'll let them figure out their ownership issues because I've got $40M rolling in, good players on the roster, a good coach and all of my picks.

Lore and ARod don't have the keys to turn over to Connelly. They don't own the team. They are limited partners. If Taylor decides to take away all of the fun perks they are enjoying and the say in decisions that are being made, he can do it.

This is actually the type of incompetent move that Taylor has historically made. Effectively turning over control of the franchise to partners who don't have a controlling interest and have no experience in professional sports management is mismanagement.

My comments are not a reflection on Connelly. By all accounts, he's very well regarded. He's very good at drafting, very good at leadership and culture, good at trading and weak on contracts. I highly doubt he's $40M better than Gupta.

The team is finally on a good path and has gained some traction. Sometimes disruption is good, especially if we are talking about the wolves. This is not one of those times.

Taylor has been in talks to sell the team for years to a variety of other groups. How many of those potential owners were allowed to make moves like this? Lore/ARod are only limited partners today, but by all accounts the deal to make them the majority owners will be finalized in 2023, already backed by NBA approval. You're hopecasting the deal won't go through due to your hatred for Lore/ARod, but that's not backed by reality.
 

jamiche

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Taylor has been in talks to sell the team for years to a variety of other groups. How many of those potential owners were allowed to make moves like this? Lore/ARod are only limited partners today, but by all accounts the deal to make them the majority owners will be finalized in 2023, already backed by NBA approval. You're hopecasting the deal won't go through due to your hatred for Lore/ARod, but that's not backed by reality.
No money changed hands with other interested parties. Even Taylor wouldn't be stupid enough to let an "interested party" hire a POBO. Maybe...

The NBA only approved the initial Lore/ARod investment, not the sale of the franchise. No reason not to do that. It's based on a strong valuation and Lore/ARod don't have gambling ties and they don't cook meth.

If Lore/ARod had the money to buy the team, they would own it. As I've said, sports franchises aren't purchased on layaway. The cost of money has gone up about 150-200 basis points since their initial investment and there has been no announcement of a second installment. I think there is solid basis for my skepticism regarding their ability to fund a controlling interest in the team.
 

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If Connelly can help improve the roster, and the Wolves become a legitimate contender, you know what comes next from the new owners:

"WE NEED A NEW ARENA!!!"
No doubt about it. They'll go play at XCel for a few seasons while they rebuild at the current site.

If you want to stay in Minneapolis, where else would you build a new arena?
 

Spaulding!No!

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You twolves posters provide more detailed insight than any of the other sports onGH. I wanna come in here and sht post but the posts are too good slam. Carry on!
 

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Tim Connelly has yet to make public comments since being named the Timberwolves’ president of basketball operations on Monday. His initial press conference is expected to be held this week.

That will provide the first real insight into Connelly’s views on the roster and basketball operations structure over which he now resides.

He will face a number of questions about key players ranging from Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell and beyond, head coach Chris Finch, executive vice president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta and more..


 

BleedGopher

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D’Lo Future to Test Wolves New Prez​

In the next 12 months Timberwolves fans will know what impact new president of basketball operations Tim Connelly has made on the franchise. No “barometer” could be more telling than that of enigmatic point guard D’Angelo Russell.

His resume after three seasons in Minnesota indicates Connelly should find another NBA residence for D’Lo. He is a flashy talent but his resume is too flawed for a player who reportedly earns about $30 million per season.

In the closing minutes of the Wolves-Grizzlies playoff series Russell was sitting on the bench. Coach Chris Finch chose not to play D’Lo, supposedly part of the team’s big three of Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards. The decision was a condemnation of Russell whose team couldn’t find a way to win Game Six, and lost their first round playoff series this spring.

Russell averaged 18.1 points during the regular season but just 12 in the postseason. He averaged 31 points against the Grizzlies in four regular season games. In plus-minus rating he was -0.7 in the playoffs after being +3.2 during the season.

Regardless of whether it’s regular or post season, Russell can perform more like an individual than a team player. He may force too many shots from too many precarious positions on the floor. As the floor leader at point guard, he can slow ball movement and not get teammates involved enough. Defensively, his reputation is about not being engaged and focused.

The words “he makes his teammates better” aren’t often associated with D’Lo. At age 26 he has played for four NBA teams. That’s telling in and of itself. Front office leaders and coaches have been tantalized by the talent but for whatever reasons no one has found him valuable enough to keep around indefinitely.

Connelly, who the Wolves hired off his reputation with the Nuggets as a top 10 NBA decision maker, will be challenged to figure out the D’Lo puzzle. Incoming calls from other teams inquiring about Russell won’t be frequent for Connelly, who is formally introduced today as the Wolves’ boss at a news conference.

If Connelly and Finch are shrewd about Russell, they will find a more complementary player for the “sum of their parts.” A steady point guard who can better run the offense and also be a contributor defensively. The help wanted sign should go up soon for a new player with attributes that include poise at the biggest moments, whether in the playoffs or nail-biting regular season games.

The Connelly watch starts now not only with D’Lo but the NBA Draft June 23. Minnesota has the No. 19 selection in the first round, plus three selections in the second.

The Wolves need help at power forward but rightly could take a too- talented-to pass-up player at any position. And what does Connelly do with those extra second rounders? Keep them all or trade one or more for better assets?

Connelly’s ability to judge talent will be scrutinized with this draft. Talent can be found anywhere in the draft and among college free agents. In 1999 the Spurs took Manu Ginobili with the No. 57 pick. They won four NBA titles with Ginobili as one of the team’s three stars. Ten years ago the Warriors found Draymond Green at No. 35 in the second round. Since then he’s been a huge contributor to the team winning three NBA championships.

Connelly will be tasked with producing more success than his predecessor Gerson Rosas who was fired last September for reportedly having an inappropriate relationship with an office employee and fostering a tense office environment. Outdoing Rosas won’t be accomplished with the snap of the fingers.


Howl Wolves!!
 

Ope3

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No doubt about it. They'll go play at XCel for a few seasons while they rebuild at the current site.

If you want to stay in Minneapolis, where else would you build a new arena?
Could use some of the land/park areas by US Bank Stadium. Zygi Dome could also be used as a temporary home for the Wolves for part or all of an NBA season(s).

Perhaps a long shot at best, but depending on how sports gambling plays out in Minnesota I would not dismiss the idea of an arena at Mystic Lake.
 

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Could use some of the land/park areas by US Bank Stadium. Zygi Dome could also be used as a temporary home for the Wolves for part or all of an NBA season(s).

Perhaps a long shot at best, but depending on how sports gambling plays out in Minnesota I would not dismiss the idea of an arena at Mystic Lake.
Shakopee is too remote of a location. That will never happen.
 

Ope3

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Shakopee is too remote of a location. That will never happen.
As I said, long shot.

However, the gaming aspect as well as the viability of Mpls downtown and large city downtowns in general doesn't make it impossible to envision a move to the suburbs. Moving out of downtown is not unheard of for sports franchises.

The Lore group could be enticed with other carrots such as land development.
 

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Could use some of the land/park areas by US Bank Stadium. Zygi Dome could also be used as a temporary home for the Wolves for part or all of an NBA season(s).

Perhaps a long shot at best, but depending on how sports gambling plays out in Minnesota I would not dismiss the idea of an arena at Mystic Lake.
I'm not re-upping to go to Mystic Lake. I am barely hanging on to my tickets and I live eight minutes from the current location.
 




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