The Minnesota Timberwolves were part of a blockbuster trade at the NBA deadline that saw them send away beloved, and at times, hated, D’Angelo Russell. In return, they received Mike Conley Jr., Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and three second-round picks over the next three years.
Utah Jazz, Trade Partners Again?
Yes. For the second time in less than a year, the Timberwolves and Jazz were able to make a deal. This time, however, they gave away significantly less than they did in the trade to acquire Rudy Gobert.
D’Angelo Russell: Weakness Or Strength?
D’Angelo Russell has been playing at a very high level as of late, and it was a brilliant move for the Wolves to get something for him before possibly losing him this upcoming off-season. He has been inconsistent at best and a liability at his worst.
In last year’s playoffs, he was oft-times benched down the stretch against the Memphis Grizzlies. He averaged 12 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game in that series. This was along with being a severe liability on the defensive end.
Mike Conley Jr. and Nickeil Alexander Walker?
So, who did the Wolves get with Mike Conley Jr. and Nickeil Alexander Walker?
They got a facilitator in Conley Jr. who is a master of the pick-and-roll game, especially with Rudy Gobert. He is 36 years old, which means he is most likely towards the end of his productivity in the league. However, he is still averaging 10.7 points, 2.5 total rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game this season.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker is a 24-year-old who averages 8.7 points per game in his regular-season career, with 2.2 assists and 0.7 steals per game.
Neither of these guys will pack the stat sheet, but they could be low-drama role players from which the Timberwolves could benefit. The Wolves will also greatly benefit from second-round picks in the next few drafts.
What Does Wild NBA Deadline Mean For The Wolves?
While a player in the second round rarely becomes a superstar, it is possible. At this point, this is Anthony Edwards’ team and has little of a need for another superstar.
They do need some role players, and they could also package these picks with players to get a proven veteran in the future if they so choose.
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