Marc Stein: Still to be finalized, of course, is a firm NBA trade deadline for the 2020-21 season The league said earlier this week that its revised All-Star plans for this season will also be announced at a later date
December 7, 2022 | 9:29 pm EST Update
NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski has now chimed in on Maxey’s situation as the renowned reporter provided a hint as to the 6-foot-2 guard’s possible return date: “I’m told that he is still on target for that one-month timeline from that November 19th injury,” Woj said. “… The expectation is that he’s on course to be back before Christmas.”
“I’m pretty optimistic about the group of great guys we have here,” Connelly said. “We know we have the right coach, we know we have the right ownership. If it doesn’t work, point the fingers at me. I’m a big boy. I have pretty high expectations for this organization and for myself. But with all these new faces, it’s going to be hard at times, and how do we help?” The increased expectations, and the stakes involved after paying a high price to land Rudy Gobert, have been evident on the faces of the players as they have navigated the early portion of this season. It is clear they believed the progress would come sooner and easier than it has. That was one thing Finch was concerned about heading into the season, that the team would expect the wins to come naturally. They are coming to the realization that it’s going to take harder work and more commitment.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are just over a quarter of the way through their first season with Rudy Gobert, and the man who assembled a team with high expectations understands the angst in some corners of the fan base about their uneven start. “We’ve seen moments we look really good and moments we haven’t,” Wolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly told The Athletic. “If you were to ask me two months ago when the season started, we thought we’d be a little further ahead of the curve.”
While the fit with Towns and Gobert was the most scrutinized aspect of Minnesota’s lineup, it was Towns who actually showed some of the best feel for playing with Gobert on offense. He led the Wolves in assists to Gobert and showed a willingness to incorporate him into the offense, sometimes turning the ball over while trying to get Gobert involved. That enthusiasm on Towns’ part is a big reason Connelly believes the pairing can work over the long term. “We’re not going to bury our head in the sand and pretend it’s been flawless,” Connelly said. “We never expected that. When we made the trade, it wasn’t done without a lot of conversation, a lot of watching of tape.”
“As I told him this morning, ‘Offensively, we need your scoring, but it’s required to give forth the same effort on both ends of the floor,’” Malone said on Hyland’s production from the bench. “I felt he competed, I felt he fought, he contested, he tried to be physical with guys. That’s all I’m ever asking for, from Bones or for anybody.”
Though the loss, Hyland has committed to his role and hopes to keep track of that ‘effort’ Malone eluded to. “We’re on the same page now,” Hyland said on Malone. “I know I can guard. It’s not something that’s mind-blowing or crazy.”