The Athletic: Does that cut both ways, I wonder? Like if the front office makes a move that wasn’t on your radar and then in hindsight you’re looking at it saying, ‘I’m not sure I like that…’ Karl-Anthony Towns: I think it would hurt the star player or player (that’s) highly regarded in the organization if they didn’t feel confidence in the front office. I do. I feel very confident in Gerss and (coach) Ryan (Saunders) and all of them. So like I said, whatever they do, I’m going to support because I know they’re trying to make the right decisions for us to win.
There is, according to both sources, a chance the Warriors could engage the Timberwolves, who are ready to shed guard/forward Andrew Wiggins. Russell is good friends with Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns and the two have hinted their desire to be teammates.
Part of the motivation for Minnesota’s Russell chase, quite clearly, is his relationship with Towns. They are close friends. Towns was part of the contingent that pitched Russell hard this summer. The Wolves know that acquiring Russell not only gets Towns his preferred pick-and-roll partner but also buys them time and faith. The Warriors are aware of this dynamic. It automatically bumps up Russell’s market value in conversations with the Wolves. Minnesota has dangled Andrew Wiggins, who is on a similar contract as Russell and fills a greater positional need. But from a Warriors’ perspective, that’s still a questionable talent-for-talent swap. Most around the league view Russell as better than Wiggins. It’s a move only a panicked front office would make.
The Warriors are aware of this dynamic. It automatically bumps up Russell’s market value in conversations with the Wolves. Minnesota has dangled Andrew Wiggins, who is on a similar contract as Russell and fills a greater positional need. But from a Warriors’ perspective, that’s still a questionable talent-for-talent swap. Most around the league view Russell as better than Wiggins. It’s a move only a panicked front office would make. But the Warriors aren’t in a panic about Russell. Unless the Wolves unload the vault — something like Robert Covington and Josh Okogie plus a basket of appealing, unprotected picks — it’s wiser for the Warriors to wait until past this deadline on Russell and perhaps well beyond.
The belief across the league this summer was that Wiggins could be had for the right offer. Rosas did not acquire him in trade and did not sign him to the max contract extension. But the two have formed a strong relationship in the early going and Wiggins has also responded well to Saunders’ coaching when it comes to changing his shot profile. There is no indication that the team is looking to trade Wiggins right now. The team has been both privately and publicly encouraged by Wiggins’ willingness to embrace this new approach and the results that have come with it. Saunders is firmly in his corner and Rosas has forged a strong working relationship with him.
“I went through a lot earlier in my career and everything, he was there to listen to me and help me out,” Wiggins told SI.com. “To give me advice. So he got my trust and respect early.” Together, Rosas and Saunders had one question: Did Wiggins want to be there? Rosas remembers the answer, vividly. “He said, ‘Hey, I don't want to go anywhere. I want to be successful here. I want the organization to be successful and I want to do everything within my power to make that happen,’” Rosas said. “I took him at his word.”
Former Atlanta Hawks general manager Wes Wilcox appeared on NBA TV on Monday and discussed six players who could be traded now, later this season and in the future. The list included Oklahoma City point guard Chris Paul, Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love, Washington Wizard shooting guard Bradley Beal, Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Andrew Wiggins, Memphis Grizzlies small forward Andre Iguodala and Booker. Wilcox put Booker and Wiggins in the "future" category. "Of these six names, Chris Paul and (Andre) and Iguodala, we know that they're in the trade market and they're available," said Wilcox during NBA TV's 2019-20 regular-season schedule release special Monday. "Of these other four names, we can probably take (Andrew) Wiggins and (Devin) Booker into the future," Wilcox continued.
John Meyer: Barreiro asks Rosas: Do you have any concern about a lack of self-awareness with Wiggs? Rosas says his experiences with AW have been very good, he's been invested this summer and couldn't trade for someone like AW if he tried. "I know being in Minnesota is very important to him."
Towns and Russell were taken Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the 2015 NBA draft and have been close friends since high school. Towns is really high on adding Russell, sources said. It would take moving Andrew Wiggins or a combination of Jeff Teague and Gorgui Dieng to open the space needed for Minnesota to sign Russell. The Nets would have two days to match a signed offer sheet to retain Russell.
SKOR North: Per @DWolfsonKSTP , the Wolves tried to engage the Brooklyn Nets on a sign-and-trade of D'Angelo Russell for Andrew Wiggins.
Wolfson added the discussion "never got even an inch off the ground" in terms of working toward an actual agreement.
Jake Fischer: With Minnesota moving up to No. 6, it should also be noted the Timberwolves have been actively exploring options to move off Andrew Wiggins' contract, per league sources. Although that will prove a difficult task.
Several teams checked in with the Wolves last month on Andrew Wiggins, wondering if they would be willing to unload his max contract for pennies on the dollar, sources said. But there were never any substantive offers or interest that was considered legitimate, more just the due diligence that most teams conduct. The Wolves remain committed to getting Wiggins to improve on his consistency, believing that is a key to their prospects of long-term success.
MARC STEIN: The Spurs' asking price for a player regarded as the league's most menacing two-way force when healthy, for the moment, is thus still said to be rather high. But I have little doubt Ujiri is willing to trade any Raptor on the roster if he finds a deal he likes — even after LeBron James' departure to the Western Conference. The Raptors, I'm told, held exploratory discussions in the summer of 2017 with Minnesota on a deal that would have been headlined by DeRozan and the Timberwolves' Canadian swingman Andrew Wiggins. No trade materialized, but it reaffirms the notion that not even DeRozan, at the peak of his career, is untouchable in Toronto.
Thibodeau was asked if financial reality might make the team trade Wiggins. “Well, we love Andrew,” Thibodeau said. “Players that are good players, they’re always going to be talked about as a possibility. But when you look at who Andrew is and what he has accomplished at a very young age, we think he’s critical. So we’ll always talk to people, but we like Andrew a lot here.”
One name brought up often in recent days has been Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, who could become available should the Raptors look to make wholesale changes following a third straight loss to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Wiggins’ Canadian roots could make him an attractive option for the Raptors and good reason to hope that they could get the best out of him while playing in his backyard. In some ways, DeRozan could provide a good blueprint for Wiggins to follow. DeRozan didn’t become a real star in the league until his fifth year and has proven to be effective even though he isn’t a knockdown three-point shooter. But his game is also similar to Butler’s, so it is hard to see how a swap like that would give the Wolves what they are looking for in terms of a different look aside their leader.
But from what I can gather, Wiggins doesn’t have a huge amount of value on the market right now. He’s about to start a five-year, $148 million contract and is coming off of a less-than-convincing fourth season in the league. If there isn’t a great market, they might be better off just holding on to him and trying to keep developing him. I still think that the best possible outcome for the Wolves is to get Wiggins to blossom into the kind of All-Star caliber player the organization envisioned when he was signed to the max extension.
Nate Duncan: Do you think that Andrew Wiggins, a couple of years from now, is on [the Minnesota Timberwolves]? Do you think there's a chance they might move on from him, given how he's played this year? Marc Stein: I think that's something that people will be looking at and I think other teams will be coming after him. Because he's, at best, gonna be the third option if you're playing with Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns. [....] I don't think there's any question that Wiggins' future is gonna be talked about. He's under contract now—it's a big number but for some teams, that appeals, to be able to get a guy when there is contract certainty and you know you've got him, there will be teams who want to trade for that.
Melissa Lidberg: Is there precedent for someone demanding a trade in the first year of a five-year deal? Darren Wolfson: He hasn't demanded one yet!
Darren Wolfson: Timeline blowing up with a @BleacherReport tag. It's amazing to me the amount of people who think Wiggins is a bust. He just turned 23, and already has a season in which he averaged nearly 24 ppg. He's improved defensively this year. #Twolves #AllEyesNorth
any word on what the Wolves offer was to The Cavs for Kyrie yet??? Darren Wolfson: Not Wiggins, and it'll take him and more.
It would only take more in a sense of making the cap work, right? Cavs would love to get their hands back on Wiggins. Darren Wolfson: Word is they want more than Aldrich to make the $$ work. They want something of substance in addition to Wiggins. No trade w/ MN is close.
The Timberwolves explored several trade options in June, including for Chicago star Jimmy Butler, but Thibodeau, also Minnesota’s president of basketball operations, now sounds as committed as anyone in the franchise to his young trio. Outside the organization, executives wonder about Minnesota’s inclination to keep all three. But within the franchise, there is no question: management and owner Glen Taylor will do whatever it takes financially in order to win. “I love our core three guys, and what I love most is their work ethic, their dedication to work,” Thibodeau said. “They understand the level we need to reach, particularly defensively, and their work shows that they will work to get it right. We understand that it’s going to take some time and we need to work at it each and every day.”
It is unclear whether the Miami Heat have the assets to swing a deal for one of Minnesota’s three young studs, and it’s surprising that the Timberwolves are reportedly willing to move any of them so early in the season. In any case, whether the T’wolves decide to keep the trio intact or the Heat refuse to put together an adequate trade proposal, it remains unlikely that Towns, Wiggins or LaVine will be taking their talents to South Beach.
Justin Pinotti: You mentioned no Zach LaVine for Tobias Harris. Think Wolves would have interest in him for something else? Good PF fit potentially IMO. - Darren Wolfson: Told Tobias Harris isn't that available. You'd have to blow them away. #Twolves aren't moving Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine.
October 21, 2020 | 7:31 pm EDT Update
Jared Weiss: Celtics announce Daniel Theis had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to remove a loose body. He is expected to be ready for training camp.
When Raymond Felton joined Ian Begley and SNY’s Chris Williamson on the latest edition of The Putback, he was asked about what advice he would give to Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina, two young point guards trying to find their way while playing in the bright lights of New York. “Just confidence, man. Having confidence in yourself. Don’t get caught up in just all the pressure,” Felton said in this week’s Putback Extra. “There’s a lot of pressure to play in New York. It’s a lot of pressure. The fans in New York really love basketball, they really love their Knicks, and if you ain’t putting up, they’ll let you know. It’s a lot of pressure. If you can’t take it, and I’ve seen it hurt a lot of people’s careers.”
Felton explained that even if the young guards are struggling with their shots, there are other ways that they can impact the game and win over the New York fans. “That’s one thing I felt in that arena, it’s one thing that I felt from the fans. I think that’s the biggest thing I would help those guys with, just trying to be complete players,” Felton said. “Everybody thinks it’s all about scoring. ‘I’ve got to score all these points to get my money and get this contract,’ and it’s like yeah you do have to be able to put the ball in the basket, you’ve got to score, but there’s a lot of other things you can do, too, to get paid in this league.”
Mike Brown has been open about his desire to become a head coach again, and Kerr is optimistic that his friend and colleague will get that opportunity. Long known as a dogged worker with a borderline obsessive attention to detail, Brown, 50, has learned the importance of being flexible during his nearly half-decade with the Warriors.
“I don’t think I’ll ever lose my attention to detail and my want to have things be organized, but what being here has showed me is that, if it’s not that way, it’s not the end of the world,” Brown said. “You try to get the best out of the moment, knowing there’s going to be another time or date to circle back if you need to. Just keep it moving.”
Brown called working under Kerr “the best job I’ve ever had,” which is high praise considering that Brown’s resume includes a Finals run with the LeBron James-led Cavaliers and a stint as the head coach of Kobe Bryant’s Lakers. But over the past year, as Brown filled more and more notepad pages with Kerr’s soliloquies, he sometimes wondered how he’d handle a head-coaching job differently than he had in previous stops.
On Monday, BabyCenter released their most popular baby names list public, showing No. 24 and No. 2 increasing in popularity. The top-rising boy’s name for 2020 was Kobe. It landed at No. 216 on the list, moving up 379 spots. Gianna was listed as No. 24, coincidentally Kobe’s number, on the girls’ names list, after it jumped 52 spots.
October 21, 2020 | 5:04 pm EDT Update
You brought it up, saying you want to help Porter take his game to the next level. That would require you being with the Cavs. Does that mean you’ve made the decision to pick up your option already? Andre Drummond: “As of right now I’m just focusing on what I can worry about. Working on my game. Right now, just worrying about what’s happening with the next couple of months, before the season, whenever it’s time to start, and when that time does come to make that decision everybody will know. Right now, I’m a Cleveland Cavalier. In terms of extending, we will find that out when the time comes around.”