Congratulations, everyone. We made it.
By the time you roll into work on Monday morning, all hell will have broken loose in the NBA. With the moratorium officially moved up to 6:00pm (ET) on Sunday, the free agent frenzy will start earlier than ever before. With nearly half the league possibly looking for a new place to call home, the transactions could start flowing as soon as the second-hand hits 12.
As we anxiously stand outside the NBA doors like it’s Black Friday’s eve, there was some significant “chatter” online last night about your beloved Minnesota Timberwolves:
During a guest appearance on The JJ Redick Podcast, Zach Lowe doubled-down on his previous comments about the Wolves “being up to something,” saying:
Minnesota’s up to something. Minnesota’s up to lots of things. They’ve been linked to D’Angelo Russell. I think that’s real. I have no idea how they’re actually gonna do it cause they have no cap space, but I think there’s some interest there.”
While that quote in itself is extremely exciting, it pails in comparison to what Lowe had to say next:
I think... somebody in the league who I think is really smart predicted to me yesterday — we almost kinda made a bet about it, like “I’ll bet you this” — Minnesota’s gonna trade Wiggins and they’re gonna win the trade, and I was like “what do you mean by that?” He said “they are not gonna have to pay to get off Wiggins. It’s gonna be at worst a neutral deal or someone’s gonna pay them to get Wiggins.”
Read that last quote one more time (it’s Friday, you deserve nice things).
While I know this is purely conjecture, I’m a firm believer in “where there’s smoke there’s fire.” While the average Wolves cynic would argue that the New Wolves Order has been more bark than bite since arriving in Minneapolis (touting “organizational change” and then simultaneously retaining Ryan Saunders or failing to move up in the NBA Draft high enough to select Darius Garland), I would counter that in just two short months, Rosas & Co. have created an internal swagger that this franchise has never seen before.
Listen, if you’re a nerd about this stuff like me, you probably listen to a bunch of podcasts, scroll through a ton of tweets, and devour countless articles leading up to the first of July. Well, if you’re like me, you’ve noticed that in every one of those podcasts, articles, etc., various NBA people continue to associate the Wolves with two things: confidence and aggression.
If Gersson Rosas moves up in the draft without any assets and then signs D’Angelo Russell without any money, I’m going to need to contact a local physician.— Kyle Theige (@KyleTheige) June 27, 2019
Rosas already proved he could move up in the NBA Draft without possessing or exchanging any real assets, and has now been linked to one of the league’s premier free agents despite having basically nickles in his piggy bank. With the collection of experience and knowledge he’s added to his front office staff, why wouldn’t the NWO think they can pull off a Wiggins deal without burning down the entire franchise? And if they are flooded with as much confidence as NBA insiders are suggesting, wouldn’t that start to leak out to the same people who are reporting it?
(Side note: it’s extremely evident that the new regime in Minnesota is 1) far more connected with various media personalities than the last regime and 2) is very much interested in sharing information with those personalities in order to gain a competitive advantage. Those two things alone should make following this team going forward far more interesting).
Will the New Wolves Order actually be able to pull this off? Only time will tell. But it’s becoming clearer and clearer why Gersson Rosas won over everyone who interviewed him back in late April. The dude has a plan and isn’t wasting any time getting it started.