Happy Saturday to everyone out in the Canis community — I hope the beginning of October has treated you better than any month prior as we continue to grind towards the end of the most chaotic year of my lifetime.
With the Minnesota Lynx being eliminated from the WNBA playoffs last Sunday, it’s officially #OffseasonSZN for both professional basketball franchises in Minneapolis. While the Lynx will return home from the Bradenton Bubble to rehab, spend time with family, and unwind, the Timberwolves are currently putting the final touches on their own bubble at Mayo Square.
While nothing Earth-shattering came across the wire this week, let’s quickly recap some of the stories involving the two professional franchises owned* by Glen Taylor.
* = at least for the time-being
Vanterpool Gets Another Shot
Just a few short days after receiving official word that Sachin Gupta would be remaining with the Timberwolves, another member of the team was once again in the news for a different job opening:
Minnesota Timberwolves associate HC David Vanterpool will interview for the Houston Rockets head coaching job, sources tell ESPN. Vanterpool spent seven seasons on Portland staff before becoming the top assistant with Minnesota a year ago.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 2, 2020
Vanterpool’s name has continued to come up in a variety of coaching searches, and it does seem inevitable that at some point the former Blazers assistant will get the opportunity to run his own team (whether that be inside Minnesota or outside Minnesota remains to be seen).
While the future for DV does appear to be bright, this specific offseason may be more challenging than others in terms of securing a head coaching gig, simply based on the list of available coaches still on the market (i.e. Ty Lue, Mike D’Antoni, Dave Joerger, etc.). Whether Vanterpool finds the right fit this fall or not is still up in the air, but regardless of what happens it’s becoming more and more clear that another team may eventually value DV more than the Timberwolves do, which is an interesting topic for another day.
PheeNomenal Sophomore Season
While the Lynx didn’t escape the WNBA bubble with the hardware they wanted most, the team still received a variety of accolades for their successful 2020 campaign. First, there was Crystal Dangerfield’s Rookie of the Year award, which was quickly followed by Cheryl Reeve securing her third Coach of the Year honors.
Earlier this week, it was also announced that our own Napheesa Collier was named to the All-Defense Second Team, which marks her first team receiving such an accolade.
Collier did win AAC Defensive Player of the Year back in 2019, so it’s no surprise that her tenacity on that side of the ball has quickly translated to the WNBA. Nevertheless, between the growth we saw from Phee in her second year and Dangerfield’s emergence as the steal of the most recent WNBA Draft, it’s become quite clear that the Lynx may(a) be in store for an even mo(o)re successful 2021 season.
Bubble Wrap(ping) Up
As mentioned earlier, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been enjoying their own version of a bubble these past few weeks, despite their top players (D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns) making only limited appearances (or no appearances at all).
With the cornerstones of the franchise not participating in the voluntary Summer League-type workouts, the focus has been on the younger guys, most notably Jarrett Culver, Naz Reid, and Jarred Vanderbilt, which is definitely a good sign going forward.
Considering the fact that Russell and Towns were not active participants in this, it’s fair to say the excitement leading up to the “in-market bubble” was somewhat of a letdown, but it’s still refreshing to see guys on the roster getting up and down on their home court.
It should be stressed again that this “bubble” was indeed voluntary, so I personally don’t see any issue with the team’s stars not taking an active role, but it also would have saved a LOT of time/energy if the team would have simply came out and said so in the beginning. Again, I know Karl-Anthony Towns is still in the early stages of the grieving process after losing his mother to COVID-19 earlier this year, and that is MORE than fine. Spending time with friends and family is far more important right now than anything that relates to basketball, and if his head still isn’t quite right, then take as much time as you need (this shouldn’t even be up for debate).
But... putting Karl’s name on the “in-market” bubble roster didn’t necessarily do Towns any favors, and only fueled the fire that is #NBATwitter as it pertains to rumors about the next big name possibly wanting out. Again, from just my lone perspective, I think this is all a lot to do about nothing, but simply tackling the topic head-on prior to the start of the bubble would have saved a lot of needless rumors and drama, which is the last thing this team needs right now as it attempts to claw its way out of the bottom of the Western Conference.
With all of that said, I want to thank everyone for their continued support of the site and for some extremely engaging conversations over the past few weeks. Enjoy your weekend!