Minnesota Timberwolves 2021 NBA Free Agency Grades For Every Move
The Minnesota Timberwolves made two interesting changes in the point guard spot. They got rid of Ricky Rubio via trade and basically replaced him with Patrick Beverley. Whether or not this change made the team better is a matter of wait-and-see. Taking them at face value, let’s try to grade these free agency moves but the Timberwolves.
Minnesota Timberwolves 2021 NBA Free Agency Grades
Ricky Rubio trade: C+
The Minnesota Timberwolves sent Ricky Rubio to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Taurean Prince, a 2022 second-round draft pick via Washington and cash considerations. It’s a puzzling transaction at face value. Not only did the Timberwolves get a second chance at Rubio, but the Spaniard comes at a perfect time when the team is comprised of a bunch of young guns craving for some mentorship. Rubio, too, is one of the most underappreciated guards today. He’s actually averaging 7.6 assists per game for his whole career. Not many guards have shown that consistency. More than his numbers, Anthony Edwards himself has praised Rubio as one of the best mentors he’s had. He attributed much of his success in his rookie year to Rubio, especially the fact how the Spaniard leads by words and deeds.
Unfortunately, the Wolves decided to pivot in another direction. The slight dip in Rubio’s numbers may have triggered the front office to move away from him and place D’Angelo Russell — who’s had his share of injuries — to become their starting point guard. Sending Rubio away after just one season with the team may be a premature reaction from the front office. Before donning the Wolves jersey again, note that Rubio was with the Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns — two successful teams right now. We cannot discount the fact that Rubio helped foster a winning culture in those organizations. The Wolves could’ve given Rubio at least one more season to adjust to his new team.
Patrick Beverley trade: B+
From their seeming shortcomings in the Rubio trade, the Minnesota Timberwolves front office bounced back by getting Patrick Beverley from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jarrett Culver and Juancho Hernangomez. Beverley became the laughing stock of the league after being traded twice in a matter of days. After all the laughs, they finally understood the value that Beverley brings to the floor. We all know he’s one of the toughest players in the league. He’s a terrific defender and has improved his shooting steadily over the years. More importantly, he’ll accept any type of role you assign him. These traits will immediately make him one of the leaders of the young Timberwolves squad.
Gersson Rosas, the team’s president of basketball operations, was actually the one who spotted Beverley during the guard’s stint in Russia. Rosas was with the Houston Rockets at that time and spotted his potential. So it’s not a surprise that Rosas acquired Beverley to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The reason why we can’t give the Beverley trade a perfect grade is the guard’s age. The man suffered some setbacks last season and played just 37 games out of 72. Having Beverley in the ears of the young guns is fantastic. But it’s way better if he’s actually on the court and making plays. Apart from this, Beverley’s intensity — which is his main strength — could also become a weakness at times. LA Clippers fans know how Beverley’s behavior can be erratic at times. Props to Beverley for being in control nowadays. But there’s always that risk when Beverley’s around, all hell might break loose and kill the team’s momentum.