Teams noticing ‘aggressiveness in engagement’ from Wolves about Nets’ D’Angelo Russell
The Minnesota Timberwolves might be making a play for D’Angelo Russell. After rumors first surfaced last week about the team’s interest in the Brooklyn Nets star, The Athletic’s John Krawczynski reports that Minnesota general manager Gersson Rosas and vice president of basketball Sachin Gupta have taken an “aggressive” approach to finding means of acquiring him.
“Officials with teams around the league already are noticing an aggressiveness in engagement, league sources told The Athletic. And with Rosas and Gupta at the top of the food chain, most believe that any and all options will be considered when it comes to reshaping the roster around Towns, who has been less clandestine about his feelings toward Russell.”
Russell enjoyed the best season of his four-year career in 2018-19, his second with the Nets after being traded from the Los Angeles Lakers in advance of the 2017 NBA Draft. He notched career-highs across the board of 21.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game this season while shooting 43.4 percent overall and 36.9 percent from beyond the arc on a high volume of attempts, making his first All-Star game in the process.
There’s some disagreement on Russell’s career trajectory from here, but the Timberwolves seem to agree with the many who believe the 23 year old still has ample room to improve. Cash-strapped due to several onerous existing contracts on the books, though, Minnesota won’t have the cap space to sign Russell in restricted free agency this summer, meaning the team would have to complete a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn to bring him to Minneapolis.
Karl-Anthony Towns has certainly made his thoughts on the matter clear, already going out of his way on multiple occasions this offseason to single out Russell on social media.