The Minnesota Timberwolves just lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. However, the weirdest part about the series was, it feels like the T-Wolves were the better team for the majority of it.
They blew multiple 20-point leads, fell apart down the stretch of games, and allowed Memphis to climb their way back in at crucial moments. Minnesota’s youth and inexperience showed up at the worst possible time.
Outside of Karl-Anthony Towns’ questionable shots in the final minutes, the one guy everybody is talking about is D’Angelo Russell. But not because of what he did, because of what he didn’t do.
Will the Minnesota Timberwolves trade D’Angelo Russell?
Russell was benched down the stretch in Game 6 (a decision he was not happy about), with head coach Chris Finch instead choosing to play Jordan McLaughlin. But with how poorly Russell played in the series, it’s hard to blame Finch.
In the six games, Russell averaged 12.0 points, 2,5 rebounds, and 6.7 assists while shooting 33.3 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from behind the three-point line.
Before being benched for the majority of the fourth, Russell had played 27:14, putting up only seven points and four assists while shooting 3-for-7 from the field and 1-of-3 from deep.
Meanwhile, McLaughlin put up nine points, five rebounds, and four assists on 4-of-5 shooting, all while providing a calming presence on the offensive side of the ball.
But no one’s talking about how well McLaughlin played. Instead, everyone is focused on one thing – what is next for Russell, and will the T-Wolves choose to trade him?
In reality, it’s unlikely that Minnesota moves on from Russell this summer. He and Towns are very close friends, and despite making a ton of money, he was actually pretty good for them this season.
That won’t stop people from throwing him in the trade machine, though. While the NBA rumor mill may not throw Russell’s name around as much as guys like Russell Westbrook and Rudy Gobert this summer, don’t be surprised to hear his name brought up from time to time.