What to do with D-Lo

After being eliminated by the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA Playoffs, Minnesota now has the task of figuring out what to do with their team this offseason to improve. With a very young squad, and a lot of talent, time itself will help out this team as they mature as players. Although maturing is great, most teams go through a little personnel change before they take that next step, whether that be acquiring an All-NBA talent, adding solid role players, or just clearing up cap space by not re-signing a player. For Minnesota, I don’t expect a lot of players to turn around, especially not with KAT and Anthony Edwards. One player that does come to mind though, would be point guard D’Angelo Russell.

D’Angelo Russell is kind of an odd situation as far as players go in the NBA. Not really sure if he is in that all-star range, role player, or future bench-warmer. He clearly is very talented, and I don’t see him becoming a bench-warmer, but there are some concerning aspects about his style of play. After receiving Russell after his short stint with the Warriors, a lot of Minnesota fans were excited to bring him on board. He had just recently played with the Brooklyn Nets, who were nowhere near a top team, and managed to bring them into the playoffs. For the Timberwolves, no one was thinking we were going to bring home the ring after this move, but the playoffs were much more likely to become regular.

For the negatives about Russell’s playing, I believe it is mostly in his head. As mentioned earlier, he is talented, and has more potential than where he is currently at, this last year’s playoff run showed his flaws. It seemed at times that Russell wanted to be the hero in the series, even though he is the number three option for the Wolves. Making bad shot selections (especially in late game situations), trying to force passes, and turning over the ball was all too familiar in the series. He averaged only 12 PPG throughout the series after a season averaging 18 PPG. That’s quite the drop-off (Basketball-Reference).

With one year left on his contract in Minnesota, worth just over $31 million (NBC Sports), I think it would be in the Timberwolves best interest to trade Russell and see what they can get. Even if the value isn’t very high, I don’t see D’Angelo adding any value to this Minnesota team that is more than capable of winning a playoff series next year. If no team is interested, the Timberwolves might just have to let Russell play the last year of his contract and, if no noticeable improvement, let him walk in free agency.

Author

  • zacspear

    Hi, my name is Zac Spear, and I grew up in the small town of Truman, MN. I have always loved sports and some of my favorite memories come from watching the Vikings play with my dad. I decided to go to college for communications to get an opportunity within the sports broadcasting world.

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