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Discussing the Future of the Minnesota Timberwolves | Weekends with Wos


Wos is joined by The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski to discuss the Timberwolves future. They start by discussing the new ownership group, what to do with D'Angelo Russell, the Karl Anthony Towns–Anthony Edwards dynamic, and much more.

Host: Wosny Lambre

Guest: Jon Krawczynski

Associate Producer: Isaiah Blakely

Additional Production Assistance: Benjamin Cruz

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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blogger gentlemen too? We can argue host big, was equally able as the brave and enjoy five very special. Yes in a dear friend plummet. Junk in sky of the athletic. Welcome to the show John was, what's up my brother good, to see you as always say same same same you know, the feeling is very mutual. You know here in san francisco at the NBA finals. The biggest event the sport. So of course, today's You record on sundays data game I decided, about two minutes suited to a better time nets, and in that we talk about the symbols. But honestly I just started beast: but the do some game preview, psych everybody's gonna watch
game tonight. Let's talk about some pertinent mba stuff and I thought men stuff in its minnesota right now is very interesting or like five different fronts. Right and the first of which being this interesting transition from the ownership Glenn taylor to a rod in them who I called the abraham group in its because like gluteal is still in charge but didn't like, whose making. The hiring decisions whose inch like who ultimately says the okay on a draft like artistic. The minnesota thing is it. plus they have, in my opinion, one of the most trusting young rosters in the league, so I just think it's something people should be paying attention. Two at first John, I want to ask you who was in charge. Over there right now. This very second, you right was it's less
just try to lay the groundwork as straightforward as we can its cause it it's one of the most unique situation I've ever seen in a franchise, Glen taylor right now can't it is the majority owner of the timber she continues to be at ease or its own them since ninety ninety four for ever and ever really for the probably the last fifteen years on He has wanted to find a some younger owners, you come in and buy a smaller stake at first, let then kind of ride shotgun for a few years, and then let him pass the baton for most of the time that he tried to sell the timber wolves to under that kind of arrangement, most the other guys like bro. If I'm buying the car I'm dr in the car, and so he couldn't ever find that now he did find that with mark glory, Alex Rodriguez and those two came in They said yeah glenn. We wish we will learn from you will figure things out, will get our money in order and we will go for
or it will go for this, so they bought in their only at twenty percent of the franchise right now. Ok, dad and they can buy another twenty percent at the end of december and then by december of twenty twenty three. The plan is for them to take over majority control from one naylor. So it's a gradual process, but because this is all sort of succession plan lined up, they want to have a say in whose the gm foods the present a basque vibrations. Who is the coach? What kind of moves are being made so that when they take
over majority ownership in twenty twenty three. They don't have to start from scratch, and so those to mark Lori and Alex Rodriguez really lead the way on hiring TIM Connolly from Denver and recruiting him and coming up with the financial package to get him and then Glenn still had to give the final sign off. He had groove of all this, but he's really kind of empowered those two to try and make some moves and do things to set it up the way they want to be. for when they inherit this ordeal yet yeah, I think the TIM connally situation raise them. Add, eyebrows around the league with people who closely watched this kind of stuff, because the denver part of it we don't need to get into like just the idea that there was no compensation side. to this guy come in minnesota were basically like if you get a deal great
and he's one of the he's known to be one of the most respected best executives in the game. But the price tag was interesting to me because they paid top dollar to get this guy in we know the crunchies They don't get enough credit for this cheap, this organization in the lee, it's ridiculous. They everything on the cheap- and minnesota is not known, is like what bombers do with the clippers were done with did when he gave phil. Jackson, twelve million dollars- or even you name it. Some of the riches franchises in a league minnesota. Not known for that. So what do you think was the the impetus to like pay all this money to get TIM Connolly, a pin there yeah, it was two things was which are both decidedly against the grain,
What we know of the timber wolves one is when mark loreen, Alex Rodriguez came in one of the things that they did right away, and this was kind of mark lorries sort of we voice on this, and our treasury was was back in him. Was they said what we need to get a top flight president basketball operations in here the guy too, that that's all priority for us in the way that we're going to build out or franchise is by hiring the best of the best and and sparing no expense to get them. This was even before durst and rosa was fire, so even last summer, vegas in the summer league. It was starting to get out there like hey these guys, might look at bringing some one in like a heavy iter, and you heard names like peril bob myers and beside you, jerry and all these, and I will tell you: wake as those names started circle
ina as bad as that ambition had started to come to the forefront. You talked too much of people around the league over the last year, there'd be like yeah right, like these guys ain't about that they can talk all this stuff, they're, never going to be able to go out. And do that aid they're, not gonna, be all the lure someone to Minnesota, be they will not be able to get glenn tailored to sign off on pay and all this money there's just no way. Well, they go through the whole situation. I think they did. You really work hard. Are you jerry? They looked hard at a few others tim connollys Contract was such that he was available to them and they identified him as a top flight gm and said hey. He fits the criteria for what we want really well respected, a great scout, great talent, developer and also
I said it as he comes from a market similar to minnesota, like there's, been getting lebron james to come to denver in free agency, but the end so like he knows how to be successful in a market like this, and so they went hard after him and one of the reasons that they splash the pot for him too, was the kind of and a different message out there, like yo the timber wolves, are moving in a different direction, direction, we're doing things differently than you ever thought we would like. You could always count on the timber wolves to mess something up to like not have ever have to be a threat. We do that. We never have to worry about. The timber was in the league, wide scope of things, and so for them to go out and do this and an and go with the money that they did in the compensation package that they did a they got a guy that they really really respect unlike and think, is one of the top five guys in the field, but then be
Play send a message like these ain't: the state. Isn't your dad's timberwolves like we are we're going to move in a different way and when we make when we say we're going to do some we're gonna. Do it, and so I think it was effective in both of those fronts- yeah. I saw a man if you look at what ah monsieur I was doing over there, which is putting together the rosters on the cheap. Never some ridiculous tear down never any splash, she free agents, unless you want to call it kenyan martin. That is something you know like. Never these ridiculous moves, but highly competitive and connally goals in air and as this age it is, it
kinda crazy, like he. Basically, he replaced his massage theory and puts together another top to bottom quality as roster to the point where they're beating the clippers, who are the odds on favorite for the championship conference finals all of this stuff. And what will tim finally be expected to do here in minnesota like where do they think they witty from your best? Since obviously we do they see themselves as far as the pecking order within the western conference, and what do they think TIM connollys gonna provide to get them going in a direction that they think they deserve to be gone?
yeah. I was so if you look at where they're out right now, before the tim calmly higher, they went from twenty three wins two years ago or a year ago to forty six, this year doubled their wind total got into the plan for the first time in four years, only the second time in the last seventeen years, which is when you, when you have that kind of modest success, but success nonetheless, for the timber wolves like you, can hang banners for that here. Like that's the deal, the bar is so low for them too. To get over that everyone would, it would eat you, wouldn't blame them for sand. A great job guys just stay the course keep doing this and we will try to keep building. But what clearly, what the connally recruitment and signing says is that they are not happy with just being okay, with just being
in that seven eight nine ten range in the play in turn him in range and the western conference. I think that they have a realization as much as their rosters, very intriguing and there's a lot of really cool parts to it, and they have a good coach and all of these other things. They know that the past from forty six wins too, like fifty two were fifty three winds and home court advantage in the first round is a lot harder in some ways in the past twenty three wins to forty six and so Connelly's coming in here sort of with a directive to hey. We need you to build on this success and we know that the western conference is going to be a lot tougher,
next year than it was this year, and we know, maybe the wolves won't have quite as much luck with injuries as they did this year. They were really really healthy for most most of the year and that help them kind of pile up some some wines as well, and so how he's gonna have to come in and do what he did in Denver draft well, maybe make a few smart trades and I think that being so, it is key in denver. Was he got yoke edge, murray and poured a right like ours? He assembled that core here that you have at edwards in towns that our kind of the core now he's got a kind of builder roster around those two took to just maximize what they have their, and so they think his relationships is I for talent. All of that stuff is, is a cut above
they already had, and so that's that's. The main motivator here is man. This climate. This mountain is only going to get harder than from from here, and so it's up to him to identify opportunities for them to take advantage of an egg and build the depth around those two big guns and figure out the rest. You know, To my mind, John, I don't think there was much did separated minnesota this year in memphis his team. Honestly, they seem to be of equal talent and equal quality.
of a team that earned a damned two seed in the western conference this year, which is pretty impressive and so to me I wonder how they view their roster construction and especially this off season. Because, again, I think memphis is instructive here, because they could have sort of jumped out the window last off season and said: oh, where we've arrived, we've got this great young core. Let's do something drastic to this. Instead, they just like that. Let's bring Steven Adams in here. Let's you know sorta round out the edges, let's not go crazy. What approach do you think
The timber rules are going to take to this off season. Yet I think memphis is a good yet parameter for them too, to measure against, because you're right I mean like they believe that they should have one five of those gaps if they had the experience in the toughness mentally. To finish it off, I mean they had double digit leads in all of those games laid in the second half and couldn't close it out. They just they just were not used to being on that stage in Memphis had a little bit more experience, and so they just kind of ultimately out tough them down distraction. So I do think that there will be a similar kind of pathway for them in terms of you hope that Anthony Edwards makes this we ve gone into your three that John moran. Did you hope that Karl anthony towns continues to kind of put everything together and really
will become more of a two way player, as he did this year in an jade mcdaniel going into your three and a few, those guys you can count on. I think some of these guys really continuing to improve and leaps. The big question that they have to answer is: what are they gonna do with the actual russell? Is he a guy that you keep? Is he a guy that you extend? Is he a guy that you trade, you know, there's all that that that is the key decision that they have to make. That could make this more than just stay. Tweak of the roster and could take change it anymore, but significant change. If they decide ultimately that hey, we have to move on from him and see what we can get. You know, I'm let's stay on the actual russell topic because of personally never been a fan of his game. Just just the idea, like you need a screen.
to do anything like you can never do anything with the bali aids outside of some level of bigger role operation. I just don't think that's enough to justify the sword of cachet he's around the league? It's me Do you know he's a guy who had about six weeks of good basketball in brooklyn, somehow fell onto an all star team, and we were all expected to. You know pretend that this guy some kind of world beater or wolves fan well, twitter, very vocal. This year they will actually was your casual because our best lineups actually are
the Angelo above above about, and they were, you know very cocky about it, the digital russell situation, but I don't think that bore out and the playoffs. He was a problem, as you know, many different moments that damn off the dribble step back click add at the end of tat was came for. I forget which came it was that debt images seared into my brain is: I got this terrible move and then just like doesn't even hit the rim. I've been meaning to digital russell. What do you anticipate they will do with him. Is it? Is it a trade cause? I don't see how you can be like all this guy deserves some huge extension because he's a huge part of what we're doing going forward. Yeah, I mean you're here I I know we're not supposed to say these things on these pods and me being immersed in it
double wolves. As long as I have been, I should have all the answers. I really don't know what the point at issue here, because it's not an easy answer. So we'll start with, like Daniel Russell, had a big role in the wolf success. So I really dont know what they're going to do it, because, on the one hand, the entire russell a huge role in a lot of their success last season in the regular season? He was really good. He, especially pensively. He showed a side of him that I don't think anyone knew that he had. He was good from a leadership standpoint. and while he chose the spa, that's when to get his own shop when you get edwards and towns in all them. Above all, that was great and, let's not forget in the play and tournament against the clippers. When Carl anthony towns was. Am I a because a file trouble? The annual russell was the guy who saved them yet of your huge game, and so he has those capabilities to tape, get take a game over, but it is a roller coaster.
the man and in the boy asked that rollercoaster was all the way on the down slope. For most of the time I mean you're, looking at point totals in those six games, ten, eleven twenty two and nine of twenty one, ten, twelve and seven in the game. Six seven points did not play the final six minutes of the fourth quarter of a must win game. Six, like you, can They have a max player, not and not be able to put him on the floor like arms, but he's in all star made. It all starts here, just untenable man, and so I think he dares deserves a lot of credit for forgetting them to the play off split sternly still had showed some limitations in the waves and that's the big problem here, because if you're the timber wolves and you a trade him if you had lost through the clippers and he played really well- and you didn't make the players.
maybe his values a little higher. You know, but it might be a little bit difficult to go out there on the market and see what you can get for. The angel Russell coming off of that lay off series where just did not play well at all, and then yeah I mean when you create india extension talks with him. I mean you he's not a max extension guy like that's, that's obvious. What what would he worked for into of an extension, and is there some reasonable number? I dont know here's the third scenario laws which mean it shows how whining this road is, though they could go into next season. It rots along the roster in the final year of his deal and if the eu plays it out any place. Well, then you look to keep him or, if he doesn't, you say good by and then they have.
Thirty one million coming off of the cap with him. They have Malik beasley's, fifteen million coming on. They have a patrick beverly's, thirteen million coming off and all of a sudden, you got all this cap space things in the world, then yeah. I suppose so. So that's why I'm saying like there are. There are three clear path that they could take and they could all work out of weight or they are really not work out at all, and so I dont know what they're going to do. I would imagine that tim conway is absolutely going to play the market and see what offers are out there leading into the draft and if there is something that they really really like, I wouldn't be surprised if they move him, but I dont think its a case like they did with Andrew wiggans, where we're going to attach a livelier, protected pig.
And try to get off again. I dont think they're going to do that with the Angela rascal. This episode is brought to you by odious. Running a business is hard, but no says you have to do it alone, with odious suite of business applications. You can streamline automate and simplify any part of your company. They ve got apps first crm, accounting e commerce manufacturing you name it. Each app is user friendly, intuitive and fully integrated, so you can stop wasting time and start growing your business productivity wait with oh do for a retrial. Gotta, oh, do dot com, slash, spotify, that's o d, o o dot com, flash spotify perception is brought to you by indeed manager hiring from start to finish with. Indeed, indeed, is the hiring platform where you can attract interview higher all in one place, find great talent faster through timesaving.
It was like indeed instant, match, assessments and virtual interviews. You can quickly find the best It is with the right skills with assessments, if only basketball team had to like this, for the draft joint in the three million businesses worldwide. That use indeed to quickly hire great talent, start hiring now, with a seventy five dollar sponsor job credit, to upgrade your job post at indeed dot com, slash, ringer, mba, indeed dot com, slash ringer, nba terms and conditions apply. This episode is bright, you buy cheaters, they had to wear yeah, they got the william. leave your mark and that's exactly what latinos are doing all across the country. The rewrite the rules and pushing the boundaries in their communities to leave their own unique mark? They use their gift, their superbowl there to make an impact, whether its through art, music, fashion, food or something else and cheaters celebrate what they're doing by shining a light on their transformative power the deck at the way program celebrates those leaving their mark in latino communities.
Also celebrate by checking out the new podcast batman and buried on spotify. and buried is presented by cheaters. They had the way you visit, batman and buried on sport if to learn more edgy s, gotta very interesting for advanced be observing right now what you know this is just tangent auditing edge, don't wiggins, could have made himself into a lunch pale player. Definitely on the wall. Similarly, workin here was, it wasn't and you can't go from savior two months. Pale got just break tat. Just does that those who think they encountered with in when you're in that same space you go to a team with four freaking all famers on it and they tell you shut up,
walk up, grab a rebound, a guard, somebody you do it yeah, it's it's just different, so you know, I think, he's far ultimately found his destiny as like just straight up our guard guys, I got some oddball creation for you. I can knock down the the open three every now and again, and that's it Basically what I do. I can't be- you know the son or the bargain ecosystem yeah. I can't I can't be yeah yeah, it's so funny watching him and just remember in Harrison. Barnes clink, like twelve thousand threes in the final twenty six. It's like it's crazy to harry bonds now, but I do want to give to the two big eyes on a team anthony edwards and call it to be tones in. I think downs had a better play offs. Then it
be remembered, but those laws which is so glaring it just so like. Does this guy have a mind for basketball iq at certain points, when you're watching him make these crazy mistakes? These ridiculous fouls in like you're, just like okay, like I, can't censor my universe if I'm the wolves around this dude. However, when I'm watching Anthony edwards, I'm like that's the guy, that's the guy right. There is basically the inability of anybody to stay in front of him. He doesn't even really know how to finish yet, yet he still felt
is to be effective near the basket when the shot is falling, is just like everybody liked you stuff and go. Do the wolves see themselves as anthony edwards franchise, more so than a call every chance franchise, because a dick with jimmy butler did is TAT red and stuff. He was busy like you as a shining, these kids ass. Is there not back good and saw a mighty here? I'm tired of this crap, I feel like entity. Edwards he's moved into the focal point. How did you manage this call town stinkers? Equally, we still thinks you know, he's the earth and the son of the franchise. How would they managing it go forward? Yeah I mean, I think that this is kind of you The situation for this kind of a thing cause you could see it developing in any and in in other places or there's plenty of other situations like this, including with all the
pairings in minnesota, where it was two really good players and man. This is not going to work like whose team is it kind of a thing, she's gonna, be a soap, opera and trees and alienated and fact work is definite. Cagey now I think he's is important that, on your weekend show I am not reply Are you mad at all what I am using that as a basis as the baseline right action, the media add yet you add on staffing cagey? You had jimmy tat. You had even like even in the personnel spree well kgb mix like if they were not going against each other, but money got in the way of that with most casal in spain wanting to be paid and all that in that, and that really every word of the mescal inside his kids on eight and nine three years. Twenty one million condemn an end so, but
in this scenario. I I don't have from what I've seen. I don't think that we're headed for that collision point right now, because for a couple of reasons one is right now, as of right now are the two. The wolves say this is anthony. Edwards seemed no he's not ready for that. Yet they'll, just he's not there yet it's. Okay, he's twenty years old, but towns has been in the league seven years going into his eighth year. He is the most consistent player on this team by far, and I think last year he started to show more maturity and being able to handle a leadership role in it, from way than he had earlier on his career. That really did tick off Jimmy bottler. That really did not. He is on his. You naughty call people, so's, whatever since that is what I call it treats efforts, and so I guess I think
For a lot of his career, that was true and- and I think that this year yeah I did see him grow up some and and kind of come out of this fog that he was in and and so there's there's all that. But all this is to say that towns has lost a lot here. He's law, a they've lost, a ton of games, he's taken a lot of shit for it on understandably so you're the franchise player. When your team doesn't win you're going to take a lot of blame, but so he understands more than most that you need more than one good player on a team to compete in the western conference and that's why I think he and anthony Edwards complement each other very well. Like aunt knows that he's not as good as Karl anthony towns just yet, but he knows that he has something to help this equation. Nand, like he's, got a mindset in him that, while cat is the big brother and is the scrapper,
with the little brother like he's, going to come and jump into the fight and and take care of some dude if it if it goes off that way, and so so I think like they get along well, and I think that towns is ready for help in a way that he probably wasn't before and so like. I think that all can work out, and so here's the other thing when I come Obviously like there's a lot of people, whether it's in the mb air, even in wolves fan, sometimes we like man, they got trade cat, make this aunt's team like this. Is it I'm like? I wouldn't go that far. Second, you trade cat you're. Looking for a big who can shooting sprays or for any create room for Anthony Edwards, and so I just do think that they're going to continue to build around both of them in a way that can absolutely work and as long as they continue to make those to the focal points and make them both valued
and both of them understand how much they need each other. I think it's gonna work out just fine and I don't have really met many concerns about that. Now they gotta get better around those two I get more rebounding. They got to get more toughness, they got to get more shooting, but those two why it's a pretty good once you punch, especially if you get aunt, to make a leap in your three like people are expecting. So I think they're good they're and I think both of those two are good with being good there. And now it's a matter. What happens around man, I would have loved to get into some of the more sordid details of that gerson rojas but we were out of time for today. I do think, however, the two war are exciting, a young team, as we have in the league. I I really really want to see what kind of lie is able to put together an offseason, because I think they're going to be really damn good. Next year, after having tasted,
success. Hope we didn't get to the root of the Elinor hawks in dislike, be completely like what the hubris inequity they achieve something and want more for themselves and jaw man. Thank you for coming on. Tell the people where they could find junior fantastic work. You appreciate it was a yeah. You could find me at the athletic dot com in the minnesota. Resection timberwolves would do a little viking stuff here and there as well and and you can find me on twitter at John krasinski, not the actor or the other one. J, o n k, R, a w c c Y, a n s k I, but I appreciate you having me on- was I'm so happy for your success. Man, you're good friend. I can't wait to see you in vegas and you just keep blowing up man. Listen! John! Thank you. You're. The sweetest guy in the biz, however, more success, more money, more everything. That's why I see. Actually I need more john. He That's all there is a man doesn't keep on grauben. Thank you broke, I that was our show.
Today, make sure you check out all of the other offerings throughout the ringer and podcast. work. I will see you guys next week out, You guys on wednesday, with chat we out of here.
Transcript generated on 2022-06-06.