H/F Trade Reaction
I'm far from fully positive about all the moves that were made by the organization this week but the climax of all the maneuvering could not have been much better. Dumping Andrew Wiggins for a second-round pick would have been a win. That Rosas managed to get a still young but moderately experienced point guard who is close friends with the team's incumbent star is some thievery by the freshman boss. You'll hear that echoed pretty much fanbase wide but as the top story, I couldn't lead off with anything else.
The team gutting move that preceded it is a different story. I was down on Shabazz Napier as even a backup point to start the year but he proved my assessment inaccurate. He's not irreplaceable but even with the optimism that I still have for Jordan McLaughlin, I would like to have seen him on the roster til the end of the year.
With the disposal of Andrew Wiggins, more opportunity could have gone the way of Keita Bates-Diop off the bench. He's another guy that isn't indispensable but I like some of the skills that he had already shown and think his career arch will lead to future pining by some in the fanbase.
Noah Vonleh didn't see marked amounts of time on the court in Minnesota but just for the fact that PF is a thin position, he could have been useful over the remainder of the season.
Which leaves the main loss for the team - RoCo. I get the vision of trying to accrue as many three-point shooters as possible but flipping Robert Covington for what will eventually be only Malik Beasley (and maybe not even him depending on how he does, in what will surely be an expanded role in MN) will stick in my craw for a while. A core three of Covington, Towns & Russell next year would be a playoff contender and more than just for the eighth seed. What's done is done but considering the blockbuster deal that followed it, I'm sour on the transaction.
But there are implications to the roster re-tool that are yet to be considered. Russell may not make his debut tonight against LAC because of a lingering quad injury. That would only aid in the tank job that the organization is already in. So when the draft order is determined, what should now be the top priority for the HOWL? Going point guard in the first round should remain on the table but is no longer the blindingly obvious choice that it was a few days ago.
I would wager that whoever they select with their own pick will have a track record as a quality outside shooter. I also think that they'll try to get more size with both of their first-round selections. In the second round, it's Markus Howard or bust. I don't think he'll be nearly as great of a scorer in the pros as he has been in college but a bench guard with range for days, that could light it up any night of the week is exactly what they could use from that part of the draft.
With the addition of the 2021 first-round pick in the Russell deal, it's even more prudent to put as much together for next season as they can. That means doing better than adding a Culver level player with the pick that will be top-5 and may be top-3. It means that the system they've been so adamant about running will need the infusion of guys to execute. It's a lot of pressure on a short period of time but the gm has shown boss quality unlike what the dogs have known for most of their existence!
Another lost season is frustrating but maybe the future can finally be bright for more than a single-season.