While rumors have swirled around the Minnesota Timberwolves and their willingness to part with some key pieces at the NBA Trade Deadline, the Wolves decided not to make any move prior to the deadline.
The most prominent rumor that came out prior to the deadline was a deal centered around New York Knicks point guard Derrick Rose and Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio. While a Rose-Rubio swap probably would have been completed prior to the deadline, the Knicks’ insistence on acquiring Wolves power forward Nemanja Bjelica in the deal disinterested the Wolves, and eventually led the Wolves to walk away from the deal, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
While the Wolves ended up not making any moves, it is interesting that Wolves’ president of Basketball Operations Tom Thibodeau continues to show interest in his former players. From rumors swirling around adding Jimmy Butler prior to the draft, to the rumors surrounding Rose, it will be interesting to see what players Thibodeau brings in from his old regime with the Chicago Bulls.
With the Trade Deadline having passed, the Wolves will now turn their focus to climbing back into the playoff race, as they currently sit 3.5 games back of the Denver Nuggets for the eighth spot in the Western Conference.
With the New Orleans Pelicans, who are currently one game ahead of the Wolves in the standings, having made the biggest splash at the deadline by adding former Sacramento Kings center Demarcus Cousins, earning a playoff spot won’t be easy for the Wolves. If they can end the season with a strong streak of play, sneaking into the playoffs won’t be impossible.