One Minnesota Timberwolves insider expects the team to keep guard D’Angelo Russell through this season’s trade deadline.
“Bleacher Report has the Mavs, Suns and Clippers in on D’Angelo Russell,” SKOR North’s Darren Wolfson said. “I just don’t sense any trade has been close. And frankly the way he’s been playing, he should be here on February 9.”
So far in the 2022-23 campaign, Russell is averaging 17.8 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game while shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from beyond the arc.
The Wolves have leaned on Russell more with Karl-Anthony Towns out of the lineup, and he’s been very efficient scoring the ball this season, posting the best field-goal percentage and 3-point percentage of his NBA career.
The issue for the Timberwolves is Russell’s contract, as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2022-23 season. Unless Minnesota plans on bringing Russell back, it is in danger of losing him for nothing if he walks this offseason.
Still, it doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Wolves to blow up the core of their roster, especially since they are playing well with Towns sidelined. Once the team’s star big man returns, the Wolves could make a jump in the Western Conference standings.
While things in the West are very close, Minnesota has moved all the way up to No. 5 spot in the conference, winning seven of its last 10 games.
Russell has clearly been a big part of the team’s surge, and it’s hard to see the Wolves getting a true upgrade in exchange for Russell at the deadline since he’s only under contract through the rest of this season.
A one-time All-Star, Russell has played some of his best basketball of his career in Minnesota since coming over in a deal with the Golden State Warriors a few seasons ago.
With Minnesota in the thick of the playoff race, the team would likely need to be blown away with an offer to move Russell. If the Wolves can sustain this success this season, it may give the team a reason to work out a new deal with the former No. 2 overall pick.
The fact that Minnesota has played this well this season despite Towns missing a major chunk of games is a testament to the play of Russell, Anthony Edwards and others for Minnesota this season.