Timberwolves Mailbag: The Finals are (Almost) Over

Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Timberwolves season is over, and it looks like the NBA Finals will follow more quickly than some might have preferred.

So, to pass some NBA dead time, let’s get into some questions you have about the season that was in Minnesota Timberwolves basketball.

In terms of locker room back-and-forth, I came to really enjoy Jeff Teague’s honest nature. When he had something to say — even if it didn’t align with the views of Tom Thibodeau — he’d say it. He was also Karl-Anthony Towns’ biggest locker room cheerleader when he dropped 57 points, and Tyus Jones’ biggest advocate when he was having success.

My favorite locker room story I can think of — off the top of my head — came last season. I won’t go into the details of how it happened, but the moment Jordan Hill discovered there was no sales tax on clothes in Minnesota was a moment of pure happiness in his life.

Yes, you test the waters, but the odds of getting anything of any real value in return is small. Getting DeMar DeRozan — a starter from this season’s All-Star game — makes no sense at all for Toronto, unless the “returning home” aspect of acquiring Wiggins is that appealing.

Wiggins still has a ton of talent, and theoretically could figure it out. But the combination of his rocky start and his monstrous contract will make it hard to get anything fun.

I want to see a Jimmy Butler sandwich. Some combination of Texan ingredients — BBQ chicken, fried onion strings and LOTS of cheese — maybe served in a Chicago dog bun?

Initially, I thought “The KAT,” but I don’t think people would want to order something like that.

Lame answer: It all depends on how they look next season. If they come out slow, I could see a mid-season firing. Glen Taylor is well aware that Thibs and Gregg Popovich are now the only two with the coach/GM combos left in the league. If it isn’t going well, I don’t think it goes for very long.

If it goes well — which is entirely possible — he’ll stick around for a while. Making the playoffs was the goal in 2017-18, and he accomplished it. If there’s improvement, it’s going to be hard to justify letting him go — even if some fans find him hard to root for.


They won’t be screwed, but it will ruin their chances of getting a non-minimum player to round out their bench — aside from a player they could acquire with the 20th pick.

If Rose demands the mid-level, Thibodeau’s loyalty to him suggests a deal might get done. If that happens, the 3-point shooting off the bench next season will be worse than it was this season.

Imagine that.

Yes, on the top floor. Eric was in Madison so I got the executive corner office. Thanks, Eric.

Something tells me he doesn’t use Twitter at all, basically. But his Instagram — a service I personally do not use — provides the public with vids and photos of his dog. The dog is QUITE cute.

View this post on Instagram

Baby cass❤️

A post shared by Andrew Wiggins (@22wiggins) on

Yeah, that would make the most sense. He’ll be on the last year of his contract and has a ton of value. In addition, his departure could create room for Nemanja Bjelica to start at the 4, providing the starting lineup with some real spacing — albeit with less defensive prowess, in that case.

But as long as Thibodeau is in charge, we have to operate under the assumption that Gibson will be a Wolf next year. And that’s okay, too. Thibodeau was right when he said Gibson helped Butler instill a new type of culture, especially with the young guys. He was a plus player all year, and does a lot of things well. He likely won’t go, but him staying here will help the team in a variety of ways.

I’m not sure Joe Ingles gets enough credit for how good he really was for Utah this year. He finally got his due in the postseason, but he was unreal levels of reliable from deep all year.

He’s shot over 44 percent from deep each of the past two years and has been everything in a wing that executives have been trying to find for a passer like Ricky Rubio. He probably won’t make an All-Star team, but his value is higher than most starters.

Elsewhere, I think Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo have returned to form in sorts this season in New Orleans. I’m not sure if that’s flown under the radar, but they were the support needed for Anthony Davis to lead them to the second round.

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