Insider Sounds the Alarm About Ant's Future In Minnesota

Photo Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Ryen Russillo went long on Anthony Edwards on his latest podcast. He started by discussing Edwards in his intro and didn’t hold back. He’s worried about Edwards’ future with the Minnesota Timberwolves, which is alarming to any fan who wants to see the Wolves build off their 46-win season last year.

Okay, back to Anthony Edwards here in Minnesota, this is gonna get rough, so buckle up.

The trade deadline is a week away. They beat Sacramento, and then they lost to them. I thought that Mike Brown did a really good with Sabonis fouling out in the more recent matchup where Sacramento won in overtime against Minnesota, where they put in Trey Lyles, and Lyles just moves around.

He was their 5, and he’s running around all over the place, and Minnesota had a brutal time trying to figure it out. Anthony Edwards in January is 27, 6, and 5; 47 [percent] from the floor, 39 percent from three. I love him, we know that. I think he has a chance to be on that very short list of players who can impact a franchise in a major way.

And that list is usually like six or seven for me. If I want to be totally honest, maybe that list should be only like three guys. But you get my point, I think he has that chance, and I rarely say that about players.

If you wanted to knock him a little bit for, is he still a little young, and the immature and all that stuff? Alright, fine, whatever, you got me. But I really hate the situation that he’s in. So let’s examine it.

Here comes a massive D’Angelo Russell rant. If he’s your guy, you’ve been warned.

I’m gonna try to be nice about it with D’Angelo Russell, but I think he’s the worst player in the league that plays a lot of minutes. That was me being nice. He is so damaging to what you’re trying to fucking do, every night, that it’s awful. It’s awful. I wouldn’t pick him in a pickup game.

I know what you’re gonna say D’Angelo Russell fans or hopeful T-Wolves fans that think you’re actually gonna get something for him at the trade deadline that matters. In January, he’s 19 and 6, 2.5 boards. The shooting numbers are insane: 47 percent from the floor, 46 percent from three on seven attempts. He is lighting it up, so I know you are gonna throw those at me. I shouldn’t have said T-Wolves, sorry.

I don’t care! I don’t care what those numbers are. Because, you know, it’s funny, when he was coming out of school, I was like, Man, he’s got this great pace. His read, his feel. No, he’s just slow and casual. He’s way too casual with the basketball. He’s a casual basketball player. He’s just out there running around.

He gets lost. He freelances. I’d rather have Westbrook, alright? If you listen to me long enough, you know what that means. So to have that paired next to Anthony Edwards is a disaster. I don’t even think Finch wants to play him.

I was going through some of the rotation stuff with R.J. Barrett. Look at it with D’Angelo Russell at times. I think he’s kinda stuck, and you have to pay him. They are paying him. He’s an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. They’ve gotta get him away from Anthony Edwards, and I’d imagine if he’s not traded then, he’d be gone this summer.

Okay, now here comes the KAT rant.

Karl-Anthony Towns, I know he’s out. And you’re thinking, Without Towns, this is what we’re doing. We were a 5-seed a couple days ago. I don’t think Towns has the mentality of a guy that’s really gonna be a foxhole guy for you. I just don’t. I’ve thought it for a long time; I’m trying to be nicer.

And he’s almost like tall D’Angelo Russell at times. Awesome numbers, incredible talent, but I don’t know what it means. I could watch a Timberwolves game and give you ten to 15 clips of D’Angelo Russell doing stuff where I’m like, I can’t believe this guy does this stuff.

Finally, Russillo touches on the infamous Rudy Gobert trade.

So then that leads us to Gobert. We all know the price that was paid, and it was brutal. Gobert age 31 to 33 is gonna make $41 million, $44 million – I usually make that player option joke where I say in three years he’s probably gonna pick up that player option for $46 million, so let’s go ahead and break that news right now. Source is here, the Ryen Russillo podcast.

I could actually see where he’d opt out, and do like a new cap version, Let me get three years for $90, and the third year doesn’t seem that expensive. That would be halfway to the max or something, so he may decide to opt out of that.

Ultimately, Russillo feels Edwards is trapped in a difficult situation.

The problem is, now you have two guys who I don’t think understand winning. You have Gobert that costs all of this stuff and is declining and then can get played off the floor because it happens. I’ve been saying it for years, against certain matchups, Gobert is a liability.

I don’t want to hear about screen assists, it’s not a real thing. Utah no longer defends it. But the picks, and it’s not just about Walker Kessler right now, right? The Utah pick, the Timberwolves will have theirs in ‘24. ‘25 is the Utah pick, ‘26 is a swap. ‘27 is a Utah pick. ‘29 is top-5 protected.

I would always love to know what those conversations are like, where [Jazz GM] Justin Zanik and [Jazz CEO Danny] Ainge are talking to Tim Connelly and Matt Lloyd. And, by the way, I think the Timberwolves front office is awesome, alright? I feel like this has a lot of new owner syndrome written all over it, with the Gobert transaction.

But when they’re going:

Alright, we want ‘29.

Well, we can’t have that one unprotected as well. Like, No deal!

What about top-10 protected?

No deal!

Like, you were gonna say no to it, until it became top-5 protected? That stuff fascinates me, and will always fascinate me, how those calls always work.

Russillo is genuinely concerned about Edwards’ future in Minnesota.

So the reason I’ve done this and repeated it all, stuff that you’ve all heard before, is when I watch Anthony Edwards, I go, How long is this gonna happen? How long is this going to happen? How long is he going to let it happen?

Because not only do you have two players that I don’t think are winners next to him, but you also have the Gobert, and all the assets that you moved out, so you’re not gonna be able to draft some of these other guys to add to it.

It’s not like Minnesota is some massive free-agent destination, so you could argue, Well, they didn’t want to use their picks waiting for the guy that wanted to go to Minnesota, right? We know that wasn’t gonna happen. But now it’s like you’re stuck, stuck.

And it’s so easy for the rest of us to be like, Well, this isn’t gonna work, just do it over again. They just did it! They just did it! It just makes me wonder how weird the Anthony Edwards situation could get if he continues to ascend as a player, which I believe that he will, and the pieces around him are just in his way.

Everybody does the rookie extension. This is getting way ahead of it, but I feel like he’s in a situation now where he’s just gonna be treading water for a really long time. It’s not like really good player has bad things around him. It’s really good player has a couple teammates I don’t like, another one who seems outdated, and, oh, all the assets we’d use to add other pieces to Anthony Edwards as he enters his prime, we really don’t have those for the most part.

They’ve got a couple picks here and there, maybe they get creative. But it’s not ideal, and they’ve made it even worse and more challenging for somebody who’s gonna want help at some point, and may get so frustrated, he’s gonna look around going, What am I doing here?

Russillo isn’t mincing words here. He’s concerned about Anthony Edwards’ future in Minnesota, given who they’ve surrounded him with and their lack of picks. I’d wait to see what things look like once Gobert and Towns are reunited, and remember that they can undo the trade in some ways by moving Gobert. Russell is likely gone at the end of the year anyway.

That isn’t to downplay how bad the Gobert trade looks right now, nor is it to understate how important Edwards is to Minnesota’s future. But yeah, it’s not great that Russillo is this concerned about Edwards’ situation. The Wolves have to act as quickly as possible to rectify it because he’s their best hope of building a winner in the Twin Cities.

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