Golden State moved within a game of winning another NBA title Monday, thanks in large part to 26 points and 13 rebounds from former Wolves wing Andrew Wiggins.
The series with Boston will end in a few days, and then the league will go into a long hibernation as executives recharge and rejuvenate.
Wait, just kidding.
Four days after a potential Game 7, the NBA will hold its draft next week. The new league year will start a week later, and then on July 6 players can start signing with — and being traded to — new teams.
July will bring a flurry of activity that could trickle into August. And then by late September, training camps will open and we’ll start it all again.
For the 28 teams outside of Golden State and Boston, player acquisition season can’t come fast enough. Maneuvering is happening in drips right now, but pretty soon the hose will be turned on full blast.
You can tell what story lines are building by reading and hearing what is being reported casually as fact, and you can tell what players are thinking often by looking at social media.
Monday was a good day for both when it comes to D’Angelo Russell.
On the same day Wiggins — the player shipped to Golden State along with what became the No. 7 pick in the 2021 draft in exchange for Russell — dropped 26 and 13, the Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor wrote this in his latest mock draft in which he projects Kentucky guard TyTy Washington to the Wolves at No. 19:
D’Angelo Russell is being shopped around, so it makes sense for the Timberwolves to target a shot-creator with this selection.
It’s not the first time that’s been suggested, nor will it be the last. But it appeared to catch the eye of D-Lo, who tweeted (and then soon deleted) “hey world I’m shopping” on Monday.
The Wolves wanting to trade Russell, who has one year left on a hefty contract that will pay him $30 million next season, is not the same as another team agreeing to it.
But Russell is a useful — albeit, like Wiggins, overpaid — enough player, and expiring contracts are tradeable even when players aren’t useful.
The Wolves have four picks in next week’s draft, including three second-rounders. That’s a lot of assets that could help facilitate a Russell trade.
It’s also worth remembering this, though: The player the Wolves couldn’t wait to get rid of a little over two years ago is on the brink of winning an NBA title.