At first glance, you might think that there are no dots connecting to Minnesota with the latest free agency decision by LeBron James — think again.
What a start to free agency it has to been in 2018. Decisions by Paul George and LeBron James have taken center stage, but now that we know purple and gold will be James’ new colors for the next four seasons it’s time to let it all soak in. Instead of just going to the same conference at the Golden State Warriors, we’ll now get to see what a battle within the same division will look like with the new-look Lakers ready to take aim.
While this is unrelated to the Timberwolves in the sense that they aren’t giving or taking literally from the deal, the echo throughout the league that this free agency choice sends will be felt the most by them.
As a border line playoff team last season, it took a knockout game in the regular season finale against Denver for the Wolves to secure a playoff berth and date with the Houston Rockets. Despite that series ending in five quick games, the Timberwolves have some promise moving forward.
They’re not going to get the MVP version of Derrick Rose obviously, and frustration issues centered around Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins don’t help. But that doesn’t mean that it’s already time to throw in the towel.
Instead, James going to Los Angeles should be a wake up call for how they need to handle the upcoming season.
A lot of that has to do with Jimmy Butler considering that he’ll be able to hit the free agency market himself and see what other teams offer him. In a similar situation to Paul George when he was with the Pacers, Butler and the Chicago Bulls weren’t seeing eye to eye and Minnesota came in and snagged a star.
But keeping him in Minnesota now becomes the crux of the entire season ahead of them, even if along the way Towns and Wiggins get shown the door.
In any case, here’s a more thorough thought on how they can address Butler’s looming free agency, among other things, following the decision by LeBron James.