Ant Unhappy; DLo Returns Amid Trade, Finger-Pointing Rumors

Photo: Justin Ford - Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves held a “players-only” meeting over the weekend, after getting beat in comeback fashion by the worst team in basketball on New Year’s Eve. They emerged from Monday’s meeting without a “sick” D’Angelo Russell in the lineup and proceeded to play one of their best games of the season, defeating the Denver Nuggets and snapping a six-game losing streak.

Fingers Pointed at D’Angelo Russell

On Tuesday, Darren Wolfson (SKOR North, KSTP) got on the Mackey & Judd Show and questioned the legitimacy of Russell’s “illness”, saying that fingers inside the Wolves locker room are being pointed in DLo’s direction, which could have been the reason for his absence following the players meeting (04:25 mark — transcript below). Russell also unfollowed the Timberwolves official Instagram account.

“There’s definitely been some finger-pointing in that locker room. I’ve heard that Anthony Edwards hasn’t been real happy. Now, hopefully happy after last night. D’Angelo Russell, some finger pointing going in that direction. I get it, it’s a one-game sample size. But they played pretty well last night, they moved the ball incredibly well… and D’Angelo Russell didn’t play? Also… really, D’Angelo Russell is sick coming out of that players-only meeting? I’ll just put it this way, because Rudy Gobert was battling an illness. We get it, it’s that time of year. Illnesses are absolutely out there. But I’ll just tell you, my tentacles are up [on Russell]. I’ll leave it at that for now. Maybe I can go deeper on Thursday. But something is amiss there.”

Darren Wolfson — Mackey & Judd (above)
DLo to Return

D’Angelo Russell’s absence from the lineup appears to be over. He was not on the injury report released Wednesday, leading up to tonight’s game at home vs the Portland Trail Blazers.

If fingers were being pointed in his direction before, during or after the players only meeting, will DLo address those concerns tonight? And how will the Timberwolves play? Will they look like the team that lost to the Pistons over the weekend or the team that beat a very formidable Nuggets team on Monday?

All of this while trade rumors circle Russell like vultures waiting for the Wolves to give up on their once-celebrated point guard. He’s been linked to the Raptors (Kyle Lowry) and Wizards, among others.

d'angelo russell anthony edwards minnesota timberwolves finger-pointing
Photo: Justin Ford – Getty Images
Why Russell, not others?

DLo is far from the only problem facing the Minnesota Timberwolves but he’s the easiest piece to move on from in the short term. He won’t bring much back in return but there’s some interest across the league.

Meanwhile, Edwards is untouchable, KAT cannot be traded until the offseason and Rudy Gobert’s stock is at an all-time low.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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