Doc Rivers in Awe of Timberwolves; ‘Nobody is Laughing About that Trade Anymore’

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Milwaukee Bucks
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

No matter what you think about Milwaukee Bucks head coach Doc Rivers, who took over a 32-14 basketball team a couple weeks ago and has posted a 1-5 record since, but there’s no denying he’s seen a lot of basketball (25 years as a head coach, 13 years as a player).

Doc Rivers in awe of Minnesota Timberwolves

And after playing against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night, Rivers was in awe of what he had just witnessed, which was a Wolves beatdown of his Bucks, at home. Still, he couldn’t help but praise everything about the team that had just handed him his third-straight L. Minnesota’s length, their fight, their defense… everything.

“Yeah, they’re long. Wow, it’s… just watching their length out there, you know, Giannis would beat one seven-footer, run into another seven-footer. You beat him and then there’s another seven-footer with length. They’re just, they’re a long basketball team. I think it took them a year to figure out how to use [their length].

You know, last year, a lot of people knocked the trade [for] Rudy. I don’t think anyone’s laughing at that trade anymore. I mean they’re just long and they play hard too. I was really impressed with that, late in the game, when they still had their starters off. They were fighting through screens, they were getting frustrated that AJ [Green] was making shots. It’s a team that you can see thinks they have a chance and they’re going for it. You can see in the way they play.”

Doc Rivers (video above)

Related: Timberwolves Planning More Moves Post Trade Deadline via NBA Buyout Market

Doc Rivers, a highly respected coach in the NBA and a likely Hall of Famer, wants to emphasize that this trade was a big time basketball move by Tim Connelly. For those who understand the game, adding the three time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert alongside Anthony Edwards and KAT to form a “big 3” has proven to be a winning formula, evident in its success thus far in the second year.

Gobert Changed The Trade Market Forever

When the Timberwolves made the trade for Rudy Gobert, the NBA world couldn’t help but laugh, and even Timberwolves fans found themselves questioning the decision. It seemed like a strange move at the time, and many doubted whether Gobert would fit in well with a team that already had a wealth of talented big men..

Critics raised concerns about how his style of play would mesh with the existing roster. Trading away five first-round picks and all of your role players was certainly a bold move. I, for one, have been on board since the beginning.

Why? Because the Timberwolves have been losers my whole life, so when they finally decided to take a risk and do something different, I couldn’t help but support it. And you know what? It’s paying off.

Even now, tweets like this continue to pop up on NBA Twitter, and it’s quite amusing when you consider the current standings. However, with the NBA trade deadline this week, it seems like the Gobert trade may have thrown the entire trade market into disarray.

Related: Multiple Minnesota Timberwolves Participating in NBA All-Star Competitions

While I personally thought the Gobert trade was fair, the widespread hate it received may have caused NBA general managers to overvalue players and demand excessive returns in trades. This could explain why there were no major names traded at this year’s deadline.

Timberwolves Won The Trade

Regardless of the outcome of the rest of the season, even if the Wolves manage to finish in the top 4 in the Western Conference, they have already demonstrated in the second year of Gobert’s tenure that they emerged as winners in this trade. Looking at the players sent to the Jazz, only one remains with the team.

While the Jazz may potentially benefit from a late first-round pick, it’s worth noting that the Wolves are expected to maintain their high standings for years to come, likely resulting in those picks being towards the end of the round. Additionally, Gobert’s odds of -700 on Fanduel to win Defensive Player of the Year, even before the All-Star break, demonstrates his exceptional performance and impact.