The Minnesota Timberwolves are still in their honeymoon phase with the slew of new players acquired at the NBA trade deadline, and while many are pleased with the moves that brought D'Angelo Russell to Minnesota to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns, there are some who aren't quite sold on the new power duo.
In an appearance on ESPN's The Jump, reporter Nick Friedell was asked whether or not he believed that Towns and Russell could lead the Timberwolves to more wins. His answer was a straight-faced no.
"I don't believe that Towns is mature enough as a leader to be the face of a team that can contend and grow," Friedell said. "I think Russell was really solid in my dealings with him at Golden State, but there's a reason why the Warriors traded him. They did not believe he was a core piece of a possible title contender...it was his attitude day-to-day."
Friedell, who covers Russell's former team, the Golden State Warriors, also questioned Minnesota's catering to Towns, who at one point this season lost 17 straight games in uniform before a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers last Saturday.
"The culture that has been created in Minnesota – especially in the last year ago with Ryan Saunders and Gerrson Rosas – everyone is afraid of upsetting Towns. He was annointed as the guy. He got a max deal. What has he won in the league? Everything has kind of flattened since they said."
Friedell then said if the Wolves don't start winning they should consider trading Towns "down the line."
While everyone is entitled to their opinion, Russell seems to think the idea of the Warriors dealing him due to his attitude was a little far-fetched and took to Twitter to let Friedell know how he really felt before deleting the tweet later on Tuesday.
From a pure 2019-20 season standpoint, Friedell isn't that far off. The Timberwolves started 10-8 but have gone 6-28 since and now sit at 16-36 entering play Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Russell didn't get in the win column much with the Warriors either as Golden State currently owns the worst record in the NBA at 12-42, but also has been without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for a majority of the season due to injuries.
Despite all the national criticism that has been hurled at Towns and Russell, their reunion in Minnesota represents a fresh start in their careers. If they succeed, they can reverse a culture of losing that has presided over this franchise since it traded Kevin Garnett in 2007. If they don't, they risk another reboot in a history that has been full of them.