The bad luck continues for a Minnesota Timberwolves team that boasts the worst record in the NBA. Star guard D’Angelo Russell has missed each of the past three games due to what has been described as a leg injury.
The former All-Star will now be out for a while longer following Tuesday’s news. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Russell will undergo arthroscopic left knee surgery and is expected to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks.
Impact of D’Angelo Russell injury
It’s pretty crazy to look at. Since being acquired in the blockbuster Andrew Wiggins trade with the Golden State Warriors over a calendar year ago, Russell has played in a grand total of five games together with franchise cornerstone Karl-Anthony Towns.
Once Towns returned to action last week after being sidelined by COVID-19, this Russell injury popped up. This has made it difficult for the Timberwolves to see what they have in the All-Star tandem after Towns pushed for the Russell trade a year ago.
For his part, Russell has been decent since joining the Wolves. He’s averaging 19.3 points and 5.1 assists on 42% shooting from the field. With that said, the former Los Angeles Lakers lottery pick has been among the least efficient shooters in the Association this season.
Making matters even more grim for Minnesota moving forward is the fact that it owes either a top-three protected pick in 2021 or unprotected 2022 first-round pick to the Warriors in the above-mentioned Wiggins-Russell trade.
This all comes at the same time that Wiggins is being bandied about as an All-Star in the Western Conference. He’s averaging 17.5 points and 4.6 rebounds on a solid 47% shooting while being one of the best wing defenders in the NBA.
More than anything, the Timberwolves simply want to see D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns on the court together. It’s nearly impossible for team president Gersson Rosas to analyze his roster when these two can’t play together.
From a team-wide perspective, it might make sense for the Timberwolves to tank. They do not want to lose that high 2021 NBA Draft pick. Taking their chances in the lottery might be the best route to go right now.
At the very least, Russell and Towns won’t see the court together for at least another month. That’s not great.