The Minnesota Timberwolves made a bold trade for Rudy Gobert shortly after Tim Connelly was hired to run the front office and he's been surprised the team has had some struggles to start the season.
“We’ve seen moments we look really good and moments we haven’t,” Connelly told The Athletic. “If you were to ask me two months ago when the season started, we thought we’d be a little further ahead of the curve.”
The Wolves entered Wednesday's game with an 11-12 record.
Many around the league were skeptical of the fit of Gobert with Karl-Anthony Towns not to mention the exorbitant cost to acquire him.
“We didn’t have expectations it was initially going to hit the ground running. We kind of expected a lot of growing pains there,” Connelly said. “So I think, individually, Rudy’s been fantastic. When we’re fully healthy, we’ve got to figure out how to most effectively employ all those guys. It’s a win-loss league. If we had three or four more wins right now, it would be an emphatic positive.”
Towns has shown a willingness to incorporate Gobert into the offense and that is a big reason why Connelly believes the pairing can work.
“We’re not going to bury our head in the sand and pretend it’s been flawless,” Connelly said. “We never expected that. When we made the trade, it wasn’t done without a lot of conversation, a lot of watching of tape.”
Either way, Connelly takes responsibility for the move.
“If this team doesn’t perform on a big enough level, the responsibility falls solely on me. It’s not these guys,” he said. “It’s my responsibility under my role to make sure we put a good team out there. But in that chase to put a good team out there, these are really good guys. We have really good guys and women in this building. It’s been really fun to get to know them and to start to feel like it is home and start to understand what makes these guys tick.”