The Minnesota Timberwolves are slowly but surely improving their reputation as a franchise. Formerly a haven for nepotism, they now are being taken serious in conversations about their front office- and roster-building efforts.
So perhaps it should come as no surprise that a relative recent addition to the team had effusive praise for the franchise.
Following Saturday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors, 24-year-old Nickeil Alexander-Walker says he feels “blessed to be in this organization,” per Sportsnet’s Michael Grange.
“I know what my role is and I’m getting a chance to play through mistakes, help my team by making winning plays. The way the West is, every game matters and it’s a great chance to grow as a player and person.”
The remark about being allowed to play through his mistakes could be taken as a shot at the Utah Jazz, the team that decided to move him ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline. A team with a number of shooting guards vying for minutes, only veteran guards Mike Conley Jr. and Jordan Clarkson appeared to have the type of greenlight needed to let a player navigate himself through his mistakes.
Unfortunately for Alexander-Walker, that led to him averaging a career-low 14.7 minutes per game this season, prior to his trade to Minnesota. Still, the 17th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Alexander-Walker is currently averaging just 17.1 minutes per game for the Timberwolves.
Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch, speaking on the addition of NAW, says that Minnesota has “been very pleased with [him]. We like him a lot.”
“Offensively he’s got a versatile game that we like. Defensively he’s really grown, as you would expect…”