Transfers in college football have changed the game. Whole programs can undergo Kardashian-esque makeovers with a simple, smart signing at the coach’s spot. Just ask the Universities of Colorado and Wisconsin-Madison. Deion Sanders and Luke Fickell aren’t the only people those athletic programs are getting when they shake hands with their new coaches; they get dozens of players from their previous endeavors hoping to stick around their preferred mentors.
What Tim Connelly’s Interest in Bones Hyland Means
The NBA and Wolves President of Basketball Operations, Tim Connelly, may not see the same workings as college football, but there are ties to players that mustn’t be forgotten. Players might be thankful for the folks that draft them, but the ties are stronger from President to the player. Connelly saw something in Bones Hyland, and now he’s conspiring to put him in Minnesota blue.
Connections aside, it’s possible Connelly is showing his hand. Hyland isn’t a “win-now” veteran who would move the needle the way PJ Tucker does for finals-hopeful teams every summer. He’d be a part of the Wolves’ future, and his acquisition would raise questions about the team’s future contracts and construction.
Oh Well, Jaylen Nowell
Jaylen Nowell is a good basketball player. Basketballs don’t just magically float into baskets, and Nowell’s skillset has allotted him trust from Chris Finch to be a fire-starter off the bench. It wasn’t long ago that Finch was expressing the importance of a Nowell breakout season. Hyland was born on the same side of Basketball Town, but he wasn’t drafted by the now history Rosas posse like Nowell.
Nowell is in the final year of his 4-year, $4.7 million contract. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer amidst a crucial offseason for the Wolves. It won’t be as easy as a float down the Mississippi to bring back this band.
Considering their similarities and immediate futures, Hyland could replace Nowell as early as next season. Nowell is a trade candidate, though he hasn’t been making headlines lately.
It’s possible Hyland could also become a D’Angelo Russell replacement, however unlikely that is.
Naz to Meet You, Free Agency
Like his teammate Jaylen Nowell, Naz Reid is an impending free agent. Reid is the more tradeable asset, whereas Nowell’s shoot-first style is a tougher sell.
Connelly may be anticipating Reid to walk this summer, so he’s off and running to the phones to trade for a familiar face. Contractually, a Reid for Hyland swap works. The Wolves would still have Rudy Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, Nathan Knight, Luka Garza, and Kyle Anderson to man the four and five spots. Taurean Prince and an older and wiser Josh Minott are also candidates to play minutes at power forward.
Jordan McLaughlin’s Calf
Hopefully healing well while away from the court, Jordan McLaughlin is a difference-maker when his calf allows him. There’s been minimal chatter on a return date for the craft point guard, and Connelly may be looking to beef up the depth at that position in case McLaughlin’s injury turns out worse than expected. Russell, Anthony Edwards, and Austin Rivers are all capable of handling the ball, though none of them are pure distributors.