Five thoughts from one of the last quiet weekends we will have for a long time.
• It felt like this had the potential to be a volatile offseason for both the Timberwolves and the Wild.
Trade rumors — externally generated in the case of the Wolves via speculation about Andrew Wiggins and more internally generated by the Wild’s hire of new GM Paul Fenton — have been fun fodder but little more.
The offseason free-agency pickups for both teams have been depth moves, and so far at least no signature players have been traded.
With the Wild scheduled to open Oct. 4 and the Wolves beginning Oct. 17 — points that will be here sooner than we think, not to mention the even sooner arrival of training camps — both appear set to run it back in 2018-19 with rosters that made the playoffs but quickly faded a year ago.
Both teams maintaining status quo is surprising. Doing the same next summer would be shocking.
• Speaking of which, last week there were more rumblings that the Wolves’ Jimmy Butler and Boston’s Kyrie Irving want to join forces as free agents after this season — presumably for a team like the Knicks or Nets.
A lot can happen between now and then. Butler could still re-sign with the Wolves — I still believe that — particularly since they can offer him more money than any other team. I’m still advising calm.
However, a recent ESPN.com NBA “Forecast Panel” had some interesting insights.
Now, this panel is not an official entity and might be made up of 17 squirrels with flashcards for all I know. But they predicted where the biggest potential NBA free agents will start the 2019-20 season.
And only 12.1 percent of the panelists said Butler would be with the Wolves. Per the item:
“Butler was also the only player in our Forecast for whom his current team didn’t finish first or second in the voting, with only 12 percent of panelists seeing Minnesota as his long-term home. Expect the four-time All-Star to have a new team next summer.”
Again, there’s a long time between now and then. But this is undoubtedly a big year for the Wolves and Butler.
• If you are a Vikings fan, the mood is this: Straddling the line between worrying that this is One Of Those Years when weird and bad things can’t stop happening and derail the season … and believing this team is so good that it is built to withstand pretty much anything thrown its way.
• Before you count the up-and-down Lynx out in the playoffs, remember that in the midst of a very uneven season they did have a seven-game winning streak. If they can conjure up some of the playoff magic they’ve had the past seven seasons, they can still be a factor.
• After giving up just one run in his first three games for the Yankees after last month’s trade from the Twins, Lance Lynn reverted to early-season form by allowing five runs and needing 99 pitches to get through four innings Saturday against Toronto. The Yankees still managed to win, though, 7-5.