Timberwolves Talk | Star Tribune
Timberwolves Talk

Timberwolves Talk

Timberwolves beat writer Jerry Zgoda joins Michael Rand every week to turn the marathon of an NBA season into a series of short sprints. The Wolves are worth talking about, and we hope you'll listen.


Episode 34: Listen: The end of Thibodeau, the beginning of Saunders and what it means

Minnesota Timberwolves interim head coach Ryan Saunders gestures in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Okla

Chris Hine and Michael Rand dissect Sunday's firing of head coach and president Tom Thibodeau plus the promotion and Tuesday debut of interim coach Ryan Saunders. What does Saunders need to do to keep the job full-time? And which players stand to benefit the most from the change?


Episode 33: Listen: For the up-and-down Wolves, when will it be too late?

Josh Okogie looks back at his Timberwolves teammate Robert Covington after receiving a mini-Gatorade shower from him while he was being interviewed by

Chris Hine and Michael Rand dissect the 0-4 road trip, the 180-degree return to Target Center against Sacramento, the Josh Okogie phenomenon, Andrew Wiggins' season ... and the catalog of singer-songwriter Carole King.


Episode 32: Listen: Welcome to the Timberwolves party, Andrew Wiggins

Minnesota Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins (22) drives to the basket against Cleveland Cavaliers' Jordan Clarkson (8) in the second half of an NBA basketb

Chris Hine and Michael Rand discuss the Wolves' 9-3 record since the Jimmy Butler trade, which included a 26-point game from Andrew Wiggins in their most recent win. Is it OK to get excited yet if you're a Wolves fan? Sure, but the schedule gets tougher with 10 of the next 13 on the road.


Episode 31: Listen: As sample size gets bigger, are Covington and Wolves for real?

Robert Covington reacted after making a three-point shot in the second quarter.

Chris Hine and Michael Rand dissect the Timberwolves' defense, which has been the best in the NBA since Robert Covington and Dario Saric arrived. Is this sustainable? And how much credit should Tom Thibodeau get for all this?


Episode 30: Listen: Hallelujah! The post-Butler Wolves are watchable again

Listen: Hallelujah! The post-Butler Wolves are watchable again

Chris Hine and Michael Rand discuss the new-look Timberwolves, who are in the top-5 in the NBA in defensive rating since trading Jimmy Butler. Can they keep it up, and how will the suddenly deep rotation shake itself out?


Episode 29: Listen: In the post-Butler era, how will the Timberwolves fare?

Robert Covington cracked a smile while talking about a coat he was given as a gift by Karl Anthony-Towns upon his arrival earlier this week.

Michael Rand and Chris Hine look at the factors that led the Wolves to finally trade Jimmy Butler, ending more than seven weeks of drama. They also look at the two key players the Wolves received in return and conclude that Robert Covington and Dario Saric could be pretty good fits here.


Episode 28: Listen: Will Houston offer lead to a Jimmy Butler trade soon?

Listen: Will Houston offer lead to a Jimmy Butler trade soon?

Chris Hine and Michael Rand discuss Houston's reported offer of four first-round picks for Jimmy Butler, while also wondering if Miami will get back into the mix on a possible deal. They also broke down the good (Josh Okogie's energy) and bad (Karl-Anthony Towns' rough shooting start) of what's transpired on the court through seven games.


Episode 27: Listen: Jimmy Butler drama casts shadow over Wolves season

Jimmy Butler

On the latest Timberwolves Talk podcast, Chris Hine and Michael Rand attempt to preview the Wolves season -- only to find that the way the preseason has played out makes that virtually impossible. Where do the Wolves and Jimmy Butler stand with the season set to tip off Wednesday?


Episode 26: Listen: Everything you need to know about the Jimmy Butler situation

After recently demanding that the Wolves trade him, All-Star guard Jimmy Butler is a bigger celebrity right now than he’s ever been.

On the first Timberwolves Talk podcast episode since Chris Hine took over the beat and Michael Rand took over as Wolves editor, the focus was pretty simple: Breaking down from all angles the Jimmy Butler trade saga.


Episode 25: Listen: Royce White on mental health and being 'blackballed from the NBA'

Listen: Royce White on mental health and being 'blackballed from the NBA'

Former Minnesota high school basketball standout and 2012 NBA first-round pick Royce White joins Michael Rand for a discussion about mental health in society, mental health in sports and how he believes he has been blackballed from the NBA as a result of his advocacy.


Episode 24: Listen: After the draft, what do the Timberwolves do in free agency?

Listen: After the draft, what do the Timberwolves do in free agency?

Jerry Zgoda and Michael Rand assess the Timberwolves' offseason after last week's draft and heading into the start of free agency.


Episode 23: Listen: Here's the Wolves' draft and free agency blueprint for success

Ohio State forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) drives against South Dakota State guard Reed Tellinghuisen (23) during the first half of a first-round game i

Jerry Zgoda and Michael Rand preview Thursday's NBA Draft, in which the Timberwolves have the No. 20 pick, and debate what to do with the selection. They also delve into Andrew Wiggins trade speculation and potential free agent moves when the new league year begins July 1.


Episode 22: Listen: After season of improvement for Wolves, an offseason of questions

Andrew Wiggins

On the latest episode, Jerry Zgoda and Michael Rand wrap up the Wolves' 47-win season and five-game playoff loss to Houston, weigh in on Jerry's interview with owner Glen Taylor and mull over what sort of offseason moves -- including a potential Andrew Wiggins trade -- might be on the horizon.


Episode 22: Listen: It's the first playoff edition of Timberwolves Talk podcast

Listen: It's the first playoff edition of Timberwolves Talk podcast

Jerry Zgoda and Michael Rand break down the Timberwolves' big victory over Denver that earned the franchise its first trip to the playoffs since 2003-04.


Episode 21: Listen: With playoffs on the line, Jimmy Butler eyes return for Wolves

Listen: With playoffs on the line, Jimmy Butler eyes return for Wolves

Jerry Zgoda and Michael Rand discuss Jimmy Butler's return to practice, his comments about the Wolves being too soft, the tight Western Conference playoff race and even the debut of rookie Justin Patton.


Episode 19: Listen: After ugly loss to Memphis, will Wolves even make the playoffs?

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns defended Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol in the first quarter.

In a jam-packed episode, Jerry Zgoda and Michael Rand talk about the ugly loss to Memphis, Tom Thibodeau's inflexibility with playing time, Jimmy Butler's possible return and the suddenly precarious playoff positioning of the Timberwolves.


Episode 18: Listen: On the Timberwolves, the crowded West and Wiggins' role

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins (22) scored over Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) in the first half at Target Center Sunda

Intro: The Timberwolves won a pair of important games against Golden State and Washington, but two more big ones loom against San Antonio and Houston; 10:00: Tiebreakers and schedule are in the Wolves' favor; 15:00: Is Andrew Wiggins OK with his role in the offense? 20:00: The Derrick Rose experiment is off to a slow start.


Episode 17: Listen: Why did the Timberwolves sign Derrick Rose?

Listen: Why did the Timberwolves sign Derrick Rose?

Intro: The Timberwolves signed Derrick Rose on Thursday. How does the point guard fit into a team that seemingly has greater needs and is embarking on a tough stretch of games? 17:00: What is the timetable for Jimmy Butler's return? 23:00: Recapping the wild night, including Jeff Teague's hip check of Ricky Rubio, against Utah.


Episode 16: Listen: Post-break stretch could define Timberwolves' season

Tom Thibodeau

Intro: The Wolves have a tough stretch of games, starting Friday at Houston. 8:00: Jimmy Butler sat out the All-Star Game. What was up with that? 13:00: Will the Wolves make any moves before next week's postseason roster deadline? 20:00: Can Andrew Wiggins make strides in the final 21 games?


Episode 15: Listen: After quiet trade deadline, what should Timberwolves do?

Listen: After quiet trade deadline, what should Timberwolves do?

Intro: The Cavaliers broke the Wolves' hearts, then they broke up their roster. 5:00: Jerry Zgoda is the one person aside from Tom Thibodeau who is open to the idea of Derrick Rose on the Wolves; 10:00: Some other buyout candidates to join the Wolves; 16:00: Jimmy Butler's return to Chicago, with the Wolves facing a bunch of former teammates; 22:00: What is the overall outlook heading toward the All-Star break?