MILWAUKEE – An email crept into the inbox of those who cover the Timberwolves during the team's 129-105 victory over the Bucks. Several hours after the NBA trade deadline had passed Thursday afternoon, the Wolves finally made the trade for Monte Morris official.
That meant Morris' new teammates and coaches could speak about the fit he'll have on the team after the Wolves traded Shake Milton, Troy Brown and a 2030 second-round pick to Detroit to get him.
Coach Chris Finch said Morris' arrival should form an easy pairing as a backup to point guard Mike Conley.
"He's a winner. He just kind of makes the right play. Super solid, low-turnover guy," Finch said. "He's used to playing off of a lot of star players really well. I think it's a fairly seamless partnership with Mike. It's not like this other type of guard that you have to adjust to. Just his high basketball IQ, you can't have enough of those guys."
Added center Rudy Gobert: "He's a very sound offensive player. Also, he likes to win. He likes to compete and for me that's the most important thing."
Finch was an assistant in Denver but left the year before Morris arrived. He said he had heard nothing but good things about Morris from people in Denver, and that included Wolves President Tim Connelly who made the trade to get Morris on Wednesday before a lot of trades flew around the league Thursday.
As for where Morris' minutes may come from, Finch said he will likely shave some time from starters who have been playing a lot of minutes of late, including Conley.
"There's certainly minutes to be had there," Finch said. "Guys like Jaden [McDaniels] and Mike have been logging heavy minutes. I think with Ant [Anthony Edwards], we've been pushing his minutes out a little bit in this period of time in the run up to the All Star break. Maybe we can steal a couple from him. So I don't think finding minutes will be a problem. It's just we're gonna need to find the right combinations of guys. That's the fun part about it."
Morris, a 39% career three-point shooter, was out most of the season with injuries, including a quad injury that sidelined him in recent months. He has played in just six games so far this season, and he will need time to acclimate, Finch said.
"There's definitely going to be a break-in period for him," Finch said. "He's coming on the on ramp, everyone is going 85 miles an hour. It's going to take him some time, but he's a dedicated pro. He's super excited to come and I'm sure all the motivation will be there for him to help us down the stretch in a big way."