Fantasy NBA Daily Notes: Disastrous start for KAT managers

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On Wednesday, the San Antonio Spurs edged the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-108 in both teams’ season openers. During the offseason, both the Spurs and the Timberwolves had star players with one year left on their contracts who were unhappy and communicated their desire to be traded.

The Spurs made a blockbuster move, trading Kawhi Leonard in a package that brought back another All-Star in DeMar DeRozan as the centerpiece of their return package.

The Timberwolves, on the other hand, reportedly sat on Jimmy Butler’s trade request all summer with no apparent intention to honor his request. In recent weeks, they have been dealing with an increasingly vocally unhappy Butler, who skipped almost the entire preseason and reportedly didn’t even ride with the team to the game on Wednesday.

Two teams. Similar situations. Two entirely different approaches.6

On Wednesday, the Spurs were led by new acquisition DeRozan, who notched 28 points (10-21 FG, 7-11 FT), 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 3-pointer and 3 TO. LaMarcus Aldridge was an able lieutenant as a scorer and surprisingly dominated the paint with a line of 21 points (7-23 FG, 7-10 FG), 19 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 TO. Rudy Gay was solid in his return to health, with 18 points (8-12 FG, 1-2 FT), 7 rebounds, 1 3-pointer, 1 block and 1 TO. Even point guard injury replacement Bryn Forbes, starting with Dejounte Murray (knee) done for the season, had a respectable fantasy night of 11 points (4-10 FG, 2-2 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 3-pointer and 2 TO in 30 minutes of action.

The Timberwolves got a strong game from Butler with 23 points (9-23 FG, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists, 1 3-pointer, 1 block, 1 steal and 1 TO. Jeff Teague actually led the way with 27 points (8-12 FG, 9-9 FT), 4 assists, 2 3-pointers, 2 steals and 2 TO. Andrew Wiggins scored well and even had a few peripheral contributions with 20 points (8-18 FG, 2-2 FT), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 3-pointers, 1 steal and 2 TO.

The problem was that newly extended franchise big man, Karl-Anthony Towns, fouled out in only 22 minutes of action and turned in an uncharacteristically poor stat line that’s featured in the lowlights below. Did the Butler saga negatively affect Towns, and if so, could this continue to impact his production in the short term? We’ll have to watch and see, but it’s not great that this is even a question now that the season has begun.