What Joe Ingles' addition to Minnesota says about the old Mitchell-Gobert Jazz teams

The Timberwolves adding ex-Jazzman Joe Ingles to their roster says something about the previous Jazz teams that had Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell.
Utah Jazz v Portland Trail Blazers
Utah Jazz v Portland Trail Blazers / Soobum Im/GettyImages

Another Utah Jazz alum is heading to Minnesota. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that former Jazz wing Joe Ingles will join the Timberwolves for the start of the 2024-25 season. Wojnarowski also made note of something else.

Those three aren't the only Jazz alumni who play for the Timberwolves. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who played for the Jazz briefly from 2022 to 2023, is also a rotation player for the Timberwolves. Regardless, it is fun to see these former Jazz teammates share the floor again, knowing the success they had in Utah.

However, there's more to this than sentiment. Before signing Ingles - who has been labeled as Kyle Anderson's replacement - the Timberwolves brought in these former Jazz alumni believing they could bring value to a team that was on the rise back in 2022. Sidenote: Alexander-Walker doesn't exactly fit the under the same umbrella, but his ascension has been a more than welcome surprise for Minnesota.

The fact that the Timberwolves, who just came off their most successful playoff run since 2004, have added more and more of these former Jazz players over the past few years says something about those Jazz teams headlined by the likes of Gobert and Donovan Mitchell from 2017 to 2022.

Those Jazz teams may have come up short, but they had the right vision

Many will look at that Jazz era as a paper tiger that routinely fell short of their goals. After all, Utah never made the Western Conference Finals when Mitchell and Gobert led the team. However, it's clear that despite their failings, those Jazz teams had many of the right ingredients when it came to building a winner.

However, it's not that simple. Keep in mind that those teams came about just as the Warriors were going through their reign of terror with Kevin Durant. The only way anyone could beat that team was if any of its stars got hurt. Even when that team fell apart, the West still had other powerhouses coming into play following their downfall, like the LeBron-led Lakers and the Kawhi-led Clippers.

Other factors came into play, like the fact that Mitchell and Gobert were not on good terms for most of their time as teammates. Some players, like Dante Exum and Ed Davis, also did not work out the way the Jazz had hoped.

There's no need to delve much deeper into what went wrong because fans know all too well since the breakup is still relatively fresh. But, when one looks back on those Jazz teams and sees the Timberwolves somewhat reconstruct them, it's clear that Utah had some of the right ingredients—just not all of them. In essence, the current Timberwolves are a better version of those Jazz teams.

Seeing them go all the way to the Western Conference Finals and then add Ingles could make them a fun watch for fans before the Jazz themselves get back on their feet. Note that another former Jazz man, Dante Exum, became a diamond in the rough for the Mavericks years after many believed his NBA career had died. Not only that, but he played a part in their most successful playoff run since 2011.

Even if those Jazz teams failed, it's undeniable that they built a winning culture that the Timberwolves have tried and succeeded at recreating even if they too haven't reached their final goal yet. It didn't start out great, but they are getting the results they wanted. What remains is what else they have to do to get their first title.

And hey, if the Timberwolves are going all out on adding Jazz personnel, Jordan Clarkson appears to be available, but that's neither here nor there. If the Timberwolves succeed at winning the title with Gobert, Conley, Ingles, and NAW, then the Jazz have every right to think that they won a title by proxy.