Minnesota Timberwolves: Top Five Most Likely Players to be Traded

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Feb 11, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Anthony Bennett (24) drives to the basket past Golden State Warriors forward David Lee (10) in the second half at Target Center. The Warriors won 94-91. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

#5 – Anthony Bennett

The fifth-most likely player to be moved by the Timberwolves prior to Thursday’s deadline is second-year power forward Anthony Bennett. While the 2013 number-one overall pick has played much better since the calender flipped to 2015, he’s nowhere near the production level that the Wolves had hoped for.

The bigger issue is his contract. Being the #1 pick, he’s already on the books for more than$5.8 million for the 2015-16 season, and the Wolves have to decide on picking up his 2016-17 option this coming fall — he’ll make a staggering $7.3 million if they elect to keep him around.

The Wolves clearly still have some expectations of him being more than a marginal 10-12 minutes bench player (he is just 21 years old, after all), but 1 1/2 seasons into his career, it’s probably not worth the gamble when his cap hit is as massive as it will be moving forward. If they can find another team that thinks they can make him into a starting-caliber player, they need to take advantage of that opportunity and move him immediately.

He probably won’t be moved because a) the Wolves are more optimistic than yours truly about his current and future value and b) they won’t find another NBA team that would be optimistic enough to take on Bennett’s future salary.

Next: A Big Trade Chip