Minnesota Timberwolves: Trade Deadline Grades

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Feb 20, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders talks to Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio (9) and guard Andrew Wiggins (22) during a timeout in the fourth quarter against the Phoenix Suns at Target Center. The Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Phoenix Suns 111-109. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves had a polarizing trade deadline.

There were so many layers to the moves that were made (and those that weren’t) that each aspect of the Wolves’ asset management can be analyzed individually to try and give us a greater sense of the whole.

There’s the transitive value of the Miami Heat first-round pick that was shipped to Philadelphia in exchange for Thaddeus Young back in August. Now that Young was swapped for a 38-year old, free-agent-to-be Kevin Garnett, it’s opened Flip Saunders and general manager Milt Newton up to additional criticism.

While we’re talking about draft picks, we can revisit Saunders’ questionable decision to send a protected first-rounder to the Atlanta Hawks for rookie power forward Adreian Payne. Additionally, did the Mo Williams and Troy Daniels for Gary Neal and a second-round pick make sense?

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  • As for Young, it’s difficult to analyze if the Wolves received similar value in return since there’s no way for those outside the organization to truthfully understand what other teams might have been willing to give up for the forward. We also don’t know if Young was planning on opting in or out at the end of the season, so we’re stuck with taking Saunders at his word.

    There are certainly pros and cons to adding Garnett to the roster, too, and we’ll lay those out and try and find out if the whole thing is more trouble than it’s worth or if it will have a positive impact on the suddenly resurgent, Ricky Rubio-led Timberwolves.

    Scroll through to the right to find grades on each of the moves that the Wolves did and did not make in the days and hours leading up to the trade deadline, including a bit of revisionist history on the acquisition of Thaddeus Young prior to the season.

    Next: Grading the Mo Williams Trade