Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 vital trades for the Phoenix Suns’ T.J. Warren

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 26: TJ Warren #12 of the Phoenix Suns dunks the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 26, 2017 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Davd Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Minnesota Timberwolves are currently 14-18 and are a placeholder for the dreadful 14th seed in the western conference; only in front of the – also terrible -15th seeded Phoenix Suns at their record of 8-25.

Can both of the bottom-dwellers of the West in the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Phoenix Suns create a win-win scenario where they both come to an agreement via a trade?

With the right players involved, I believe a deal should and could be made. Specifically with Suns’ forward T.J. Warren, who has quietly had a spectacular season.

At the age of 25-years-old, Warren is averaging 18.9 PPG, 4.3 TRB, and 1.0 steals; also delivering some startling shooting splits of 51.0/44.7/82.9.

What separates Warren’s season from last year where he averaged 19.6 PPG on 49.8 percent shooting from the field, is his ability to effectively shoot the three and hit his free throws.

Therefore, Suns nation may not like the idea of trading away their highly coveted wing, but the front office in Phoenix with owner Robert Sarver and his general mangers James Jones and Trevor Bukstein may have a different agenda in mind.

In their most recent move, the Suns traded away the sought-after veteran Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards for the youth of Kelly Oubre Jr. and Austin Rivers.

Those two players had a roller coaster of a season in Washington, depleting most of their trade value. Therefore, the Suns look liked they won the trade and bought low, stealing two solid role players at a great price.

However, once the deal was completed, the Suns immediately bought out the newly acquired Rivers, confusing the rest of the league on why that deal was made in the first place.

Oubre Jr. may be the asset Phoenix wanted all along for Ariza, and will most likely have his team option exercised for the 2019-20 season with the Suns, paying the 23-year-old a little under $5 million next year.

And while we can only assume Oubre Jr. will want a contract close to the double digit mark when he presumptuously gets his extension offer next season, the Suns have to ask themselves, what wings do they want to move forward with (pun intended)?

Phoenix has a plethora of wings with no suitable point guard in sight, with the likes of Warren, Josh Jackson, Mikal Bridges, and now Oubre Jr. on the squad.

Even with the league moving to more small ball lineups, the Suns cannot allow these many assets to share minutes without preparing a future guard to help solidify the backcourt with Devin Booker for years to come, or at least in the meantime.

And while the suns do have their 2019 first round pick and are one of the bottom three teams in the league, the top assets in the 2019 draft will most likely be the coveted Duke trio of guards/wings – Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Cam Reddish.

With again, no traditional point guard in sight. And you may think, the modern NBA team doesn’t need a traditional point guard. But, in the Suns case, see how well Deandre Aytons career will go without a solid facilitator at the helm of the offense and how many open looks Booker will get without one.

The Suns can always make a trade with that pick, but we can only assume it’s going to be held tightly. Meanwhile, without a solid guard to help the Suns, Booker has taken the reigns of being the main scorer and facilitator (very-well, I might add), but he can’t reasonably do that forever.

Luckily for the Suns, the Wolves have a similar guard situation to the wing problem in Phoenix. The Wolves have several guards that could potentially create more continuity and fluidity throughout the Suns’ lineups in the foreseeable future.

Whether it’s Jeff Teague, Derrick Rose, Tyus Jones, or even Josh Okogie, any of these players could immediately help the Suns while clearing up their own wing depth issues.

So, a little addition by subtraction for both franchises may be the answer. But who stays and who goes in this quid pro quo scenario?

All trades have been made through the ESPN trade machine and are contractually legal.

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