Minnesota Timberwolves: How could Wolves acquire D’Angelo Russell?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 20: D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 20: D'Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves,
Minnesota Timberwolves, /

Step One: Let Taj Gibson go

While I would love to see Taj Gibson back in a Wolves jersey next year, step one of the “Acquire D-Lo” plan would be to let Taj walk in free agency or re-sign him using Minnesota’s 2019-20 mid-level exception contract spot.

While this does not technically free up cap space, it prevents the Wolves from cutting into money the front office could potentially use on a D-Lo contract.

Step Two: Trade Jeff Teague

The moment I have waited for since the beginning of last season is finally here.

On July 1, Jeff Teague will officially enter the final year of his contract, which effectively becomes an expiring (and very tradable) one-year deal. Teague is a veteran point guard with playoff experience, which could make him useful in a backup/mentorship role for a team looking to make the playoffs, or possibly one with a young starting point guard.

Two teams who clearly fit this description are the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks.

Trade 1: Sacramento Kings

Sacramento could use Teague as a nice up-tempo backup to De’Aaron Fox. For Minnesota, bringing Nemanja Bjelica back would give the Wolves a replacement for Taj Gibson, a shooter to stretch the floor and backup Dario Saric, and an additional $12.5 million in cap space.

Trade 2: Atlanta Hawks

Alex Len is a capable big; he averaged 11.1 points per game on a slash-line of .494/.363/.648 (field goal/3-point/free throw shooting) and 5.5 rebounds per contest. Len could provide some relief for Towns up front on a serviceable salary.

The big man is owed $4.16 million next season before hitting the open market next summer, per Spotrac. Minnesota would get $14.86 million in cap space from dealing with Atlanta.

Time for Step 3.