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 Three: Trade Gorgui Dieng

First, let’s acknowledge that I will never understand why the Wolves paid Gorgui as much as they did heading into the 2017-18 season.

Alas, here we are hoping that Gersson Rosas can work some magic and get off this brutal contract, which will pay the big man from Senegal $33.5M over the next two years.

Gorgui’s contract is much more difficult to get rid off than Teague’s because it is not an expiring one. As a result, the Wolves will more than likely have to give up a future draft asset and/or Keita Bates-Diop in any Dieng trade.

Trade 1: Indiana Pacers

This is a good old-fashioned salary dump. The Wolves forfeit their first-round pick this year in order to clear roughly $13.4 million in cap space.

T.J. Leaf has not shown much in his first two years in Indiana, and likely would not add much as a backup to Dario Saric, either, but the Wolves still come out ahead on the salary ledger.

Trade 2: Dallas Mavericks

According to a report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, Dwight Powell will opt-out of his player option for 2019-20, leaving a hole in the Mavs’ front-court rotation that Gorgui could fill.

Minnesota would acquire a young, reliable shooter on the wing in Jackson, who shot 37.2 percent from 3-point range last year in 29 games and could add depth and much-needed spacing to the Wolves’ second unit. Additionally, this deal would give Rosas an extra $12.95 million to play with in free agency.

After unloading Teague and Dieng, the Wolves would be looking at nearly $21 million in cap space entering free agency, give or take a couple million. This number would still likely not be enough to acquire Russell in a sign-and-trade.

He’ll probably get a deal in the neighborhood of the contract Devin Booker signed last offseason, which was five years, $158 million. The first year of the deal is worth $27.25 million, which means there is more work left to be done to free up additional cap space.

On to Step 4.