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, D'Angelo Russell, Karl-Anthony Towns
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 12: D’Angelo Russell #1 of the Brooklyn Nets and Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Step Five: Acquire D’Angelo Russell

The first (and easiest) way Minnesota could acquire Russell is by simply signing him.

This can happen by way of Brooklyn just renouncing his rights from the get-go, or if Russell signs an offer sheet with Minnesota and the Nets decline to match it.

According to Larry Coon’s NBA Salary Cap FAQ, if a restricted free agent signs an offer sheet with another team, he is ineligible to be included in a sign-and-trade with his original team (in this case the Nets for D-Lo).

If this happens, Russell runs the risk of the Nets signing his offer sheet and being stuck in Brooklyn, while the Wolves could potentially miss out on him altogether.

The second, and more probable, way Russell could join the Wolves would be through a sign-and-trade. This would guarantee that we see him in a Wolves uniform, but is more difficult to pull off.

This move does not give the Nets a ton in return, but is arguably the best the Wolves could do if they traded Teague, Dieng, and Wiggins leading up to free agency.

A Russell trade would leave Minnesota with $8-12M in cap space (not including rookie signings). While this figure is not great, it is a small price to pay for landing one of the NBA’s premier up-and-coming guards.

Then again, it largely hinges on the new regime’s view of Dario Saric, who is currently on a reasonable deal but is eligible for an extension. If Gersson Rosas would rather another team pay Saric his next deal, then perhaps he’s moved in a sign-and-trade.

Overall, these five steps would make KAT a happy rising superstar, grant Minnesota cap flexibility next summer (depending on which contracts come back in Teague/Dieng/Wiggins trades) and allow Rosas to create a team around a fun and exciting All-Star duo in Towns and Russell.

Next. Is Jeff Teague a potential trade target?. dark

Of course, only time will tell if Rosas and the front office can make an enormous splash in year one.