Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 stars the Wolves could acquire to help Towns

HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 15: NBA players Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 15: NBA players Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Devin Booker, Karl-Anthony Towns
PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 11: Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns and Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Big Blue Nation unites

Clearly, Rosas is all about finding talent to surround Towns with. He’s also quite open to the idea of finding players that Towns enjoys on a personal level.

It makes plenty of sense, of course: why not keep your best player happy, especially when the players you’re trying to acquire would bring value to the team?

While Paul wouldn’t fit Towns’ window, Russell would, and he would also check the “buddy” box. What about another one of Towns’ friends?

Fellow Kentucky Wildcat Devin Booker signed a max contract last summer and is entering the first year of a five-year, $158 million deal. He’s also overrated in terms of his actual on-court impact, much in the way Wiggins tends to be overrated.

Booker can score, and much better than Wiggins, in fact. But he’s actually worse on defense, ranking No. 90 out of 93 small forwards across the NBA last year in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus. Sure, Wiggins ranked No. 86 on the same list, but his mark of -1.55 is much better than Booker’s horrendous -2.44.

Of course, if you look at their offensive RPM, you’ll notice that Wiggins only put up a 0.20 while Booker’s 3.02 was actually No. 6 out of all 93 small forwards.

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While Booker shot only 32.6 percent on 3-point attempts last year, he had a 36.5 percent mark over his first three seasons and had improved by about two percentage points each seasons before falling off a cliff last year. Clearly, the offensive impact is real and the upside is astronomical on that end of the floor.

The Suns may not be clamoring to trade the guy that they gave nine figures to in the midst of a rebuild, but perhaps a reset could be attractive to them if Booker isn’t entirely happy. We know that Booker and Towns are friendly, and once can imagine that any whispering from Booker and his agent could only get louder if the Wolves were to land someone like Chris Paul first.

If Booker sees himself as a potential third piece to a championship contender, you can bet that he’ll make that known to management in Phoenix.

Of course, Booker isn’t third-star-on-a-championship-contender material just yet, but he’s also just 23 years old, fits Towns’ window, and has shown far more offensive upside than Wiggins has to this point in his career.

To be clear: none of the above are likely imminent. A Russell trade won’t happen until the Warriors are happy with Thompson’s recovery process. A Booker trade won’t happen until he’s clearly unhappy in Phoenix or the Wolves blow the Suns away with several first-round draft picks.

Any potential Paul trade could happen much quicker, however. That would be the one to watch in the near future. Remember: there wasn’t so much of a whisper regarding a Butler trade request until mid-September last season.

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While it’s certainly getting late in the summer, there’s still time for almost anything to happen…