Minnesota Timberwolves Trade Rumors: Lowry, Paul potential trade targets?

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 24: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball as Karl-Anthony Towns #32 and Jeff Teague #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves defend. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 24: Kyle Lowry #7 of the Toronto Raptors dribbles the ball as Karl-Anthony Towns #32 and Jeff Teague #0 of the Minnesota Timberwolves defend. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves might be 1-0 on the young season, but there are still potential trades that you can bet the front office is exploring.

The Minnesota Timberwolves defeated the Brooklyn Nets in exciting fashion on opening night and sit at 1-0, but that doesn’t change what the Wolves’ most glaring shortcoming are.

The biggest issue is outside shooting. With the dramatic uptick in 3-point attempts that the Wolves will generate in this offense, there needs to be a higher level of long-range shooting proficiency on the roster.

There aren’t many guys in the rotation who are below-average from beyond the arc, but this side of Karl-Anthony Towns and Robert Covington there is nary a sharpshooter in the bunch.

The Wolves made just 13 of their 43 attempts (30.2 percent) from beyond the arc in Wednesday’s win at Barclays Center. Towns (7-for-11) and Covington (3-for-6) were a combined 10-for-17, which means that the rest of the team was a hideous 3-for-26 (8.7 percent) on 3-point attempts.

Minnesota won’t shoot it that poorly every single night, of course, but the Wolves will still need to address the issue.

Secondly, the point guard position is solid with Jeff Teague and Shabazz Napier, but it will be a bit of a weak link defensively and lack much in the way of dynamic play on the offensive end of the floor.

And that’s where ESPN’s Zach Lowe comes in.

Lowe mentioned the Wolves a few times in his “Wild NBA Predictions” piece that published just prior to the season tipping off this week.

Once, in reference to the Wolves potentially being in the hunt for Toronto All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry, although not as an in-season acquisition but rather next summer, following the recent one-year extension that Lowry signed. Lowe cites Gersson Rosas’ familiarity with Lowry from their days together in Houston as one reason.

The Wolves are also mentioned as a possibility in a potential Chris Paul trade, although Lowe seems to think Rosas would have to be prodded into giving up the slight glimmer of hope that remains with Andrew Wiggins to only save a year’s worth of salary in taking on Paul’s massive deal — especially if Oklahoma City tries to get a draft pick out of the deal, too.

The biggest and most significant Timberwolves mention is: “Prediction No. 26: Minnesota makes at least two trades, including one involving Robert Covington – if he’s healthy.”

Lowe starts by acknowledging just how attractive of a trade chip a healthy Covington might be:

"I don’t think Minnesota wants to trade Covington. Rosas was part of the Houston front office that first signed him. But if Covington plays well, Minnesota could net a decent haul for him — in a solo deal, or as part of something bigger. There aren’t many big wings who: are good; make in the $10 million-$14 million range (i.e. super-tradable, not overpaid); and are at least semi-expendable because their team isn’t a contender."

Lowe goes on to list all of the contenders that could find Covington to be a perfect addition: Utah, Portland, Houston, Denver, and both L.A. teams.

He also mentions that the Wolves will be in any point guard discussions, which jives with our analysis above. Minnesota is going to be aggressive, as Rosas attempted to be in free agency this summer.

There’s a reason that the Wolves front office signed a number of team-friendly, short contracts — they’re all legitimate rotation players that can be included in trades and easily moved. And if the Wolves happen to be a potential playoff team themselves, even better. Rosas won’t have to do anything in that scenario.

It’s a far cry from the Tom Thibodeau years, when the Wolves were barely involved in any true trade conversations, save for the two trades centered around Jimmy Butler.

Next. The Wolves will win 40 games in 2019-20. dark

Get excited for what could be an extremely fun season at Target Center, both on and off the court.