3 bold trade ideas for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2020

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 26: Aaron Gordon #00 of the Orlando Magic dribbles the ball. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 26: Aaron Gordon #00 of the Orlando Magic dribbles the ball. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Fred VanVleet
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 13: Fred VanVleet #23 of the Toronto Raptors celebrates. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

In the midst of an abysmal seven-game losing streak, the Minnesota Timberwolves are in need of change. With the playoffs still within their grasp, the time is now for a bold move from the Wolves.

As a season-worst seven-game losing streak continues to feature a plethora of mistakes ranging from unfortunate to preposterous, the Minnesota Timberwolves appear to be reaching a breaking point.

Following an offseason preaching togetherness and belief in the new system being implemented by President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas and Head Coach Ryan Saunders, Wolves players and fans were delighted to finally be entering the modern age of basketball.

However, recent results have begun testing players’ faith in this new system.

Without the combination of shrewd cuts, consistent perimeter shooting, and effective defensive provided by Jake Layman as he continues to battle a turf-toe injury, the Wolves’ offensive and defensive efficiency has plummeted.

To offset this loss, Saunders and veteran Jeff Teague agreed on Nov. 25 to move Teague to a bench role in favor of starting rookie Jarrett Culver. Since then, the Wolves are 2-7.

Although Teague has benefited from this transition, averaging 22.8 points per game, 5 assists per game, and nailing 69 percent of his 3-pointers over his last five games, the Wolves have continued to endure tough losses.

The offense has struggled to get franchise centerpiece Karl-Anthony Towns enough touches, the resurgence of Andrew Wiggins has cooled off following four missed games due to injury and the death of his grandmother, and the defense has been getting scorched on a nightly basis, including Paul George and Kawhi Leonard combining for 88 points in the Wolves’ 124-117 loss to the Clippers on December 13th.

Yet, despite the current losing streak, the Wolves sit only one-and-a-half games behind the Phoenix Suns for the 8th seed in the Western Conference.

Due to injuries and poor play affecting playoff incumbents such as the Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, and San Antonio Spurs, the Wolves have a chance to secure a playoff spot with something like 42 to 44 wins.

But, to ensure the Wolves’ playoff chances do not slip away from them, the Wolves’ front office must make a bold transaction to reinvigorate its players.

On December 15th, any player who signed a free-agent contract this offseason is eligible to be traded. As a result of the unusual flurry of movement this past summer, this means around 40 percent of NBA players will now be available in trade offers.

Thus, the Wolves are nearing a crossroads for the 2019-20 season: maintain the current roster and target players during the upcoming offseasons, or trade for a new core player that can rejuvenate hopes of a playoff birth. Whether Rosas chooses the former or the latter, change for the Wolves is inevitable, and it is time for the Wolves to fully embrace that change.