6 trades for the Timberwolves’ first pick in the 2020 NBA Draft

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Minnesota Timberwolves, Caris Levert

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 10: Caris LeVert #22 of the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

If the Minnesota Timberwolves choose to trade their first pick in the draft this year, what could they possibly get in return?

While the NBA season is temporarily on hold, this time has given NBA executives more time to consider their offseason plans. Whenever a conclusion to the 2019-2020 NBA season is reached, the Minnesota Timberwolves will be looking to supplement the complete roster overhaul that the team underwent at this year’s trade deadline.

Sitting at a record of 16-40, the Wolves are currently tied with the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers for the best odds (14%) to land the first pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, which is was postponed recently. On top of their own pick, the Wolves also own the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick this year, which was acquired in the Robert Covington trade. As a team whose top 2 players, Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell, are entering their primes, the Timberwolves may not have interest in using their top draft pick. Rather than using their pick on a player that would likely require time to develop, it is entirely plausible that the Wolves might consider looking to trade their top pick for a player that better fits their timeline.

This article will examine 6 trade ideas for the Wolves’ first pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. These trades will be proposed under the following assumptions:

  1. James Johnson opts into the final year of his $16,047,100 contract
  2. The Wolves Re-Sign Malik Beasley in the range of $13-17 million per year
  3. The Wolves’ first pick in the 2020 NBA Draft will be in a top 5 selection

James Johnson is scheduled to earn just over $16 million next season in the final year of his contract, and it is unlikely that he would find a better offer in free agency. Johnson’s expiring contract may be attractive to teams who are looking for cap space at the end of next season.

Gersson Rosas has publicly emphasized his desire to re-sign Malik Beasley.  Beasley’s strong performance in his short time with the Wolves paired with the fact that he rejected a $10 million/year contract with the Nuggets, the $13 to 17 million range is a reasonable estimate of what Beasley will earn with his next contract. Re-signing Beasley would theoretically allow the Wolves to use him in a trade.

The current draft lottery odds give the Wolves a 14 percent chance to pick first, a 13.4 percent shot at second, a 12.7 percent chance to pick third, 12 percent odds to land fourth, a 14.8 percent chance to pick fifth, a 26 percent chance to pick sixth, and a seven percent chance to pick seventh.

That means that the Wolves have a 67 percent chance to pick in the top 5.

Without further ado, let’s get into some trade ideas:

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