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

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Spencer Dinwiddie #26 and Caris Levert #22 of the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: Spencer Dinwiddie #26 and Caris Levert #22 of the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Aaron Gordon

Minnesota Timberwolves, Juan Hernangomez, Aaron Gordon
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – MARCH 6: Aaron Gordon #00 of the Orlando Magic and Juan Hernangomez #41 of the Minnesota Timberwolves fight for a rebound. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Why the Wolves Say Yes:

Two of the Wolves’ biggest needs are rebounding and defensive help. Aaron Gordon could provide help in both categories, averaging 7.6 rebounds per game this season with a defensive rating of 100.3, which is better than any Timberwolves current starter or regular rotation player. Beyond that, Gordon’s athletic ability could give him a slasher role that would play well off of KAT and D’Lo’s pick and roll, and his scoring at 14.4 PPG would likely increase in Minnesota with a less-crowded frontcourt. Cutting from off-ball screens, catching lobs, and running on fastbreaks are all areas that Aaron Gordon would excel in the Wolves’ offense, similar to how Josh Okogie’s offensive approach in Ryan Saunders’ offense.

Why the Wolves Say No:

The Wolves ultimately need to decide what they want out of the Power Forward position. Do they want a stretch-four shooter? Do they want a rebounding bruiser? Something in between?

The Wolves may ultimately decide that Gordon may not be a good enough shooter. Shooting a  career 31.8% from three, Gordon has shown to be a respectable but streaky shooter. Depending on the Wolves’ ability to find shooting at other positions, Gordon might not be a sufficient shooter for this three-point-heavy offense. Also, this trade sacrifices two of the Wolves’ best defenders, which would put Gersson Rosas in a difficult position trying to fulfill the defensive voids left by Culver and Johnson in free agency.

Why the Magic Say Yes:

The Magic have a crowded frontcourt, with Nikola Vucevic, Jonathan Isaac, James Ennis III, and Khem Birch all averaging over 20 minutes per game. Mo Bamba, Wes Iwundu, and Al-Farouq Aminu also receive significant minutes in the frontcourt. Johnson would presumably take most of Gordon’s minutes, and Culver would have a chance to fit in better in a different situation than the one he was drafted into, similar to Markelle Fultz’s progression in Orlando after leaving Philadelphia. Offloading Gordon also gives the Magic a chance to bolster their offense early in the draft. A scoring combo guard like LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards could flourish on a team with strong point guard play and a deep frontcourt.