Grading the NBA Fantasy League’s Minnesota Timberwolves GM

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 07: Cassius Stanley #2 of the Duke Blue Devils. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - MARCH 07: Cassius Stanley #2 of the Duke Blue Devils. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Danny Green
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 31: Danny Green #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers attempts a layup. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Trade No. 2 – Julius Randle goes home to Texas

As alluded to earlier, Randle simply does not fit in any way on the Timberwolves’ roster. Barflaan recognized this and decides to do business with a historically inactive team on the trade front.

In a simple yet rare one-for-one flip, Tedoe acquires a veteran presence in Rudy Gay, whose slightly cheaper, expiring contract creates about $3.5 million in cap space for the cap-strapped Wolves. Outside of potentially gearing up to unload LaMarcus Aldridge, this trade is puzzling from a San Antonio perspective.

In addition to Aldridge, the Spurs already have true 4-man in Trey Lyles and developmental power forward prospects Luka Samanic and Chimezie Metu. Neither are on two-way contracts, so the Spurs should be looking to play them in order to speed up their development and tank for a better pick in the already-loaded 2021 draft.

In return, the Wolves get an established veteran that can contribute to almost any offense in today’s NBA. Gay, career 34.5 percent 3-point shooter who can also contribute as a sneaky good secondary pick-and-roll initiator and smart cutter, has no problem playing a role and coming off the bench.

He is a solid, albeit overpriced, wing that also provides upside as an excellent pick-and-roll defender and is capable of holding his own in the defensive low post.

In the end, there are no complaints here regarding getting off Randle for an expiring vet that can contribute right away in a small, concentrated role.


Trade No. 3 – You can never have too much shooting

Imagine a world where the Wolves have five shooters capable of shooting 40 percent-plus in a season, before drafting anyone. It’s a far cry from the Timberwolves team that went 6-for-45 from deep in a loss to Denver back in November.

But yet, Fantasy GM Barflaan Tedoe turns dreams to reality here with the third of his three trades at the helm of the Wolves’ front office.

Out of the whole entire B/R Fantasy League trade bonanza, I thought this was one of the most fair, understandable deals of the entire simulation.

In RJ Hampton, the Lakers get arguably the second-most-athletic point guard in the class, and an immediate upgrade over Rajon Rondo at the backup lead ball-handler spot.

Hampton is a very effective PnR initiator who has excellent burst and a quick first step that enables him to get past defenders and get downhill for finishes and crafty passes around the rim. He has good vision and would help create open shots for teammates without LeBron on the floor, which the Lakers have struggled to do all season. He shot just 29.4 percent from deep, but can fine-tune his jumper with time spent in the gym.

Gay gives them another solid rotational piece that could fill the void left by pending free agent Markieff Morris. Despite a lofty price tag, he’s needed to match the $15M salary that Danny Green commands.

Is Danny Green worth giving up the Brooklyn first-round pick? Absolutely. Green is a definite upgrade from Gay in terms of the impact he could have on the Wolves offensively, and the 23-pick swing from 16 to 39 is a very fair way to bridge the value divide. The Green Ranger is also an expiring contract, which could come in handy if the team tries to trade for Devin Booker next season, or simply wants to renegotiate at a more team-friendly price in the summer of 2021.

Green has shot 36 percent or better on 4.5 or more 3s in seven of the last eight straight seasons and has finished with a 3-point percentage north of 40 in five of those seasons. While he does not offer much outside of his sharpshooting, he never has been asked to do so and is a star in his role. For a team trying to right the ship and get back in the playoffs, Green is exactly the type of veteran piece to plug-in for immediate results.

His defense has dipped in the last two seasons, but he is still a very smart, communicative defender who was a mainstay in the starting five for Gregg Popovich’s Spurs from 2011 to 2018, before being shipped to Toronto with Kawhi Leonard. In order to play for Pop, you have to D-up, and Green can still do that a stop is needed. He also comes with a wealth of on-court playoff experience, which this current roster sorrily lacks.

Tedoe also acquired a second-round pick at No. 39, which will allow for the Wolves to take a couple of home-run swings on boom-or-bust prospects in the second round with back-to-back picks in No. 38 and No. 39.


Now, let’s see how Barflaan faired in the scouting department, trying his hand at the NBA Draft.