Minnesota Timberwolves: 5 dream trades for star players

D'Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves talks to Ryan Saunders. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
D'Angelo Russell of the Minnesota Timberwolves talks to Ryan Saunders. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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Jonathan Isaac

Minnesota Timberwolves, Jonathan Isaac
Jonathan Isaac #1 of the Orlando Magic. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves: 5 dream trades for star players

*Magic also acquires a 2023 first-round pick (top-five protected)*

Why the Wolves Accept This Trade

The Timberwolves are currently looking for Karl-Anthony Towns’ frontcourt partner of the future.

KAT has started next to multiple different types of power forwards throughout his career, including Gorgui Dieng, Taj Gibson, Nemanja Bjelica, Robert Covington, and most recently, Juancho Hernangomez.

These players are all good in their own right but none were a perfect fit next to Towns. They either did not provide enough spacing for KAT or were not good interior defenders.

Enter Jonathan Isaac. Isaac has the rare ability to be one of the top shot-blockers in the league and still spread the floor on offense.

The former Florida State Seminoles’ potential on defense is incredible. The 6-foot-11 forward boasts a 7-foot-1 wingspan and is able to comfortably guard four positions on the court. Isaac has improved his defensive numbers each year he’s been in the league, including averaging 2.4 blocks per game so far in 2019-20, even while playing out of position at the small forward.

Along with his defense improving each season, the third-year man’s offensive numbers have gone up each year as well.

Isaac is averaging 12 points per game and has the ability to stretch his game to the 3-point line. While he has only shot 33 percent from three so far this season, he’s shown that he is willing to shoot from range and would have more opportunities to let it fly playing for the Wolves. Isaac would also be a perfect third option on offense behind KAT and D’Angelo Russell, as he does not need the ball in his hands to make a difference, owning a career usage of only 16.6 percent.

The main concerns with Isaac are his ability to stay on the floor and his low efficiency. Both point back to him only weighing 210 pounds, as he takes a beating against bigger forwards and does not finish well through contact. As Isaac continues to gain weight and strength, his injury and efficiency concerns should go away.

The Wolves would ultimately be willing to look past Isaac’s injury history in order to pair him with KAT. Losing Culver after one season would be hard for the Wolves’ front office to swallow, but Isaac is too good of a fit for Minnesota to pass up.

The young core of DLo, KAT, and Isaac would be intriguing and gives them more of a defensive identity they currently do not have.

Why the Magic Accept This Trade

Orlando has a logjam in their frontcourt and has been forced to play Jonathan Isaac out of position all season.

The Magic made the playoffs last season and are well on their way to make it again in the weaker Eastern Conference this season, but remain in basketball purgatory. They are good enough to make the playoffs as a low seed but don’t have the star power to do much damage once there.

Ultimately, the Magic are going to have to make the decision between Isaac’s defensive potential or Aaron Gordon’s all-around game. It looks as though Gordon has seemingly hit a wall in his development but still has room to grow at 24 years old and Orlando will be able to receive more assets by trading Isaac while being able to avoid losing him in free agency for nothing.

Losing both Culver and Jaylen Nowell would be a hard pill to swallow for the Wolves as they were first two draft picks in the Gersson Rosas era, but it is important to get a player with Isaac’s potential.

Culver is the centerpiece for the Magic and is a much better fit on their current roster. He will slot in well next to Markelle Fultz, Gordon, and Mo Bamba on the wing going forward.

While Culver did having growing pains through his rookie season, he did show improvement after the deadline. Orlando has also shown the willingness to take on a player who did not meet expectations coming into the league in Fultz and revitalize his career.

The two first-round draft picks give the Magic the opportunity to build up their young core. This year’s pick via Brooklyn especially is valuable to Orlando to allow them to find a 3-and-D type wing.

Nowell is also a player that can develop into that 3-and-D player at the shooting guard position. He would have the ability to slot in as the backup two-guard behind Evan Fournier as early as next season.

Ultimately, the Magic will be receiving a young started in Culver, a player who can grow into a rotational piece in Nowell, and two first-round picks that gives Orlando flexibility in the future.