Minnesota Timberwolves: A trade with each team in the bottom 8

Jake Layman of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Jake Layman of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
3 of 8

Minnesota Timberwolves: Trade with Atlanta Hawks

2. Atlanta Hawks

Minnesota Timberwolves, Clint Capela
Clint Capela #15 of the Houston Rockets. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /


For the Timberwolves

This trade would give the Wolves an interesting fit next to Karl-Anthony Towns.

Clint Capela provides exceptional rebounding and defense, both of which the Wolves desperately need help with. Adding Capela at the 5 would push KAT to the 4, forcing opponents to choose how to they want to deal with KAT’s versatile offensive game.

KAT would surely be a nightmare for any power forward in the league to guard, and Capela would also be a tough matchup under the rim for most 4s.

For the Hawks

This trade gives the Hawks a chance to improve in a number of ways. Two of their three highest-paid players are currently centers (Capela and Dewayne Dedmon), and this trade gives them an opportunity to use their extra center to improve defensively with the help of Culver and Johnson.

Also, Johnson’s $16 million contract is set to expire after next season (assuming he opts in), which would create significant cap space for the Hawks to attract free agents in 2021. If Trae Young and the Hawks perform well next season, they could become an attractive destination for the 2021 free agent class, which is set to be much stronger than the 2020 class.

Lastly, the pick is an early second-round selection, so it is essentially a late first-round pick in the eyes of GMs, minus the guaranteed price tag of a first-round salary.


For the Timberwolves

Head coach Ryan Saunders has emphasized the importance of 3-point shooting in their offense, which is not an aspect of Clint Capela’s game.

Capela may ultimately not be a good fit next to Towns and DLo, potentially creating a log-jam in the paint due to his inability to shoot from three. Additionally, Culver and Johnson are staples of the Wolves defense, and their absence could magnify the existing flaws of the team’s defense.

For the Hawks

Simply put, the Hawks may feel they can get more in return for Capela.

Culver is unproven on offense and Johnson is an experienced veteran who may not fit the timeline of this young core. On top of that, the Hawks could choose to trade Dedmon instead of Capela if they are able to find a better deal for him, as Capela and Dedmon are both centers on similar contracts.