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) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves: Trade with Chicago Bulls

6. Chicago Bulls

Minnesota Timberwolves, Lauri Markkanen
Lauri Markkanen #24 of the Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /


For the Timberwolves

This trade would land an asset that the Wolves unknowingly traded away in the Jimmy Butler trade, as Lauri Markkanen was acquired with the first-round pick that Minnesota traded to Chicago.

Markkanen has averaged 16.1 points on 35.6 percent from three in his career. The 7-footer could be a great fit next to KAT as a stretch-4 with the ability to score inside and out. Also, while the Wolves pick will likely be in the top five, this would provide a great option if the Wolves do not feel comfortable selecting any of the available draft prospects. (Here’s another possible trade with the Bulls involving the draft.)

For the Bulls

This trade helps a weak Bulls defense with the addition of Culver, who was a top-10 pick just last year.

Additionally, the addition of a high pick in 2020 paired with their own pick would likely allow the Bulls to secure two of the top seven or eight players in the draft. Two high draft picks paired with Coby White, Zach LaVine, and others could give the Bulls a promising young core of players.


For the Timberwolves

Markkanen is a largely unproven defender, and defense has been the Wolves’ Achilles heel.

Markkanen’s defense and rebounding went down in the 2019-20 season, which is cause for concern going forward. The Wolves front office may decide that a first-round pick paired with a recent first-round pick (Culver in 2019) may be too steep of a price to pay for an asset they have concerns with.

Also, subtracting Culver without bringing in a defensive wing to replace him could hurt the Wolves’ defense even more.

For the Bulls

Culver is still largely unproven on offense. Though athletically gifted, the Bulls need more offensive help to complement their guards.

Also, though the Bulls would acquire the Wolves pick in this year’s draft, investing in this year’s draft class may not be appealing to the front office, as this draft is generally considered weak. Because of the uncertainty of Culver’s value and the weakness of this year’s draft class, the Bulls may feel that Markkanen could be worth more to other teams.