The Minnesota Timberwolves should pursue Fred VanVleet in free agency

The Minnesota Timberwolves could use two-way guards. There is a really good one available through free agency this year.

The Minnesota Timberwolves need to solidify their guard rotation. With D’Angelo Russell already in the mix, Minnesota needs to find either another starter or a sixth man (should they bring back Malik Beasley).

One of the best free agents available this offseason is going to be Raptors guard Fred VanVleet. This past season, VanVleet has averaged 18 points, four rebounds, and seven assists. He is a really good overall player on both ends of the court and can play either guard spot despite being somewhat undersized.

Fred VanVleet, at only 26 years old, has absolutely exploded in the NBA’s restart in Orlando, Florida. In three games (all Toronto wins), VanVleet is putting up 23/5/8 on splits of 53/50/94. While this is a small sample size, VanVleet looks very good, and at his current age, could command a sizable contract.

For the Timberwolves, they need exactly what VanVleet brings to the table. Having another playmaker that can both score and defend is exactly what Minnesota needs next to Russell. While it would mean Beasley is coming off the bench, he would also have a sizeable role for the Wolves team that could run a three-guard rotation.

Bringing VanVleet into Minnesota could be tricky, though. For the Timberwolves, they would likely have to find a partner to complete a sign-and-trade – as any VanVleet contract could be on the higher side. Any VanVleet contract will most likely fall in the $25-30 million range for the Timberwolves.

To complete a deal, it is likely that the team will have to give up either a young player or asset, similar to the Heat giving up Josh Richardson to the 76ers in order to complete a deal. The Timberwolves will also have to send outgoing salary in order to make sure they are obliging with trade finance rules.

A potential sign-and-trade for VanVleet could look as such:

Timberwolves Get
Fred VanVleet (S&T)
Raptors Get
Malik Beasley (S&T)
Omari Spellman
Hawks Get
James Johnson
2022 Wolves' second
2023 Wolves' second

This trade allows the Timberwolves to bring in VanVleet while also giving the Raptors multiple young assets in return. Toronto does not decline the offer because they still get assets for a player that is not a restricted free agent to begin with. The Hawks absorb Johnson into their cap structure and gain multiple picks to do so.

Bringing in VanVleet would not only help the Wolves in the short-term but also fits the timeline of Minnesota stars Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns, as well. He is a two-way player that would dramatically improve the perimeter defense for the team, as he led the league in deflections this past season.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to make a playoff push, and nothing would improve their odds of doing so more than signing Fred VanVleet this offseason.