Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 things the Wolves could do with No. 1 pick
No. 3: Trading for a star
Realistically speaking, there aren’t going to be all that many true “stars” available on the trade market. Trading for a star is simply hard to pull off, especially with two maximum contracts already on the Minnesota Timberwolves’ books.
But when considering a trade involving the No. 1 overall pick in a draft, teams have to shoot for the moon. It would be a hard sell for Rosas to convince the fanbase that he traded the No. 1 pick, even in a relatively weak draft, for a solid rotation player.
So, what history is there in trading the No. 1 pick for established NBA players? Not much, and it’s split in terms of results.
In 1986, Cleveland traded Roy Hinson, a big man who had just averaged 19.6 points and 7.8 rebounds in his third pro season and looked destined for stardom in exchange for the No. 1 pick from Philadelphia. Hinson immediately regressed and was traded again less than two years later, while the Cavaliers took Brad Dougherty No. 1. Dougherty went on to make five All-Star teams in Cleveland.
More recently, the Wolves traded Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins and others, although this trade was different in that it was after the draft but prior to training camp that fall. Clearly, Cleveland won this trade as well.
Now, every year is vastly different, as evidenced by the differences in compensation for trading the No. 1 pick for additional draft pick compensation for Orlando in 1993 and Boston in 2017, as noted on the last slide. And that’s why we really don’t know what is realistic in 2020.
Are there stars to be had? Surely, there are some. Whether it’s a potentially disgruntled Ben Simmons in Philadelphia or Bradley Beal in Washington, or a next-tier player like John Collins in Atlanta, there are certainly options out there.
Of the three possibilities, however, this would seem to be the least likely. Trading a No. 1 pick for an established star is always difficult to pull off; it’s only happened twice in the last 40 years and once was the Wiggins trade that took place after the fact.
That doesn’t mean that Rosas won’t try. Promising to explore “every avenue,” Rosas is going to do whatever he can to improve this team.