Minnesota Timberwolves: 3 stars the Wolves should not acquire via trade

Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings could be a trade target. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings could be a trade target. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Minnesota Timberwolves, Victor Oladipo
Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves should not trade for Victor Oladipo

No. 1: Timberwolves should not pony up for Victor Oladipo

Outside of Khris Middleton, the best player on the aforementioned list is probably Victor Oladipo.

Oladipo is a two-time All-Star and was on the NBA All-Defensive Team and the All-NBA Third Team in 2018, the latter of which he was named alongside both Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns, both representing the Wolves.

Then, a devastating quadriceps injury in January of 2019 kept him out for just over a year, and he simply did not look like himself in 19 games with the Indiana Pacers in early 2020.

While it’s absolutely understandable given the layoff and magnitude of the injury, any team considering a move for Oladipo has to consider that he turns 29 in May and is a player that has relied heavily on his athleticism on both ends of the court during his career.

There’s also the issue of his contract. Oladipo is owed $21 million next season but will be an unrestricted free agent following the 2021 campaign.

Somebody will pony up something at least resembling a max contract for a 29-year-old only a little more than two years removed from major surgery, but should it be the Wolves?

Compounding the injury history and contract situation is the question of whether or not Oladipo is a fit on the Wolves.

Yes, he would immediately become the best all-around defender on the roster, and he’s also an offensive force. But by far, Oladipo’s best years as a pro have come as the focal point of the Pacers’ offense.

Prior to seeing his usage rate jump in 2017-18, Oladipo was an overrated and overpaid role player with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He remains a decent secondary playmaker, but it’s hard to see him having the same effect on the Wolves’ offense as he has had in Indiana with both Russell and Towns in the fold.

If he was a knockdown shooter, it would be a different story. But he’s a 35 percent 3-point shooter for his career and just 33.4 percent over the past two seasons, which spans the period right before and after his injury.

The Wolves don’t need another high-usage star who isn’t a sharpshooter, and they definitely don’t need said star to only have a year left and be needing a contract extension on the back-half of their prime.

Would Oladipo improve the Wolves next season? Yes, probably. Should the Wolves give up significant assets, such as the No. 1 pick and Jarrett Culver, to get him? No, probably not.