Timberwolves Rumors: Shopping No. 17 pick in NBA Draft, Johnson, Culver

Jarrett Culver of the Minnesota Timberwolves could be on the trade block. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Jarrett Culver of the Minnesota Timberwolves could be on the trade block. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly shopping the No. 17 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, plus a couple of players on the current roster.

In news that should surprise no one, the Minnesota Timberwolves are actively shopping assets beyond the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, according to an ESPN report.

We’ve known for some time that the top overall pick was available in trade discussions, but we finally have confirmation that the Wolves are more than willing to talk trade for some of their assets.

Minnesota Timberwolves Rumors: Shopping the No. 17 pick in the NBA Draft

In seemingly more NBA drafts than not, at least one pick in the teens is shipped off for a first-round pick in a future draft.

Just in recent Timberwolves history, the franchise traded No. 18 for Chase Budinger in 2012 just prior to the draft. Back in 2010, the Wolves shipped the No. 16 pick and Ryan Gomes to Portland for Martell Webster on draft night.

It’s unclear if such a trade will be available to Gersson Rosas and the Wolves in 2020, but ESPN’s Zach Lowe reports that the Wolves are dangling the No. 17, plus James Johnson’s expiring $16 million contract in a trade for a veteran player.

In fact, Lowe mentions Danilo Gallinari’s name as a potential target in a sign-and-trade, although he acknowledges that Oklahoma City could likely get more than the No. 17 and Johnson in a potential swap.

For what it’s worth, Gallinari would be a dream fit offensively next to Towns. But even if they can’t get Gallo, it gives an idea of the caliber of player Minnesota could seek out.

Minnesota Timberwolves Rumors: Culver is available in trade for star

Lowe also reports that Rosas and the front office would trade Jarrett Culver “only in a blockbuster for a star — or for a high draft pick that would help in acquiring said star.”

This is something we’ve talked about often here on Dunking With Wolves. The Timberwolves don’t exactly have a ton of attractive trade assets outside of their significant draft capital; Johnson’s expiring contract, Culver, and maybe Josh Okogie are about it, assuming neither Karl-Anthony Towns or D’Angelo Russell is suddenly available.

While Culver had a disappointing rookie season, the Wolves drafted him for a reason, and he showed enough defensively to give some hope that he could become a two-way player. Remember, he’s still only 21 years old and has NBA-caliber size and athleticism.

The shot needs a ton of work and he had turnover issues, but there is still quite a bit of projectability for Culver. And that’s exactly why he’s likely only available in a trade that finds the Wolves coming away with a legitimate star.

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Key takeaway: the Wolves are going to do everything they can to make a trade. Towns and Russell are the only players who are truly untouchable, and everything else is on the table.