Minnesota Timberwolves: 5 teams to trade with on NBA Draft night

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder. (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder. (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder. (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) /

1. The New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Minnesota Timberwolves get together

We can always count on the New York Knicks to try and make a splash. What better way than getting involved in a major draft-night trade?

And no, not for the No. 1 pick. Without another team involved, it’s tough to see the Knicks having enough to get a deal done in order to move up and take LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards.

The Thunder are reportedly fans of Ball, but are sitting all the way back at No. 25 in the draft order. They’re also shopping Chris Paul, who is as good as gone from OKC at this point.

If the Knicks can’t get the No. 1 pick, Paul wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize. Could the Wolves, Thunder, and Knicks get together on a three-way deal that gives everyone what they want?

Here’s where this conversation could start:

(Note that the Thunder would also get Omari Spellman from Minnesota, the No. 27 LA Clippers pick via the Knicks, and either Frank Ntilikina or Elfrid Payton from the Knicks. Not all players would fit above.)

No, the Thunder aren’t likely to be actively shopping Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. But if they think Ball is a future superstar and that Gilgeous-Alexander is a star but maybe not the guy that they’re going to be able to build a championship-caliber team around, then they’d surely entertain the conversation.

The Knicks would try and foist Julius Randle’s two years and $37.8 million on the Wolves, but Minnesota would resist. OKC may take back some salary, and the Wolves would surely take on some of the more modestly-paid former Knicks, but Randle may be a bridge too far. Maybe Minnesota would ask for the Knicks to pick up Bobby Portis’ $15.7 million option and include him so that the Wolves have another trade chip come this year’s deadline.

The Thunder can flip Johnson’s contract prior to the trade deadline and can take a flyer on the upside of Culver, Knox, and Spellman.

There’s also the possibility referred to on the last page. Would the Thunder rather acquire the No. 1 and No. 6 pick in this year’s draft than Culver? The Wolves could acquire that pick from the Hawks and flip it to OKC or New York to grease the wheel of a deal.

Ultimately, there are a few different ways that this could go down, but here’s the headline: the Knicks get CP3, the Thunder get a pair of picks in this year’s draft plus last year’s No. 6 pick in Culver, and the Wolves get their third star in Gilgeous-Alexander.

The effect of No. 1 on the Wolves' choice at No. 17. dark. Next

It could be a win-win-win. Now, let’s just hope that the new Knicks front office operates similarly to the last few iterations…