Minnesota Timberwolves Rumors: Collins, plus interest in Wolves players

Jarrett Culver of the Minnesota Timberwolves shoots the ball against John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Jarrett Culver of the Minnesota Timberwolves shoots the ball against John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The latest round of Minnesota Timberwolves rumors includes reiterated interest in Atlanta Hawks star John Collins, as well as a note regarding interest from around the league in current Wolves veterans.

With the NBA trade deadline less than two weeks away, the Minnesota Timberwolves continue to be in a strange spot.

They aren’t official sellers, because they aren’t going to trade away any of their top three or four players. They also aren’t buyers — at least not int he traditional sense of the word — as they hold the league’s worst record.

Minnesota Timberwolves Rumors: Wolves ‘dying’ to get John Collins

Jackie MacMullan joined The Bill Simmons Podcast to talk about the NBA trade deadline, and she noted that the Wolves are ‘dying’ to land Atlanta Hawks big man John Collins.

She noted that there are other teams showing interest, but that the Wolves are “particularly” interested. MacMullan also stated that she doesn’t know what the Wolves would offer.

That, of course, is the major issue. With no 2021 draft pick to trade, the Wolves don’t have a ton of assets that the Hawks would be significantly interested in. Any package for Collins would undoubtedly include 2019 No. 6 overall pick Jarrett Culver, but that’s far from enough to land the star big man.

It would be a shock if the Wolves would entertain trading Anthony Edwards, but this side of Karl-Anthony Towns, anything is possible. Malik Beasley is probably the next least-likely player to move, and the Hawks aren’t going to have interest in D’Angelo Russell.

Perhaps a third team would get involved to help sweeten the pot, and the Wolves would surely consider moving a 2023 first-round pick as well. But if Minnesota acquires Collins, they would then need to figure out how to extend him with a near-max contract on a cap sheet already teetering on the brink.

Other teams interested in Minnesota Timberwolves veteran players

Finally, we have a report regarding interest in current Wolves players from other teams.

Now, we never know where these things come from, and it’s fair to surmise that this rumor could have originated from someone near/in the Wolves’ organizational orbit.

But here it is, nonetheless. From Michael Scotto at Hoops Hype:

"As the Timberwolves have begun to play more of their young players, Minnesota has received calls from teams on several of their veterans, including Ed Davis, Ricky Rubio, Juancho Hernangomez and Jake Layman, HoopsHype has learned."

Davis seems likely to be moved, as he’s an on expiring deal worth slightly more than $5 million.

Layman is a solid value at $3.7 million this year and $3.9 million next year, so it would be a mild surprise if he’s moved as anything other than a salary-matching piece in a larger deal.

Rubio and Hernangomez are both overpaid rotation players and each has one more year of guaranteed money on their deals. As a solid veteran point guard with a track record of helping teams improve, Rubio is more likely to be moved. If the Wolves were to make a major move, his $17.8 million this year and $17 million next year would almost have to be sent out to make the money work.

Hernangomez, on the other hand, has shown nothing after signing a deal worth $6.5 million this year and $7 million next year. The third year on his deal is a team option, which makes him a trade candidate at some point. It’s probably more likely that he ends up in the team’s rotation down the stretch of this season to try and rebuild his value before he’s shopped over the offseason.

At this stage, it would be a shock if the Wolves didn’t pull off something prior to the March 25 deadline. It’s just unclear if Gersson Rosas will be able to do anything major.

Next. 4 Ricky Rubio trade ideas for the Wolves. dark

Surely, he’d prefer to make a splash as he did at last year’s deadline, but given the Wolves’ cap/asset situation, it won’t be easy.