The Minnesota Timberwolves are surely going to try and be active at next week’s NBA trade deadline, but how likely are they to part with their best assets?
Also, ESPN’s Zach Lowe included his thoughts on Wolves guard Jaylen Nowell in his latest article.
Ranking the Minnesota Timberwolves’ trade assets
The Minnesota Timberwolves were ultra-active last year prior to the trade deadline, completing a series of trades and turning over the majority of their roster.
This year, however, there are less obvious trade assets available for the Wolves to move. The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski went through the entire roster and separated it into tiers, from untouchable to available (subscription required).
Unsurprisingly, there were only two players truly listed as untouchable: Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards. But there were also only three players listed as tradeable “without hesitation”.
That trio? Jarrett Culver, Ed Davis, and Juancho Hernangomez.
As yours truly has noted several times here at Dunking WIth Wolves, Culver and Josh Okogie, the latter of whom Krawczynski has in his “Getting Warmer” category, are the two most likely Wolves to get traded this side of veteran Ed Davis and his expiring deal.
Culver probably has the most value, with the upside to still be a starting-caliber player in the league. He also has a salary that is significant enough to be included in a deal that takes back a chunk of incoming money, as well as another two years of team control under his rookie deal.
A week ago, the idea of trading Hernangomez would have been considered a no-brainer. And while he’s certainly still extremely available, head coach Chris Finch did have this to say after Hernangomez did a great job closing the game with the starters on Thursday in Phoenix.
The version of Hernangomez that played against the Suns is the version that is worth $7 million per year.
At this stage, it seems likely that the Wolves do something at the March 25 deadline. It’s just a matter of how … splashy Gersson Rosas is feeling. It would be a mild surprise if Ricky Rubio was traded, and it would be a shock if the Wolves gave up future draft assets to make what could be classified as a “win-now” move, especially given the team’s 3-2 record since the All-Star break.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe on Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell
ESPN’s Zach Lowe publishes a “10 things I like and don’t like” article a few times a month, and this time around, he singled out Wolves second-year guard Jaylen Nowell (subscription required).
Nowell has been forced into backup point guard duty during the extended absences of D’Angelo Russell and Jordan McLaughlin, and he’s played well. Lowe mentions that, as well as his ability to shoot 3-pointers off the dribble.
He includes this interesting note: in Towns-Nowell pick-and-roll action, the Wolves have scored a whopping 1.48 points per possession, and Nowell is shooting 12-for-25 on pull-up 3-point attempts so far this season.
As someone who spent time campaigning for Nowell to join the rotation back in late January, his breakout as a pure scorer and functional rotation player is even sweeter.
Stay tuned to DWW throughout the weekend as trade rumors heat up. The deadline is in less than a week, and anything could happen…