5 trade options for the Minnesota Timberwolves if they lose their pick

Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Minnesota Timberwolves, Jerami Grant
Jerami Grant of the Detroit Pistons. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves acquire Jermai Grant from the Detroit Pistons

The Minnesota Timberwolves were reportedly interested in Jerami Grant in restricted free agency last offseason. Instead, Grant went to Detroit and had a breakout season for the Pistons.

But the Pistons are far from contention and still have to pay Blake Griffin $29.8 million next season to not play for them, so they aren’t going to be adding any big-name free agents. With Grant already 27 years old, he does not fit the timeline of the Pistons reboot and they could score some young assets by moving him.

In this scenario, the Timberwolves would send Juancho Hernangomez, Jarrett Culver, Jake Layman and a 2023 first-round pick. The Pistons would get another young player who is attempting to get his feet under him in the NBA in Culver, and Detroit would give him the opportunity to see the floor and show what he really has in him.

Hernangomez would slide into that backup 3 and 4 spots behind former first-round picks Saddiq Bey and Sekou Doumbouya, providing a spark off the bench. Hernangomez can get hot in short minutes while still bringing some leadership to the locker room.

As for Jake Layman, he helped match the contracts up, but more than likely will lose his playing time to the developing player. But, if you watched any Wolves games this season, you know that Layman plays as if he was shot out of a cannon and is willing to put anyone on a poster if the Pistons need some life.

As for the Wolves, Grant brings energy to the court in a similar way as Vanderbilt, but his scoring is much more well-rounded. Grant increased his points per game to 22.3 this season on 47.3 percent from inside the arc and 35 percent from deep. Grant also averaged 4.6 rebounds at the forward spots and 1.1 blocks per game.

Adding even more defense to this team could hold a lot of the top teams in check as we saw what Vanderbilt, McDaniels, and Okogie could do to the Mavericks.

The Pistons would send $20 million in salary to the Timberwolves, and the Wolves would send $17.35 million back to Detroit. That would increase the Wolves’ books by $2.65 million and put them over the luxury cap of $132.6.

Would the Wolves go into the luxury tax? Remember, they still may want to bring back Vanderbilt and attempt to make other moves as well. One option to combat the issue is that Josh Okogie and his $4.09 million could be added to this deal in place of the future first-round pick, but championship teams need a lockdown guard.

With the core of the Timberwolves roster in place for the long haul but still with a need to add more vets around them, the Wolves may be okay with parting with another first-round pick. The Pistons would be right at $100 million with 13 players on their roster.