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) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Steven Adams
Steven Adams of the New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves acquire Steven Adams from the New Orleans Pelicans

Steven Adams is the closest thing to Nikola Pekovic that we have seen in some time.

The pure strength on screens and in the post is unmatched, and that is precisely what this Timberwolves team has been missing. Getting pushed around down low by the bigger centers in the league has been a problem these last few seasons, and the Timberwolves ranked No. 24 in points allowed in the paint this season.

Adams will bring more of that toughness that Jimmy Butler didn’t think the Timberwolves have. He had the worst defensive rating of his career last year at 112 but has been consistently around 105 every other season.

The only question would be the fit, as we have seen the struggles of Anthony Davis playing alongside Andre Drummond.  If Towns can exist at the four it would work beautifully, and we have seen Coach Finch play two centers at the same time with Reid and Towns. This also opens up more playing time for Nowell who has shown flashes of scoring dominance in his short stints.

As for Rubio to the Pelicans, this move is in case Lonzo Ball does not return as he was given a low-ball offer on an extension in 2020.  With uncertainty at the point guard position, Rubio is a solid vet who loves to pass and can help Zion and Jaxon Hayes create one of the best highlights reels we’ve seen.

Speaking of Hayes, this move would also open up more playing time for the former eighth overall pick.  If the Pelicans still do decide to extend Ball or bring in anyone else, Rubio will be off their books after one season instead of the two remaining for Adams.

With Rubio’s and Adams’ contracts differing by less than a million, the books largely stay the same, although the Wolves would be right up to the cap in 2022-23 at around $130 million.