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, Fred VanVleet
Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves acquire Fred VanVleet from the Toronto Raptors

The Raptors tried to stay relevant after winning the championship in 2019, but after one more solid season with a near-Cinderella playoff run, they fell flat on their face this season with a 27-45 record, finishing No. 12 in the East.

Kyle Lowry will be a free agent and will more than likely be chasing another championship elsewhere, the Raptors are looking to be in rebuild mode.

Let’s say that the Raptors go the route of a reboot. In that case, they would be looking to move on from Fred VanVleet and even Pascal Siakam for the right price as both stars are already 27.

In this scenario, the Raptors would move VanVleet to the Timberwolves for Malik Beasley, Jarrett Culver, and a future first-round pick. The Raptors would get another young player in Culver to pair up with Gary Trent Jr., who is a restricted free agent but seemed to fit very well in the Raptors system, and OG Anunoby, who has already been extended.

The Raptors will replace VanVleet’s scoring with Beasley’s ability to create for himself and score off-ball.  Plus, Beasley is two years younger than VanVleet and has the potential to be a legitimate No. 2 option.

For the Timberwolves, VanVleet adds a winning mentality and is a proven player that shows up when it matters most. One thing the Wolves are lacking is playoff experience, and VanVleet has plenty of that. Scoring 19.6 points per game as the Raptors’ third option while also dishing out 6.3 assists per game, VanVleet shot 36.6 percent from downtown but is usually in the 40 percent range.

In a vacuum, VanVleet might not seem to be a big upgrade from Beasley in the minds of some, but the underdog mentality, work ethic, and experience of VanVleet will go a long way for this roster.

This trade would send $20.79 million to the Raptors, and a team option on Culver after the first year that could save them $8.1 million if it doesn’t work out. The Wolves would receive $19.68 million in return, saving around $1 million.