Minnesota Timberwolves: Ranking Wolves players by trade value

Malik Beasley of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Malik Beasley of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves, Josh Okogie
Josh Okogie of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Minnesota Timberwolves players with modest trade value

The Wolves have a pair of young wings who had disappointing performances in 2020-21 but surely still hold some level of trade value.

Josh Okogie was the Wolves’ first-round draft pick in 2018 and continues to carry a strong defensive reputation. But he regressed offensively in 2020-21, seeing his offensive efficiency plummet to nearly unplayable levels while remaining largely the same player in many aspects.

Okogie shot just 40.2 percent from the field and 26.9 percent on 3-point attempts. He was used at power forward early in the season by former head coach Ryan Saunders but ended up lingering on the perimeter on the offensive end of the floor, leading to a bloated 3-point attempt rate of .425 — in no world should a sub-27-percent 3-point shooter be attempting nearly half of his field goal attempts from beyond the arc.

Once Finch took over, Okogie played more like a power forward on offense but functioned as a switchable guard on defense. He was more effective under Finch, and the bet here is that the right coach and system could keep Okogie in a viable role off the bench for a playoff team.

He’s owed only $4.08 million this year, the final year of his rookie deal. While the fourth-year wing is probably not coveted by any other organizations, he would be a nice addition to any larger deal. Okogie holds more value than simply a throw-in, but that’s probably the extent of it.

As it stands, it’s probably more valuable for the Wolves to keep him on the roster than it would be to move him in a trade.

The other player that fits this category is 2019 first-round pick Jarrett Culver.

Culver had a disappointing rookie season, an unconventional first NBA offseason in 2020, and an even more disappointing sophomore effort in 2020-21. After a strong first few games, Culver disappeared, slipping back into terrible shooting habits and missing boatloads of free throws before eventually getting injured and falling out of the rotation before being shut down for the season.

There’s still plenty of upside in there; Culver was selected No. 6 overall barely over 24 months ago and is still only 21 years old. But will he reach that upside with the Wolves?

And, perhaps more importantly, is it worth paying him nearly $6.4 million this year and a team option of $8.1 million in 2022-23 to attempt to uncover said upside?

There’s a team out there that would be interested in Culver, but there probably aren’t many. If the Wolves fancy themselves as a playoff team in 2022 — and they surely do — then Culver won’t be a rotation player. That means that he’ll be buried on the bench, further sapping any remaining trade value that he has, or, he’ll be moved.

The bet here is that Culver is traded this offseason, but the Wolves will have to write off the trade-up in the 2019 draft as a sunk cost.