The Minnesota Timberwolves do not have a lottery pick in this year’s NBA draft. They don’t have a pick at all, in fact.
Instead, the Golden State Warriors will select in their place, as a consequence of the trade that netted the Wolves D’Angelo Russell for Andrew Wiggins.
With the draft off the table, Timberwolves general manager Gersson Rosas will inevitably mine free agency and the trade market for quality (and preferably young) talent to bolster a roster that features plenty of potential stars already. The Wolves have been linked to a lot of big names, and some may be more acquirable, or more desirable, than others.
Here are five trade candidates, and whether we’re buying or selling them as good options for the team.
Minnesota Timberwolves Buy or Sell: Marvin Bagley III
The temptation to pounce on Marvin Bagley III must keep Rosas waking up in cold sweats.
Here’s a 22-year-old who is a mere three years removed from being selected second overall in the NBA draft, and yet his trade value currently borders on non-existent. The Wolves could likely roll the dice on Bagley’s development for a pittance.
Rosas should avoid that temptation.
Potential issues with Bagley are plentiful, both on and off the court. On it, he’s already developed a reputation as a defensive liability — in other words, not an ideal pairing with Karl Anthony-Towns.
In fact, out of 214 qualified players, Bagley’s opponent field goal percentage last season ranked 213th. (At least somebody was worse?)
He is also closer to a center than a power forward in the modern NBA, which makes his pairing with KAT tenuous on both ends of the floor. He would hamper the Wolves’ defensive versatility, pace, and with a career 3-point percentage of 31.4 percent, spacing as well.
Off the court, Bagley (and his father) has already lobbied for a trade from a Sacramento Kings team that took a massive chance on him. Whether he’s looking for a bigger market, a bigger role or better weather, the Timberwolves are not in any position to satisfy his desires.
As it stands, the idea of Bagley is lapping the actualization of Bagley. At 22, he has a world of time to change that, and validate Vlade Divac’s decision to draft him ahead of Luka Doncic, Trae Young, and others. Minnesota is just not an ideal location for him to work towards that goal.