While the Minnesota Timberwolves explore options for improving their rotation, other teams are reportedly interested in a pair of players on the Wolves roster.
Timberwolves Rumors: Doing due diligence on Patrick Beverley interest
It makes sense that teams around the league would have interest in Patrick Beverley. Of course, those are the same reasons why it seems unlikely that the Timberwolves would ultimately trade him.
Beverley is a veteran guard who can play on and off the ball and is a three-time member of the All-Defensive team. He also carries respect in the locker room, is a solid mentor for younger players, and has a contract that expires at the end of the season.
If the Timberwolves were on the fringes of the play-in conversation in the Western Conference, trading Beverley would likely be all but a forgone conclusion. But Minnesota instead sits No. 7, two games above the .500 mark and only 1.5 games out of the No. 6 spot, which would allow them to skip the play-in tournament entirely.
Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer notes that the Wolves are “exploring trade avenues” regarding Beverley. This certainly would fall under the category of due diligence; obviously, there is a hypothetical scenario in which Beverley would be traded.
But it’s untimely highly unlike that he’s actually moved. It would take a much larger deal coming together in which Beverley’s contract was needed in order for him to not be in a Timberwolves uniform after the Feb. 10 deadline passes.
Timberwolves Rumors: Reported interest in Josh Okogie
Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype notes that the Utah Jazz after help from defensive-minded wings. The Wolves have a player who fits that exact role that has not been a consistent member of the rotation in Josh Okogie. He’s one of four names listed by Scotto as targets of the Jazz.
Okogie’s rookie contract expires at the end of the season, making him a restricted free agent. While this has been the most disappointing season of Okogie’s career to date, he can still function as a lockdown defender depending on the matchup.
The outside shot has never materialized. For his career, Okogie has shot a paltry 30 percent on corner 3-point attempts and 27.4 percent overall from deep. If he could simply shoot something approaching league-average from the corner, Okogie would be far more playable as more than just a fringe rotation piece.
But he isn’t big enough or good enough on the glass or around the rim to hide in the same way that the Wolves have done with Jarred Vanderbilt this season. Malik Beasley and Jaylen Nowell have shown just enough individual defensive improvement and the Wolves have improved enough as a team on that end of the floor that Okogie has seen his regular rotation role squeezed out.
What could the Wolves get for Okogie? A second-round pick, possibly two. Of course, Minnesota has three second-rounders in the 2022 draft already, so they’d likely be looking for future picks. Perhaps it’s Okogie and a pair of second-round picks for a future first-round pick, or something along those lines.
Okogie certainly has some trade value, but teams such as Utah are looking at higher upside (and higher cost) options such as Boston’s Josh Richardson or Sacramento’s Harrison Barnes before they look to the Wolves. If Okogie is moved it’ll likely be right before Thursday’s deadline.
The thought here persists, however, that the Wolves are far more likely to do nothing at the deadline than they are to make a move. If a trade is made, however, it’s almost guaranteed to be something that falls into the minor category, such as moving on from Okogie.