Should Timberwolves consider flipping Russell to Wizards for depth?

D'Angelo Russell, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
D'Angelo Russell, Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves
Monte Morris, Washington Wizards. Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images /

A balanced trade between the Timberwolves and Wizards

The most difficult part of trading with the Washington Wizards is that they are $346,000 away from the luxury tax line, so they will be extremely loath to take on any extra money. A trade offer to the Wizards must therefore be money-neutral or reduce Washington’s salary. Here is a potential construction that would accomplish that goal and give the Wolves a different look.

D’Angelo Russell makes $31.3 million this season, and the three combined salaries of Delon Wright, Monte Morris and Will Barton come out to $31.3 million, making this deal almost perfectly balanced in terms of the money. That at least makes it possible for the Wizards to consider. Would they say yes?

The Wizards are no strangers to midseason deals to add players whose value has been somewhat tarnished, after trading for Kristaps Porzingis last season. Russell is not worth a max contract but that doesn’t mean he’s not a good player, and he would be an upgrade over Monte Morris at point guard.

This trade would compromise their depth for this season, but the Wizards would be looking towards next season and beyond with this deal. Re-signing Russell and Kyle Kuzma would lock them into a lot of money, but it would give them a core they can convince themselves they can win with. Washington probably says yes to this deal.