Three-team trade revamps the Timberwolves’ backcourt

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
Kyle Lowry, Miami Heat and D’Angelo Russell, Minnesota Timberwolves. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images /

Laying out a three-team trade to revamp the Timberwolves

D’Angelo Russell is a good player, but he isn’t an excellent fit on every team. The Miami Heat stand out as a team that could maximize his passing ability with its shooting threats and has defense down the lineup to help make up for his below-average ability on that end. We discussed a simple swap with the Heat previously, but this one adds a third team to move some players around.

The Miami Heat stack a pair of point guards in D’Angelo Russell and Miles McBride, giving them an offense-first passing maestro and a tough point-of-attack defender. The New York Knicks relieve some of their roster crunch in return for draft capital to stockpile for a star trade. The Minnesota Timberwolves receive back three players who could all be useful rotation players down the stretch.

For the Heat, this is about getting younger and more dynamic. Kyle Lowry has lost a step and the Heat desperately need players with as many “steps” as possible. They also can realistically make use of cap space if Russell walks in free agency, while Minnesota is far from a free agent destination.

For the Knicks, agreeing to this deal would mean moving Cam Reddish, a player they are actively trying to move, but also Miles McBride. The second-year guard out of West Virginia has entered the rotation and played well, so he isn’t simply a castoff for the Knicks. The upside of shorting the Timberwolves, however, might be worth moving on from both young perimeter players.

Neither the Heat nor the Knicks would run screaming through the streets on account of these trade returns, but a path to why they might say yes is at least traversable.