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. Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images /

Evaluating this trade from the Timberwolves point of view

Kyle Lowry is a better defensive player at 36 than D’Angelo Russell has ever been, he has a longer track record of knocking down 3-point shots and knows how to thrive alongside other on-ball stars. He also brings championship pedigree to a team that has combined young players with little postseason experience with veterans who have logged a multitude of playoff disappointments. Lowry has won it all and can help introduce and shore-up championship habits.

On the other hand, trading for Lowry limits the Timberwolves’ flexibility for this offseason and next season, as Lowry is under contract for $29.69 million next season. Making this deal means the Wolves are going to run with Lowry, and given his age and slipping game that’s a tough call to make.

The other pieces here help, however. Cam Reddish still has a lot of potential lurking beneath the surface; perhaps a truly creative coach like Chris Finch can unlock it. Max Strus can absolutely bomb it and is a more well-rounded player than Bryn Forbes to slot into the rotation as a 3-and-D wing.

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Is this deal the right way to move not only Russell but three second-round picks, nearly all of the remaining draft capital this team has? No, probably not, especially since it would bump them into the luxury tax. That being said, if Lowry bounced back and Reddish took a step forward this could be a deal that really jolts this team up into the playoff race proper.