The Minnesota Timberwolves may or may not pull the trigger on a trade before the NBA Trade Deadline, but you cannot fault Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly for not kicking over every stone. The Timberwolves have been very active in NBA Trade Rumors this season and for good reason.
This was a roster that was conceived to be good, but the proof was not available until after the season started. Then, the Timberwolves lost Karl-Anthony Towns and Jordan McLaughlin rather quickly to injuries, had to repurpose forward Kyle Anderson to handle some of the field general duties, and then had to rework the lineups to manage the dynamic available players who could suit up due to other minor injuries.
Two independent sources reported Timberwolves trade rumors of the team engaged in a three-team trade negotiation involving the LA Lakers, the Utah Jazz, and the Minnesota Timberwolves that essentially moves Russell Westbrook to the Jazz, D’Angelo Russell to the Lakers, and Mike Conley to the Timberwolves. This is all happening quickly, fostered by the halftime dispute between Westbrook and the LA Lakers coach at halftime.
That deal is rapidly gaining momentum:
The problem now is, how much is D’Angelo Russell worth? Right now, that is what the Minnesota Timberwolves are trying to determine. In fact, per NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, it could be the Minnesota Timberwolves are the hold-up to getting a three-team deal finalized. Apparently, the Timberwolves have more than one iron in the fire in terms of trading DLo. And that could only mean good things for the Timbewolves.
Multiple teams interested in landing D’Angelo Russell should benefit the leverage for the Timberwolves, as the Wolves now have two or more teams to play off one another. Now it comes down to which team (or teams) want DLo more, and are willing to offer the best compensation for him.
While there are plenty of reasons to like the Conley fit on the Timberwolves roster, the first-impression winner of this one is the LA Lakers, the team that dumps Westbrook’s tremendous salary, and fills the roster with up to 3 productive players. That could slow things down for the Timberwolves, and rightfully so, as the Lakers are the team most motivated to make something happen before the deadline.
Will a deal go down? I’m 50/50 on the chances right now. But stay tuned . . .