Timberwolves Trade Rumors: Prince to Nuggets in next 24 hours?

Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

With 24 hours to go before the NBA Trade Deadline, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been an NBA team that has a lot of smoke over NBA rumors but not a lot of fire that goes with it. Will that change in the next day or so? Perhaps, as the team has a new player drawing plenty of interest from a contender.

The Denver Nuggets continue to be linked to the Minnesota Timberwolves as a team that is frantically seeking ways to upgrade their frontcourt lineup behind Nikola Jokic. Right now, the Minnesota Timberwolves appear to be a team that may make the NBA Playoffs but does not have enough firepower to do much if and when the team gets there. Does that make the Timberwolves a seller at the trade deadline? That’s what the Nuggets intend to find out.

In the latest article by Hoops Hype Michael Scotto, he describes an intriguing new rumor that the Nuggets have a heightened interest in acquiring power forward Taurean Prince from the Timberwolves. Prince is very effective at scoring this season, shooting 47.9 percent from the floor and 38.9 percent of his shots from the perimeter. The Nuggets would love to add that efficiency to their own roster.

But to get something of value, the Nuggets realize that they would have to give up something of value. Per the article, that means that they would be willing to give up coveted players in order to acquire Taurean Prince:

"Nuggets guard Bones Hyland and forward Zeke Nnaji are considered attainable players on Denver’s roster for an upgrade to help win this season, sources say. – Per Hoops Hype author Michael Scotto"

That means that the Denver Nuggets would be willing to place point guard Bones Hyland (19.5 MPG, 12.1 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 3.0 APG) and power forward Zeke Nnaji (13.3 MPG, 5.1 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 0.3 APG) on the block to acquire Taurean Prince (21.1 MPG, 8.4 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 1.4 APG).

Do the Timberwolves take them up on it?

Reasons why Timberwolves don’t take this trade

The Minnesota Timberwolves are still in the running for a berth in the NBA Playoffs. And many NBA teams believe that as long as they get invited to the ball, there is always the chance that they could end up this season as Cinderella.  Realistic?  Not likely. But this is a team that has not had consecutive playoff appearances for many years. Perhaps just getting back is enough.

But perhaps a more difficult hurdle to overcome is the basic philosophy of trading with one of their NBA Northwest Division Rivals. The Nuggets want to make a trade to improve their roster. But do the Timberwolves want to be the team that helps them to do that? Prince is an NBA veteran of eight seasons. Versatile players who can fit multiple roles on the Timberwolves roster are very hard to come by.

Reasons why Timberwolves do take this trade

At 29-28, and after a sound thumping at the hands of the Denver Nuggets in Denver by a score of 146-112, the Timberwolves are clearly not where this team wants to be just yet. At what point in the season is it time to think about next year?  The NBA Trade Deadline of 3:00 pm ET on February 9, 2023, is not moving, so if the Timberwolves intend to cash in any chips now, they have 48 hours to do so.

PG Bones Hyland would be an excellent addition to the Timberwolves right now. He has been linked to the Timberwolves in the past, as the Minnesota Timberwolves view him as an intriguing point guard who could be paired with shooting guard Anthony Edwards to become the team’s backcourt of the future.

The Timberwolves have two tracks of opportunity right now: The win-now track of C Rudy Gobert, PF Karl-Anthony Towns, and PG D’Angelo Russell. But the team also has an excellent younger track of Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels. With Towns all but out for this season, will the Timberwolves’ front office jump the track and invest in the future?

Stay tuned, as the next 24 hours will tell the tale.

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