Grade the Trade: Mock Towns trade results in wild haul from Rockets

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Rumors Minnesota Timberwolves Rumors Karl-Anthony Towns Amen Thompson
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Would the Timberwolves accept this trade?

The Minnesota Timberwolves would love to resolve their financial entanglements while still improving their roster to compete for a berth in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. The question is, does this trade package deliver all of that?  Let’s break down the pieces.

While Timberwolves fans would love to add two first-round draft picks to the Minnesota Timberwolves vault, those picks do nothing to improve the competitiveness of the Timberwolves today. And that is not simply a minor consideration. After all, the Timberwolves had to cross both fire and brimstone in the 2022-23 NBA season simply to earn the right to compete in the post-season. I don’t know that the Timberwolves’ front office would willingly take a step away from the NBA Playoffs now, in the hope of being in a better position next season.

Rookie Amen Thompson, the fourth-overall player selected in the 2023 NBA Draft, is a 6-foot-7 215-pound point forward who has ignited the optimism and excitement of many NBA fans. Some NBA comparisons have likened him to the prime playing days of former Philadelphia 76ers point forward Ben Simmons. Can he deliver to those expectations?

Perhaps. He has so many promising areas in his arsenal.

Does pairing Thompson with Anthony Edwards make sense for the Timberwolves? If you like the idea of pairing a highly regarded 20-year-old rookie point forward with 21-year-old All-Star shooting guard Anthony Edwards, you might be sold already. But there are two other players to consider in this trade.

Forward Kevin Porter Jr. was the 30th player selected in the 2019 NBA Draft, traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers where he played for one season and then traded to the Houston Rockets where he has competed for two seasons. He is a 6-foot-4 203-pound contributor who has been a starter for the Rockets.

Porter has been improving in each of his four seasons in the NBA, and will likely shatter the 20 PPG average this season with reasonable playing time. While not a starter for the Timberwolves, he would add plenty of oomph to the Timberwolves bench.

The third player added in this trade is Jae’sean Tate, who is a 6-foot-4 230-pound forward who would be a depth player for the Timberwolves. While he would not be assured of 20+ minutes per game on the Timberwolves roster, he would certainly be the type of glue player that Timberwolves Head Coach Chris Finch loves to have at his disposal.

Of course, at the end of the day, the Timberwolves would need to free up one of their roster slots to accommodate welcoming three new players, which could translate into converting a contract of either rookie Leonard Miller, Wendell Moore Jr., or Josh Minott into a Two-Way contract.

Does this trade help the Minnesota Timberwolves win today? Perhaps not. But it certainly does set the Timberwolves roster up to be far more fiscally fit in the years to come.

Hot. Which of these 5 dynamic players fills the Timberwolves final roster slot?. light

Grade: B