Reasons To Pass
The presumptive background for almost all Timberwolves’ rumors or trade scenarios seems to start with the expectation that the Minnesota Timberwolves must shed Karl-Anthony Towns under duress. That is the stain of irrationality that is impossible to ignore in the incessant supply of trade rumors and scenarios, a blemish that triggers an almost automatic reflex reaction.
Either there is some form of prologue that cites the unaffordability of both Rudy Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns on the Timberwolves roster, or a naive conclusion that 29 games out of Towns over the entire 2022-23 NBA season is proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that the pair cannot coincide on the basketball court together. The reality is that the Minnesota Timberwolves job is not finished.
Hornets are buzzing, but Wolves are howling
I get why the Hornets would love this trade scenario. The cost of the Hornets roster drops by $2 million, while the number of projected victories improves by two games. But for the Timberwolves, they take on more money and drop in projected wins, minutes played, defense, and most of all, offense.
Gordan Hayward is a seasoned NBA veteran who had his peak years ago, and is currently on the wane and significantly overpaid for what he delivers on the basketball court. Nick Smith Jr. is an untested rookie who will try to compete for playing time on the Timberwolves roster that is already incredibly deep at shooting guard. And let’s face it, he won’t pry any time away from Timberwolves young All-Star shooting guard, Anthony Edwards.
Final Verdict: Pass
Picks are not valuable in isolation. Ultimately, NBA Draft picks are scratch ’em lottery tickets. You give away a known value in the hopes of gaining value via a future NBA Draft prospect. But the Hornets get a proven NBA All-Star at his peak while giving away a player on the decline, an untested rookie whose ceiling is likely to be a rotational player, and two first-round draft picks with far too much protection to make them worth anything more than more rotational players in the future.
If you buy into the belief that the Minnesota Timberwolves must do something quickly to shed Karl-Anthony Towns, then you may believe this is the best that the Timberwolves can do. But if you are not, then the decision to pass is the only logical option.