After months of watching and waiting, basketball fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the Damian Lillard trade saga has finally come to an end. The star guard was dealt to the Bucks in a blockbuster trade sure to have a major effect on the upcoming NBA season. While the Minnesota Timberwolves did not ultimately land Lillard, there will undoubtedly be continued ripple effects from this trade.
With Dame now off the roster, Portland will be looking to enter a complete rebuild. They have several pieces that would be useful to a roster closer to contending for a title, and they will no doubt be doing everything they can in the coming days to find the best deals possible.
This is huge news for the Timberwolves. While Minnesota’s roster is already loaded, we are all well aware that General Manager Tim Connelly is a risk-taker. With the Lillard trade now complete, it gives the Wolves a perfect trade target: Jrue Holiday.
The Lillard trade will allow the Timberwolves to pursue Jrue Holiday
Unfortunately for Milwaukee, they were not able to hold on to their star point guard Jrue Holiday in the trade for Lillard. The five-time All-Defensive team member was ultimately shipped to the Trail Blazers, where he will reportedly be moved from in short order.
This gives the Timberwolves a major window of opportunity. While they are already comfortable with where their roster is at, it would be hard to pass up on the opportunity to trade for a player as talented as Holiday.
Making an All-Defense team in five of the last six seasons, Holiday’s stout on-ball defense was one of the primary reasons the Bucks took home the championship in 2021. Potentially adding him to Minnesota’s roster is an extremely intriguing prospect.
If the Wolves were to propose such a move to Portland, it would in all likelihood end with them dealing away Mike Conley, sliding Holiday into the starting lineup in his place. With Conley getting up there in age, he could be a player the Blazers are actually open to acquiring since the team is looking to potentially bottom out, and he would not make them significantly better on his own.
The problem is that the Timberwolves currently only have one first-round draft pick between now and 2028. If they are to make a serious push for Jrue Holiday, they will need to throw in more assets to make a potential deal work.