The NBA trade deadline had no shortage of flare. Although there were no blockbuster moves per se, several contenders improved at the deadline. Looking for a backup point guard and a sharpshooting wing, the Minnesota Timberwolves filled one of the aforementioned needs.
Minnesota sent Shake Milton, Troy Brown Jr., and a 2030 second-round pick for veteran point guard Monte Morris. The former Detroit Pistons' floor general had only appeared in five games this season but has proved to be a solid contributor over the past half-decade.
While the Timberwolves added a much-needed ball handler to the roster, a 3-and-D wing was overlooked. Minnesota was reportedly interested in multiple wings, yet the front office failed to pull the trigger.
Whether it be a lack of tradable assets, dwindling desired players, or contentment with the current roster, the Timberwolves stood pat after acquiring Morris.
Considering Minnesota's need to further bolster the bench unit, we'll highlight five recently traded players that president Tim Connelly should've snagged at the deadline.
5. Ochai Agbaji
A rather nondescript player, Ochai Agbaji, was sent from the Utah Jazz to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Kira Lewis Jr., Otto Porter Jr., and a 2024 first-round draft pick. Agbaji wasn't even the centerpiece in the trade, that would be 32-year-old center Kelly Olynyk.
However, the former Kansas Jayhawk has some tantalizing potential. Selected with the 14th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Agbaji holds career averages of 6.7 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game.
He hasn't proved much, yet his blend of athleticism, shooting, and defensive potential makes him an intriguing prospect. As a senior at Kansas, Agbaji averaged 18.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and shot 40.7 percent from beyond the arc.
At the NBA Draft Combine, the athletic wing recorded a 39-inch vertical jump and ranked sixth amongst all 2022 draft entrants in the three-quarter sprint. In the NBA, his athleticism has stood out on defense.
Agbaji's matchups are shooting 3.1 percent worse when the former Jazz guard is the primary defender. His combination of length and verticality make life difficult for opposing guards. Agbaji's matchups shoot 8.6 percentage points worse on shot attempts from less than six feet.
His defense is already of high quality, nevertheless, he's lacked a consistent 3-point shot and off-the-bounce creation. This season, Agbaji is shooting just 33.1 percent on 2.8 attempts from deep. And despite a low 12.1 percent usage rate, he's averaging nearly as many turnovers as assists.
For the Timberwolves' sake, a player like Agbaji might not help immediately, but he's a fantastic long-term play. With a subpar future cap situation, rostering Agbaji would offer the Wolves a plug-and-play athlete capable of filling Nickeil Alexander-Walker's role if he were to bolt in free agency.
To make matters worse, the Timberwolves only own one first-round pick over the next four years. Adding yet another young player to the core of Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, and Jaden McDaniels would brighten Minnesota's long-term outlook.