Grade the Trade: Minnesota acquires All-Star guard in mock deal with Atlanta

Indiana Pacers v Atlanta Hawks
Indiana Pacers v Atlanta Hawks / Paras Griffin/GettyImages
1 of 4

The NBA trade season is heating up. Rumors are spreading like wildfire before the February trade deadline. As for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the rumor mill is relatively quiet. The Timberwolves don't have any glaring holes on the roster and currently sit at first in the Western Conference with a 27-11 record.

A trade including Minnesota isn't a far-fetched idea, but an ascending team like the Timberwolves is less likely to make a move than an average or below-average squad. The lineup combination of Mike Conley, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Rudy Gobert has played the seventh most minutes of all five-man lineups in the NBA.

Substitute Nickeil Alexander-Walker in for McDaniels, and that lineup ranks 36th in the NBA in minutes played. Among all quintets to record at least 100 minutes this season, the group including Alexander-Walker ranks second in defensive rating.

The Timberwolves roster is both deep and strong at the top. A move doesn't necessarily need to be made. But, it doesn't hurt to further improve the roster. One position stands out more so than others, point guard.

Mike Conley has played with extreme efficiency and ranks third on the team in plus/minus. However, Conley is 36 years old, playing in the final year of his contract. He's the perfect placeholder for the young Wolves roster. Nevertheless, shipping Conley out for a younger alternative would elongate Minnesota's title window.

Recent reports have come to light of the Atlanta Hawks' willingness to move on from All-Star guard, Dejounte Murray. Although Murray has suited up at shooting guard more often than not over the past two seasons, his true position is point guard.

In Murray's final season in San Antonio, he averaged 9.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game. A move to Atlanta has led to a dip in both assists and steals, but he is shooting a career-high 39.7 percent from distance this season.

The Washington product's fit on the Hawks roster has never been seamless. Atlanta revolves around Trae Young, who works best as a primary ball handler, limiting Murray's on-ball reps. Additionally, better suited as a point guard defender, Murray has spent time defending multiple positions other than the point.

While Minnesota may not have the best package to tempt the Hawks, the Wolves are still a viable landing spot. Here, we'll discuss a hypothetical trade, and then grade the trade for each squad.