NBA rumors continue to swirl around Zach LaVine leaving the Minnesota Timberwolves in a possible trade deal for a veteran player, multiple media outlets have indicated.
In fact, some league sources expect Minnesota Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau will trade Zach LaVine for a veteran player to boost his team’s lineup, according to NBA.com. Zach LaVine brings enough to the table to entice other NBA franchises to take a chance on developing this athlete’s skills, one league analyst explained in the article.
” LaVine’s crazy athleticism and upside could make him the most likely one to move. Truth is, [Tom Thibodeau would] likely be open to trading anybody but Karl-Anthony Towns or Andrew Wiggins in order to bring in a veteran who can stabilize the lineup and teach it lessons.”
Since the Minnesota Timberwolves started the season a dismal 5-10, rumors started springing up in NBA circles that the team could move one of its young stars — including Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns or Ricky Rubio — in order to pick up a veteran capable of restoring order to the team’s roster. Yet these new NBA rumors have focused on Zach LaVine as the “most likely” player on the Minnesota roster to be leaving before the trade deadline.
The reason Zach LaVine is drawing so much focus is the player’s improvement from his rookie season to today, Fansided explained using advanced metrics. With Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio and Karl-Anthony Towns dominating minutes for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Zach LaVine may flourish as a trade would send the UCLA prodigy away from the defensive-minded Tom Thibodeau.
Zach LaVine may have earned a spot in Tom Thibodeau’s dog house — and his ticket out of Minnesota — as the high-flying guard continues to put his rim-rocking talents to the test during games. Recently, Zach LaVine landed a dunk over Phoenix Suns center Alex Len that made numerous highlight reels and drew praise for its intensity.
Yet when Tom Thibodeau was asked about the Zach LaVine dunk after the game — a 98-85 victory to snap the Minnesota Timberwolves’ three-game losing streak — the coach was anything but joyous, the Washington Post reported. The predictably task-oriented Tom Thibodeau talked about putting a higher value on winning than dunks for his young Minnesota Timberwolves squad.
“I don’t get excited about stuff like that. I get excited about stuff that wins… I hope we can get to the point where we’re talking about the things that go into winning, and get away from the sideshows.”
Indeed, the NBA.com article pointed out the same reason that Zach LaVine may soon depart the Minnesota Timberwolves. As a two-time defending NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion, high-flying acts that excite the crowd make Zach LaVine a desirable player for several NBA franchises — just not necessarily the one where he’s currently playing.
“It’s one thing to entertain crowds and win Dunk Contests. It’s quite another to make coach Tom Thibodeau happy by delivering consistently.”
Prior to the NBA rumors focusing on Zach LaVine, another Minnesota Timberwolves player was the center of attention for trade chatter. Andrew Wiggins — the 2014-2015 NBA Rookie of the Year — was being hailed as a potential trade asset for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Inquisitr reported.
The Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t the only team with a losing record looking to shake up their roster. NBA rumors have suggested the Washington Wizards are looking to trade up to six of their players in order to turn around the team’s fortunes.
Do you believe the NBA rumors that the Minnesota Timberwolves will trade Zach LaVine in their quest to find a veteran leader? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Featured Image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]