The Minnesota Timberwolves are poised to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2003-04 NBA season. The Timberwolves are making great progress under head coach Tom Thibodeau, but they still need to make bold moves to line themselves up with elite teams in the league.
According to Trey Flynn of Dunking With The Wolves, the Timberwolves should consider trading for Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside this summer. Flynn suggested that Minnesota should trade Andrew Wiggins and Gorgui Dieng in exchange for Whiteside, Dion Waiters, and Derrick Jones Jr. He is convinced that the trade would put both teams in a better position to compete in the next several seasons.
The Heat will lose their starting center, who looked indispensable a year ago. Whiteside was previously considered as the main building block of the Heat, but the emergence of rookie center Bam Adebayo turned the tables around. Trading Whiteside would give Adebayo more room to develop his game.
The suggested trade would also give the Heat a promising guard in Wiggins. The 23-year-old guard is reportedly unhappy with his role in Minnesota, Darren Wolfson of KSTP said, according to Derek James of 1500 ESPN. Moving to Miami would give Wiggins a bigger role, especially if Dwyane Wade decides to retire after this season.
Wiggins would be one of their first options in offense, and he can definitely score, as he is averaging 18.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game this season. Dieng’s impact would be felt on the other end of the floor. The 28-year-old averaged at least 5.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in the past three seasons before his minutes went down this year.
On the other hand, the Timberwolves would get an elite starting center in Whiteside. The 28-year-old is averaging 14.3 points and 11.8 rebounds per game this season. Flynn said that Whiteside would give the Timberwolves a solid inside presence on both ends of the floor, a center who could impress Thibodeau, who is a defensive-minded coach.
Whiteside is blocking 1.7 shots per game this season. He could take a lot of pressure off Karl-Anthony Towns’ shoulders. More importantly, the Timberwolves could create mismatches, as they can move Towns to the four spot. Whiteside’s arrival would also give Towns the chance to utilize his three-point shooting ability.
Moreover, Waiters could bring additional scoring punch to the Timberwolves. Before undergoing a season-ending ankle surgery, the 26-year-old guard averaged 14.3 points per game. He could also become a trade asset along with Jones if ever they fail to live up to expectations.