The Minnesota Timberwolves are likely headed to the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 NBA season. But while they are poised to end their long playoff drought, they might still be several pieces away from becoming a serious threat to top title contenders like the Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, and Cleveland Cavaliers.
San Antonio Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard might be placed on the trading block after this season. And if the Spurs decide to move on from Leonard, Trey Flynn of Dunking With The Wolves said that the Timberwolves should aggressively try to finalize a trade to acquire the two-time All-Star in the offseason.
Leonard, who is considered as the best two-way player in the league, has only played nine games this season due to a quad injury. Previous reports indicated that there is a growing tension between the Spurs and their top superstar, which could lead to a fallout in the offseason.
In fact, Brian Windhorst of ESPN said on Outside the Lines that teams are preparing to reach out to the Spurs about a possible Leonard trade, according to RealGM. Flynn believes that the Timberwolves would be in a good position to finalize a deal with the Spurs because they have the assets to convince San Antonio.
Flynn said that the Timberwolves should offer Andrew Wiggins, Tyus Jones, and a 2018 first-round pick to San Antonio in exchange for Leonard. The Timberwolves would lose two promising players and a pick, which might look costly, but getting a player of Leonard’s caliber is too good to pass up.
Leonard can do damage on both ends of the floor, and would significantly improve their starting lineup. They will parade a starting five of Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Leonard, barring any other trades. It would be one of the strongest starting lineups on paper in the entire league.
On the other hand, the deal would also make sense for the Spurs. First, they will get rid of a player who appears frustrated with the franchise. Second, they will acquire a budding superstar in Wiggins, who can finally realize his potential playing under Gregg Popovich.
Jones would be an ideal backup to Dejounte Murray. Tony Parker is playing the backup role this season, but it remains to be seen whether the superstar playmaker would still return to San Antonio next season. On the other hand, the pick would give them a chance to address other position needs either through the draft or in another trade.