After a 2017-18 campaign that ended with their first postseason appearance in 13 years, the Minnesota Timberwolves took a step back last season, finishing with a 36-46 regular-season record and missing the playoffs once again. With that in mind, former first-overall draft pick Andrew Wiggins has been the subject of several trade rumors this offseason, as many believe the 24-year-old wingman hasn’t developed as expected since winning Rookie of the Year honors in 2015. But could Wiggins’ immediate future involve a trade to his hometown team, the Toronto Raptors?
On Thursday, Bleacher Report‘s Zach Buckley suggested five trades that the Timberwolves could pull off in order to better complement superstar center Karl-Anthony Towns on the court. These included a theoretical deal that would send Wiggins, reserve forward Jake Layman, and a lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick to Toronto in exchange for veteran guard Kyle Lowry. As Buckley explained, the Raptors reportedly have no immediate plans to trade their older starters, but in Lowry’s case, the team has a potentially good replacement in erstwhile backup point guard Fred VanVleet.
Furthermore, Buckley wrote that Lowry was once rumored to be on top of the Timberwolves’ 2017 “wish list,” and, even at the age of 33, is still considered by multiple sources to be one of the best at his position in the NBA.
Should the aforementioned trade push forward, Lowry could contribute immediately to the Timberwolves as their starting point guard, which would allow Minnesota to trade incumbent starter Jeff Teague for “additional help,” Buckley noted. He added that Lowry, while not a long-term solution at the point, could also play a similar “second point guard role” to the one Derrick Rose played last season and, regardless of his role, help set up Towns for a career year in 2019-20.
Regarding the suggested deal’s likely impact on the Raptors, Buckley explained that the team has “long had an affinity” for Wiggins, given that rumors from 2017 suggested that Toronto was considering sending DeMar DeRozan – who has since moved to the San Antonio Spurs – to Minnesota for the Canadian wingman.
As Kawhi Leonard joined the Los Angeles Clippers as a free agent in July, Wiggins could help replace his contributions on the offensive end, while adding to the Raptors’ “incredible collection of length, athleticism and versatility” as a perimeter defender.
Based on the recommended trade package, however, the Timberwolves won’t be able to ship Andrew Wiggins to the Raptors until December 15. This is because one of its components — former Portland Trail Blazers forward Layman — was signed by Minnesota as a free agent in the summer.
This isn’t the first time that Bleacher Report has suggested that the Timberwolves could make a deal for Kyle Lowry at some point in the future. As reported by The Inquisitr, the outlet wrote in August that the team could potentially send Teague, backup big man Gorgui Dieng, and three future draft picks to the Raptors in exchange for the five-time All-Star point guard.