Despite missing the Western Conference Playoffs last season, the Minnesota Timberwolves haven’t made any major roster upgrades this summer. The Timberwolves may currently have one of the most dominant big men in the league in Karl-Anthony Towns, but with their current roster, it remains a big question whether they are capable of making a huge noise in the 2019-20 NBA season. If they are serious about fully dominating the Western Conference and contending for the 2020 NBA championship title, the Timberwolves should strongly consider surrounding Towns with a better supporting cast.
According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Timberwolves could build a competitive roster around Karl-Anthony Towns by engaging in a blockbuster deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. In the proposed trade deal, the Timberwolves will be sending a trade package including Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague, Gorgui Dieng, a 2020 first-round pick, and a 2022 second-round pick to the Thunder in exchange for Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari, and Nerlens Noel. If the trade becomes a reality, it would help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
The potential deal would allow the Timberwolves to acquire two All-Star caliber veterans in Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari who could help Karl-Anthony Towns carry the team in the 2019-20 NBA season.
“Even if a 34-year-old Paul isn’t quite a Point God, he’s still several tiers above Jeff Teague. While Paul landed fourth among point guards in RPM last season, Teague was buried down at 40th. Paul is a more advanced shot-creator, a more discerning decision-maker, a sharper outside shooter and a more disruptive defender. Danilo Gallinari would complete this group’s playoff-caliber scoring trio. The 6’10” scoring forward was an offensive fireball last season, landing 11th overall in offensive real plus-minus. He outpaced his career averages from every shooting level, resulting in a pristine 46.3/43.3/90.4 slash line.”
Nerlens Noel isn’t just a salary-cap filler as he would give the Timberwolves a quality rim protector. As Buckley noted, Noel could battle against Jordan Bell and Noah Vonleh for the starting center position in Minnesota. Meanwhile, the deal would allow the Thunder to open up a huge chunk of their salary cap space while acquiring a young and promising talent in Andrew Wiggins and future draft picks that could help them speed up the rebuilding process.
Andrew Wiggins is yet to live up to expectations from the massive contract he signed with the Timberwolves, but being on a team where he could receive a bigger role on the offensive end of the floor could help him unleash his full potential. Unlike in Minnesota where they have Karl-Anthony Towns as the face of the franchise, Wiggins could become the centerpiece of the title-contending team that the Thunder will try to build in the post-Westbrook era.