With close to a week remaining before the 2019-20 NBA regular season kicks off on October 22, neither the Detroit Pistons nor the Minnesota Timberwolves are looking like favorites to go all the way to next year’s Finals. It’s hard to tell whether a blockbuster trade would help improve either team’s fortunes, but as a new report suggests, the Timberwolves could theoretically give superstar center Karl-Anthony Towns the help he needs in the frontcourt by trading for the Pistons’ veteran starting power forward, Blake Griffin.
On Wednesday, Fadeaway World published a list of five NBA stars whom they believe could properly complement Towns in Minnesota, noting that the Timberwolves would need to offer a “solid blend” of current players and future draft picks in order for teams to show interest. While the list included players like Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder) who have previously been linked to the Timberwolves in trade rumors or suggestions, it also featured the less frequently mentioned likes of Griffin, who was described as someone who could “provide toughness and physicality” alongside Towns and his finesse-based game.
Talking about the main reason why it believes Detroit should trade Griffin, Fadeaway World wrote that the Pistons might have to start rebuilding around a perimeter player as their “twin-towers” setup is limited by center Andre Drummond’s lack of shooting range. To this end, the publication suggested that Detroit “would love” to acquire wingman Andrew Wiggins and some “valuable” future draft picks from the Timberwolves in exchange for Griffin, with Minnesota possibly including reserve big man Gorgui Dieng and his expiring contract in the deal in order to match salaries.
“Both [Griffin and Towns] can attract double-teams, and this will make the Wolves particularly tough to beat once they start creating for other players as well,” Fadeaway World explained. “Other players will also start to become interested in joining the Wolves as well.”
Playing for a Pistons team that went 40-42 in the 2018-19 campaign and got eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, the 30-year-old Griffin had a strong all-around season, averaging 24.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.4 assists and shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from beyond the arc, per Basketball-Reference.
As seen in their own Basketball-Reference team page for the 2018-19 season, the Timberwolves struggled despite Towns’ presence at center, posting a 36-46 record and finishing 11th place in the Western Conference. Towns, who was picked first overall by Minnesota in the 2015 NBA Draft, recorded averages of 24.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game, while posting strong shooting percentages from all over the floor — 51.8 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point range, and 83.6 percent from the free-throw line.