As the Timberwolves continue to struggle this season, Minnesota is set to be more aggressive on the trade market, searching for players who could help Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins bring the team back to the Western Conference Playoffs. In the past few months, the Timberwolves have been linked to several NBA superstars who are expected to be available on the trading block before the February trade deadline. As of now, one of the players who is frequently linked to the Timberwolves is D’Angelo Russell of the Golden State Warriors.
In his recent article, Mandela Namaste of Bleacher Report mentioned several trade ideas for the league’s most desperate buyers this season. For the Timberwolves, Namaste suggested a hypothetical trade deal that would send Russell and Alec Burks to the Timberwolves in exchange for Robert Covington, Gorgui Dieng, a future first-round pick, and two future second-round pick. The deal would work on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
Though they would be sacrificing plenty of valuable trade assets in the potential deal, acquiring a player of Russell’s caliber would definitely be worth it for the Timberwolves. At the age of 23-years-old, Russell perfectly fits the timeline of Towns and Wiggins. He would give the Timberwolves an All-Star-caliber point guard and a very reliable option on the offensive end of the floor. This season, Russell is averaging 21.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 6.3 assists, while shooting 42.4 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Namaste believes that if they grow together and build chemistry, the “Big Three” of Russell, Towns, and Wiggins could set up the Timberwolves “for years of potential contention.”
“Though he hasn’t been quite as good as last season, Russell has still played fairly well for the Warriors and would command a hefty return. The Wolves would have to include Covington, as he is their only starting-caliber player with a high enough salary to match with Russell. Dieng is a filler contract, and the picks make the deal relatively equal. This deal works for both teams in the short and long term. For Minnesota, Towns, Russell and Andrew Wiggins could be one of the best young Big Threes in the NBA and would be set up for years of potential contention.”
The potential deal would not only be beneficial for the Timberwolves, but also for the Warriors. In exchange for Russell, the Warriors would be acquiring a three-and-D wingman in Covington that could complement their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. As compensation for absorbing Dieng’s lucrative deal, the Warriors would also be receiving three future draft picks that they could use to add more young and promising talents, or use as trade chips to further improve their roster.