NBA Trade Rumors: James Johnson Key To Timberwolves' Acquisition Of Devin Booker In 2020 Offseason

The Minnesota Timberwolves made a huge step forward toward keeping the face of the franchise, Karl-Anthony Towns, committed to their long-term plans with the successful acquisition of D'Angelo Russell before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. However, in order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and contending for the NBA championship title, the Timberwolves obviously need to surround Towns and Russell with more star power. One of the NBA superstars that the Timberwolves could target this summer is Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns.

Booker has been frequently linked to rumors involving Towns and Russell, especially after the three of them revealed they dreamed of playing together on one NBA team. After what is expected to be a 10-year playoff drought, Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report revealed that the Suns would discuss trading Booker in the 2020 NBA offseason and specifically mentioned the Timberwolves as a possible suitor. However, Pincus said that the Timberwolves' successful acquisition of Booker depends on whether James Johnson will opt into his $16 million contract for next season before the 2020 NBA Draft.

"The Phoenix Suns are at least willing to discuss moving their best scorer in Devin Booker, albeit at a premium. One team to keep an eye on would be the Minnesota Timberwolves, who would like to help Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell with Booker. The challenge might be convincing James Johnson to opt in to his $16 million salary for 2020-21 ahead of the draft. That's more money than Johnson is likely to make in free agency, but timing is everything. If he delays, he won't be available to the Wolves to help match Booker's $27.3 million salary."
Aside from convincing Johnson to immediately opt in, the Timberwolves should also come up with an offer that would be too hard for the Suns to resist. In the potential blockbuster deal involving Booker, the Timberwolves would likely be needing to include several young players and multiple future draft picks in the trade package that they would send to Phoenix. Bringing Booker to Minnesota would be expensive, but it would be worth it for the Timberwolves.

If they succeed to acquire Booker, the Timberwolves would have three All-Star caliber players who have yet to reach their peak. If Booker, Towns, and Russell grow together and build good chemistry, a formidable "Big Three" could soon rise in Minnesota and make the Timberwolves a team to fear in the deep Western Conference.