The Minnesota Timberwolves made a huge leap forward when they traded for All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. However, despite having two of the most promising stars in the league on their roster, the Timberwolves are still not considered to be a serious threat in the deep Western Conference. In order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and contending for the championship in the 2020-21 season, the Timberwolves should continue adding quality players that complement Karl-Anthony Towns and Russell.
One of the potential trade targets for the Timberwolves this offseason is Terry Rozier of the Charlotte Hornets. In his recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report included the Rozier-to-Timberwolves deal on his list of realistic offseason trades that basketball fans won’t see coming this fall. In the proposed scenario, the Timberwolves would be sending a trade package that includes Jarrett Culver and James Johnson to the Hornets in exchange for Rozier.
The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. Rozier is yet to blossom into an All-Star caliber player, but he would still be a great addition to the Timberwolves. At 26, Rozier perfectly fits the timeline of Towns and Russell. Buckley believes that adding Rozier to their core would help the Timberwolves improve their performance on both ends of the floor, which would help make them become a more competitive team.
“The Timberwolves should continue scouring the market for upgrades. If there’s a way to shake Rozier loose—the $36.8 million he’s owed the next two seasons isn’t exactly cheap—they can push their ceiling even higher. His aggressive on-ball defense would be a welcome addition in this backcourt, and Rozier’s growth as a shooter (40.7 percent from deep, 45.9 on catch-and-shoot threes) would help him settle into a tertiary role. He’s not a star, but his production is near that neighborhood (one of 27 players to average 18 points, four assists and four rebounds). Tack on whichever prospect Minnesota adds at or near the top of the 2020 draft, and this roster could intrigue in a hurry.”
If the trade becomes a reality, it would not only benefit the Timberwolves, but also the Hornets. The Hornets signed Rozier in the 2019 NBA free agency with the hope that he could lead the team in the post-Kemba Walker era. However, with the emergence of Devonte’ Graham, Rozier suddenly became the odd man out in Charlotte.
The potential deal would allow the Hornets to replace Rozier with young talent with lots of superstar potential in Culver. Culver may not be as good as Rozier right now, but Buckley thinks that his two-way versatility makes him a long-term backcourt fit alongside Graham. Though he’s only included in the deal for salary-matching purposes, Johnson could also provide the Hornets with some much-needed reinforcement at the center position next season.