The Minnesota Timberwolves were just one of two Western Conference teams eliminated from the NBA’s season restart, finishing the 2019-20 campaign with a 19-45 record. But with the team’s pre-trade deadline acquisition of D’Angelo Russell giving them some hope for the future, a new report suggested they could add another big scorer to their starting backcourt by trading for Sacramento Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield.
As explained on Thursday in a new list of trade suggestions from Bleacher Report, the duo of Russell and All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns could be enough on its own to give the Timberwolves a “top-five” offense in 2020-21. However, it was noted that the organization appears to be determined to focus primarily on scoring as it rebuilds for the future, hence the recommendation to acquire Hield for rookie guard Jarrett Culver and veteran forward James Johnson during the 2020 offseason.
According to the publication, the hypothetical deal would only pan out if Sacramento was open to trading Hield. At the moment, the team might be “more eager” to do this than most people might think. Despite signing a $94 million extension earlier in the season, the 27-year-old was demoted to the bench in January in favor of Bogdan Bogdanovic. This move appeared to help the Kings become more competitive in the playoff race, as they posted a 13-7 record with the Serbian in the starting lineup, per NBC Sports Bay Area.
Should the transaction push forward as suggested, Minnesota would be getting a player who has averaged 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists and shot 39.5 percent from three-point range, despite his change in role. It remains to be seen, however, whether Hield will continue coming off the bench when regular-season action resumes later this month and Sacramento continues its fight for a playoff spot.
As for the two players heading over to the Kings if the trade idea becomes a reality, Culver finished the 2019-20 campaign with first-year averages of 9.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists and shooting percentages of 40.4 from the field and 29.9 from three-point range, per Basketball-Reference. The 32-year-old Johnson, meanwhile, averaged a well-rounded 12 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.4 blocks in 14 games with the Timberwolves.
Hield is not the only high-scoring guard who has been recommended as a potential offseason trade target for Minnesota. Phoenix Suns standout Devin Booker has been linked to the organization since October 2019, when Russell — who was then with the Golden State Warriors — said he wants to play alongside Booker and Towns at some point in the future.