Minnesota Timberwolves Linked to Potential Trade For All-Star PG

Minnesota Timberwolves
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Right now, the Minnesota Timberwolves are focused entirely on their NBA Playoffs matchup with the Denver Nuggets. But soon enough, Timberwolves president Tim Connelly, or perhaps his replacement, will have to make several key roster decisions this summer.

One of the biggest questions lurking in Minnesota’s future is their salary cap situation. With Anthony Edward and Jaden McDaniels’ contract extensions set to kick in, the Timberwolves’ payroll will soar in 2024-25. Right now, without making any moves, the Wolves are projected to push into the second apron of the NBA’s salary cap, costing them more in taxes.

Another area of importance is the team’s point guard future. While Mike Conley is under contract for two more seasons, he’s also set to turn 37 next season, and there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to play 76 out of 82 regular season games again. With both Conley’s future and the Timberwolves’ point guard outlook currently unknown, now some are wondering if Minnesota is plotting an even bigger move this summer.

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Could Minnesota Timberwolves pursue Darius Garland?

Darius Garland, Minnesota Timberwolves
Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

One name that’s become increasingly popular is Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star point guard Darius Garland. Recently eliminated from the playoffs, the Cavaliers are a strong bet to make some changes this offseason. That could even include parting with Garland, who reportedly wants to leave Cleveland if the team commits to a long-term extension with Donovan Mitchell.

“For Garland, a source shared with Right Down Euclid that a dark horse that could try to acquire him is the Minnesota Timberwolves. Since 2019, when Minnesota tried to trade up to select Garland in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Timberwolves have been fans of Garland’s game and need a succession plan for current starting veteran guard Mike Conley. Garland could fit that mold perfectly and could play in harmony next to Anthony Edwards as a pass-first, score-second option in a theoretical backcourt.

While it would take a lot financially for a trade since Garland currently owns the richest contract in Cleveland franchise history. But, if the desire is still there, then the Timberwolves could try and reignite the idea of Garland being their franchise guard and with his mammoth salary, could give the Cavaliers some interesting pieces to continue building around Mitchell.”

RDE’s Evan Dammarell on Darius Garland link to Timberwolves

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Timberwolves tried adding Garland before

As mentioned, Garland has been of interest to Minnesota’s front office in the past.

Back in 2019, the Timberwolves reportedly traded up to the sixth pick in the NBA Draft in an attempt to land Garland. But the Timberwolves never got their chance to add the score-first point guard, as Cleveland selected him fifth overall, just one pick ahead of Minnesota.

While Tim Connelly was not making decisions for the Timberwolves back then, current executive vice president Sachin Gupta was. If Connelly leaves this offseason, it’s possible Gupta gets a promotion, unless Minnesota is truly still targeting a reunion with Calvin Booth.

Either way, the Timberwolves do have a long-term need at point guard, and being that Garland is still just 24, he’d fit the competitive timeline when paired with Anthony Edwards. Clutch Points’ Brett Siegel agrees with the notion that the Wolves could chase after Garland.

“One team that could show interest in Garland is the Minnesota Timberwolves. Before the Cavs selected Garland fifth overall in 2018, the Timberwolves attempted to move up in the draft to grab him, sources said. Minnesota owned the sixth pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, and they ended up with Jarrett Culver, who currently plays in the G League. Mike Conley recently signed a two-year extension with the Timberwolves, but he is not their long-term franchise point guard. Conley and Mitchell remain close friends after sharing a backcourt with one another in Utah.”

ClutchPoints’ Brett Siegel on Garland’s link to Timberwolves

However, while adding Garland’s 18 PPG and 6.5 APG to the Timberwolves’ lineup sounds enticing, wait until you see how much he makes.

While Conley is set to cost the Timberwolves just $9.9 million next season, Garland is on a max-level contract and is set to make $36.7 million next season. Not to mention, he also has a 15% trade bonus worked into his contract, meaning any team that trades for him will have to pay a 15% increase on his salary.

Oddly enough, Karl-Anthony Towns also has a 10% trade kicker attached to his maximum contract, but his estimated cap hit is much larger at $49.3 million.

In other words, the Timberwolves do have the matching salary to appease the NBA’s trade rules, and KAT would be an ideal pairing with Evan Mobley or Jarrett Allen if the Cavaliers wanted to inject more scoring and floor spacing into their starting five. Yet, we still don’t necessarily know whether the Timberwolves are actually interested in a Garland trade.

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