“Outside The Box” Thinking Could Still Land Devin Booker in Minnesota

Photo: David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves won the draft lottery, securing the number one overall pick in this upcoming draft. It appears likely that Gersson Rosas will be doing everything he can to land a superstar for that pick, but it’s not that simple.

As we have all heard many times this offseason, the upcoming draft doesn’t have that “number one” guy, like Zion Williamson. Of course, that makes the pick less valuable because the top three or four picks are all similar talents. It’s unlikely anyone gives up a guy like Booker or Simmons, for a package centered around the Wolves’ #1 pick, so Rosas will have to get creative. Luckily, he has shown he can do that.

Last trade deadline, Rosas made a ton of moves that were overshadowed by the D’Angelo Russell acquisition. Here is a list of everyone that went in and out of the Minnesota Timberwolves roster.

D’Angelo RussellAndrew Wiggins
Malik BeasleyGorgue Dieng
Juan HernangomezKeita Bates-Diop
James JohnsonShabazz Napier
Evan TurnerJordan Bell
2020 1st (Nets)Noah Vonleh
Omari SpellmanRobert Covington
Jacob Evans2021 1st (Protected)
2022 2nd
Transactions (ESPN)

Somehow, Rosas managed to get rid of the robust franchise anchors that were Andrew Wiggins’ ($29.5 million through 2023) and Gorgui Dieng’s ($16.5 million through 2021) salaries. Both seemed impossible to move out, for the longest time. 

Here is an example of just one realistic “outside the box” idea, that Rosas could use to complete his quest for a third superstar. Here is a look at the current draft order for 2020.

First: Trade down and acquire assets

Example: Timberwolves trade the #1 pick to the Knicks for the #8 pick and their 2021 first.

Now the Timberwolves take someone at 8 and they have an excellent first round pick next year. Here’s where it gets a bit complicated. The Wolves now own the #8 pick, an almost guaranteed top 5 pick in 2021 along with their current assets. 

Perhaps now you can start looking for that third guy to pair with Towns and Russel. Do the Suns accept this trade?

Devin Booker for the #8 pick in 2020, the Knicks 2021 pick (likely top-5), Jarrett Culver, James Johnson, and Omari Spellman. 

Of course someone like Ben Simmons or Bradley Beal could be involved in the same type of package. 

I don’t think the Minnesota Timberwolves are going to acquire their third superstar with the assets they currently hold. Rosas might have to orchestrate one or two trades before going all in on Booker/Simmons/Beal/(whoever you keep getting mad at me for forgetting about). It can be done, but it won’t be easy.

Maybe I’m wrong and Booker pulls a Jimmy Butler act to get out of Phoenix immediately, but that seems unlikely right now. 

Towns and Russell will need that third guy if the Wolves really want to make some noise in the west. Maybe it doesn’t happen as soon as we’d like, but you can bet Rosas will do everything he can to seal a deal.

——————————————————————– Let me know what you think either via email or on Twitter. Thanks!

Cooper Carlson | Minnesota Sports Fan

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