What Trade Deadline Juice is Worth the Squeeze for Timberwolves?
With the NBA trade deadline rapidly approaching (March 25,) rumors involving the Minnesota Timberwolves have been flying. Most reports involving the pups surround their veteran players. The list includes Ricky Rubio, Jake Layman, Ed Davis, and Juancho Hernangomez.
Pictured: the man who told hoopshype they were receiving calls pic.twitter.com/dnwQQF87ZK— Trenton Hassles Carmelo (@TrentonHassles) March 14, 2021
The Wolves will make moves. How big will they be?
The Wolves currently own the worst record in the NBA at 8-30, so trying to sell off veterans to playoff teams at the deadline should be no surprise at all. But how much are these players truly worth? Gersson Rosas traded a second round pick for Ed Davis before the season and he hasn’t played since early February. Layman and Hernangomez have both been in the lineup a bit more of late but both had terrible starts to their seasons. Right now, Ricky Rubio is the only player with any value and he hasn’t been very good either.
One way or another, a couple of these players will probably be moved in the next couple weeks for marginal assets, like late second round picks or younger, non-rotation players. But the other, and more exciting way for the Wolves to unload some of these veterans, would be as salary filler in a blockbuster trade for a legitimate cornerstone player. Those rumors were flying last week and revolved mostly around John Collins (Hawks) and Aaron Gordon (Magic).
Timberwolves love John Collins
If Rosas were to go blockbuster at the deadline, his likely target is John Collins from Atlanta. The Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly “dying” to trade for Collins.
“People keep telling me The Timberwolves are dying to have John Collins & want him BAD”.— The Daily Wolves (@TheDailyWolves) March 12, 2021
per Jackie MacMullan on the Bill Simmons podcast.
A trade for someone like Collins isn’t as simple as Ricky Rubio plus Ed Davis and a late pick. Why in the hell would Atlanta do that? To get John Collins the Wolves would have to part with someone like Malik Beasley or Anthony Edwards, at the least.
Could the Wolves part with someone like Malik Beasley (plus salary-filler veterans) to get Collins? If you’re wanting fireworks over the next couple weeks then you’d better hope so. These veterans alone won’t net the Minnesota Timberwolves anything significant in return. The logistical route to acquiring Collins is a nightmare, reportedly, so we’ll see how BADLY Rosas and Co wants to make a deal.
Time to say goodbye to Rubio?
As mentioned earlier, Ricky Rubio is the most interesting veteran trade chip Rosas holds. Minnesota acquired him to be a backup point guard and strong mentor for their many young players. He is clearly excelling at the latter half of that equation. Anthony Edwards sang his praises this weekend.
Anthony Edwards is trying to take over a leadership role on this team.— jace frederick (@JaceFrederick) March 12, 2021
Said he’s taken bits and pieces on leadership from watching Ricky Rubio
Ant said Rubio is the best leader he’s ever been around
A big reason Ricky Rubio was brought in this offseason was to help Anthony Edwards— jace frederick (@JaceFrederick) March 12, 2021
Ant tonight on how Rubio has done that pic.twitter.com/86tVPkkAKa
If Rubio really is important to the any type of development for the younger pups, does it make sense to flip him for a (likely) worthless 2nd rounder? This team is already the youngest team in the league. On paper, trading Rubio has made sense for a while now. But after reading that quote from Anthony Edwards, trading Rubio could do a lot more harm than it could good. Ricky has another year on his deal. Hold out on trading him unless you get an offer that blows you away.
Cooper Carlson | Minnesota Sports Fan