The Timberwolves look playoff bound right now, which would be the first time in 13 seasons if they follow through. To get there healthy, they need to have players that will ease some of the workload for everyone. Coach Tom Thibodeau is currently playing his key players at a high amount of minutes per game, and could use players that would ease everyone’s workload while still keeping the season going strong. There may be a few different options to do this. While the need for a solid wing player who fit the Three and D mold, a strong guard may also help out. There may be a few potential options out there on teams that are looking to acquire whatever assets they can for the players whose salaries they may want to move off their books. Along with pick compensation, most trades for Minnesota would be sending away a non-guaranteed contract such as Marcus Georges-Hunt, a similar contract, or a contract that is expiring like Aaron Brooks.
5. Devin Harris
Trade Summary: Timberwolves Trade Marcus Georges-Hunt and Aaron Brooks to the Mavericks for Devin Harris
Devin Harris has been playing solid defense this season and still looks to have gas in the tank. While he isn’t the perfect player for Tom Thibodeau, the point guard can provide defense and some scoring on a cheap expiring contract until the team figures out s long term answer this upcoming offseason. This would be a questionable move but with Teague already having one injury this season, the need for an experienced point guard in case of another injury is increased. It isn’t the flashiest move, but does give the team some experienced depth at the position.
4. Vince Carter
Trade Summary: Timberwolves Trade Cole Aldrich and a 2018 2nd round pick to the Kings for Vince Carter
Still playing well at this age, Vince Carter has shown he still can contribute in a game at a professional level. While he’s seemed to have a lesser role this year, Vince wants to play more than anything right now which led him to Sacramento, and would likely get the minutes he wants in Minnesota. This could be a sneaky good trade if it happened, as long as Thibodeau thinks that Carter can still play at a high level. So far he has proven that though, and Vince Carter could end up being the extra factor that the Timberwolves need for the long haul.
While none of these trades may seem like huge deals outside of the potential acquisition of Lou Williams, the idea of it isn’t to make a huge splash since the team has done that already. The idea is to acquire a solid player with enough experience that they can slide into the teams rotation and cut down the other’s minutes right away. If the Timberwolves don’t make a trade for a player to help ease the minutes for others, then they’ll be in for a potentially rough time come playoffs when other teams are in better shape due to less of a minutes burden on them. Any of the moves listed would accomplish the goal of staying fresh come playoff time.
3. Tony Allen
Trade Summary: Timberwolves Trade Marcus Georges-Hunt and a 2018 2nd round pick to the Pelicans for Tony Allen
Tony Allen would be a solid addition to Minnesota. While he’s on the older end of the spectrum for a defensive player, the grindfather still has gas left in the tank and is ready to add to a playoff bound team defensively. He’s currently doing that for the Pelicans, but a lot can happen in the run up to the trade deadline. If the Pelicans fall out of the playoff standings or are given several offers for key members of their team, Allen may be available. A good move to grab a pick and young player on the Pelicans end if they feel the need to move one or many contracts may be a good sign to the Timberwolves to trade for some help. Tony Allen being on an expiring contract makes for a perfect and cheap move to add veteran depth for the playoffs.
2. Derrick Rose
Trade Summary: Timberwolves Trade Marcus Georges-Hunt and a 2018 2nd round pick to the Cavaliers for Derrick Rose
While this may seem like a waste of time and bad fit to some, but Derrick Rose is still a former player of Thibodeau’s. His familiarity with him is known, and there was believed to be interest this past offseason in Rose rejoining him in Minnesota. The one detractor was his salary, but that shouldn’t be a holdup now that he is on a one year deal with the Cavs.
While his future is still unknown, a familiar system and relationship could revive his all star play. A perfect match could be waiting to happen, if Tom Thibodeau is ready to take a second chance on his former MVP player. Cleveland may go for this deal since it free up a roster spot potentially, and provides more draft capital for any potential Cavs trades in the future.
1. Lou Williams
Trade Summary: Timberwolves trade Cole Aldrich, a 2018 2nd round pick, and a 2022 1st round pick to the Clippers for Lou Williams
While defense is a known facet of Tom Thibodeau’s coaching style, they still have to score points to win games. This move helps to get some professional scoring. Lou Williams has proven to be a consistent 6th man, while also showing strong ability as a starter this year. With his high level performance this year, Lou Williams may command a steeper price than originally thought in a trade. With what the Timberwolves are aiming to this season though, a later first round pick or more shouldn’t be too high of a price for Minnesota’s first playoff run in over a decade. Lou gives the team a solid additional option, a spot starter, and a high scoring threat that some teams won’t want to face.
This trade depends on the Clippers record, roster situation, and injuries. A light fire sale for their team wouldn’t surprise many considering the looming free agency of DeAndre Jordan, as well as the potential movements of others on their roster. Only time will tell what happens, but this trade could have bigger implications than most would think.