The newest NBA drama seems to be brewing in New Orleans. The Pelicans are dealing with a lot of Zion Williamson speculation because of his foot injury and the rumors suggesting he wants out. If Williamson is made available for a trade, the Minnesota Timberwolves should look to make a move after missing out on Ben Simmons.
Zion has been out due to injury for the entire season. Also, his reluctance to reach out to CJ McCollum caught the attention of JJ Redick, a former Pelicans guard, who called him a “detached teammate.” Zion has since reached out, but the situation around the Pelicans seems to be very toxic. The front office might be forced to trade Williamson, and many teams will be in line to acquire him if that is the ultimate strategy.
One such team could be Minnesota. Here are two reasons why the Timberwolves must trade for Zion Williamson this offseason.
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for free trial)*
Timberwolves Zion Williamson Trade Breakdown
The Timberwolves have some sort of legacy of failure. The franchise has only made nine playoff appearances in 33 years, and most of those came through the play of franchise legend Kevin Garnett. They have only made one playoff appearance in the last 18 years, and even that team was infamous just a few months after that due to the Jimmy Butler drama. It should change this year when the 32-29 Timberwolves hopefully make the postseason, but it does not change the fact that relevance is a foreign word in Minnesota, at least in terms of their NBA team.
Yet, if they add Zion Williamson to their promising young core, the Timberwolves could set themselves up for years and years in the postseason. Their roster this season is full of hungry, young guys who are ready to really make a splash in the NBA Playoffs. Out of their top four scorers this season, the oldest one is Karl-Anthony Towns, who is still just 26 years old. He is joined by 25-year-old D’Angelo Russell and 20-year-old Anthony Edwards.
If Zion Williamson is added to the mix, that would work perfectly with the trajectory of the franchise. With him being 22 in July of this year, the Timberwolves have a unique opportunity to put together a team competent to fight for the title right away but also expected to be relevant for years to come as all these players hit their primes.
Of course, it is tough to assume what the Timberwolves need to give up to even get a shot at landing Williamson. They are likely keeping Towns and Edwards, so it might be a case of guys like Russell and Malik Beasley leaving. Even in that case, the trio of Towns, Edwards, and Williamson should be able to contend now and in the far future, provided they avoid major injuries. If they can even string a few playoff appearances together, the Timberwolves should come back to the state of relevance they had when KG was there in the mid-2000s.
Fit with Karl-Anthony Towns
The Timberwolves already have their franchise cornerstone in Towns. He is now a three-time All-Star and a true leader of the squad, meaning that all the Timberwolves need to do is fill the roster out around him. They did a great job picking out Anthony Edwards with the first pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and also by adding D’Angelo Russell in a trade with the Warriors. This core might take the Timberwolves to the postseason, but if they want to go to a different level, pairing up Towns and Zion Williamson has to be priority number one, should the Pelicans make him available.
In theory, the duo should look great together. Towns is a center, but he can play outside as well. He famously called himself the best shooting big man in NBA history, and while that claim can be challenged, he is still a great shooter for his position. He is connecting on 40.9% of his 3-pointers this season on 5.2 attempts per game and just won the 3-Point Contest. Due to all this, he can make a deadly twin-tower duo with Williamson, based on their skill sets, which the Timberwolves could use to destroy their opponents.
Towns can play out on the perimeter, thus leaving out space for Zion Williamson to operate in the middle. By doing that, the Timberwolves would be making their opponents pick their poison, choosing to either leave Towns or give Williamson single coverage in the middle, which is a tough task even for the best inside defenders in the league. Additionally, Williamson is a gifted passer who would bring another element to a dangerous Timberwolves offense.
There are endless possibilities for both Williamson and the Timberwolves, should he become available for trade. Williamson could find a long-term mate in the frontcourt he can dominate with, while the Timberwolves would have a ridiculously talented core to build around for the immediate and long-term future. If the Pelicans make Zion Williamson available, the Timberwolves should be there to call them immediately.