Gersson Rosas hit the reset button on the Timberwolves’ roster on Tuesday night by making the Wolves part of a four-team, 12-player trade that will give the club a much-different look when it takes the court on Wednesday night against Atlanta at Target Center.
In a deal that will leave you dizzy, the Wolves reportedly dealt Robert Covington and Jordan Bell to Houston, sent Shabazz Napier, Keita Bates-Diop and Noah Vonleh to Denver and got back Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez and Jarred Vanderbilt from the Nuggets and Evan Turner from the Hawks, along with a 2020 Atlanta first-round pick that comes via the Brooklyn Nets. Beasley, Turner and Hernangomez are all on expiring contracts.
Other big names in the trade that involved the Rockets, Hawks, Wolves and Nuggets included Clint Capela and Nene going to Atlanta and Denver getting Gerald Green and a first-round pick from Houston.
The decision to move the 29-year-old Covington doesn’t come as a surprise considering he wasn’t part of the Wolves’ rebuild under Rosas, who is in his first season with the franchise. Covington was obtained from Philadelphia last season in the Jimmy Butler trade. He was averaging 12.8 points and 6.0 rebounds this season but his departure creates potentially important cap flexibility for the Wolves.
The Wolves started the season 10-8 but are now 15-34 and have lost 12 consecutive games.
The trade came after a report by The Athletic on Tuesday evening that the Golden State Warriors were “moving on from D’Angelo Russell conversations with Minnesota at this juncture.” The Wolves have been attempting to work a deal for Russell because they want to pair the point guard with his good friend Karl-Anthony Towns. But The Athletic reported that Golden State had been clear with the Wolves on their price point and Rosas was not willing to meet it.
This seems more like the art of bargaining than anything.
With the NBA trade deadline set for 2 p.m. Thursday, it’s likely the Wolves will go back at Golden State with a few final offers. The acquisition of the Nets’ first-round pick likely means Minnesota will attempt to package that, along with its own unprotected 2020 first-round pick, and other assets in an attempt to get Russell before it’s too late, at least for this season.