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Timberwolves add defensive help and veteran presence by trading for Patrick Beverley

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Phoenix Suns
Jun 28, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley (21) defends Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) in game five of the Western Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Timberwolves acquired point guard Patrick Beverley from the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday for Jarrett Culver and Juancho Hernangomez, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Beverley, who went from the Clippers to the Grizzlies on Sunday in a trade that sent Eric Bledsoe to Los Angeles, will bring a defensive presence that the Wolves are lacking on the court and also provide veteran leadership in the locker room.

The 33-year-old averaged 7.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 37 games for the Clippers last season. He shot 42.3 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from three-point range. Beverley has been named to the NBA’s all-defensive team three times in nine seasons. He spent his first five seasons with the Houston Rockets before being traded to the Clippers in the deal that brought Chris Paul to Houston.

The trade also means that Gersson Rosas, the Wolves’ president of basketball operations, is giving up on his first-ever draft pick for the organization. Culver was taken sixth overall in 2019 by the Phoenix Suns, but a trade had been worked out in which the shooting guard from Texas Tech went to the Wolves. Rosas had made the move — sending the 11th pick and Dario Saric to the Suns — with the hope that he could land guard Darius Garland from Vanderbilt. Cleveland, however, grabbed Garland with the fifth pick.

Culver, 22, spent two seasons with the Wolves, shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 28.8 on three-pointers. He also averaged 7.8 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 97 games. Culver was shut down in April of last season when it was determined he needed right ankle surgery.

Hernangomez’s departure comes as no surprise given the falling out the power forward had with the Wolves this offseason. The Wolves blocked Hernangomez from playing for Spain in the Olympics after he suffered a dislocated shoulder during one of Spain’s scrimmages before the Tokyo Games. Officials from the Spanish Basketball Federation reportedly felt Rosas made a late decision to prevent Hernangomez from playing for his country. Part of the issue was Hernangomez already was in Tokyo when he found out he wouldn’t be allowed to play.

Traded to the Wolves by Denver as part of a four-team deal in 2020, Hernangomez averaged 7.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 52 games last season.