The trade deadline is almost here in the NBA and it’s already been a relatively wild trade season. The Wolves actually opened it up way back in November when they traded with Philadelphia. It’s been a wild season since then, both in Minnesota and across the league.
The Wolves are a team that will likely be pretty quiet at this week’s deadline, but it’s fun to think about. Player movement is big in the NBA, and the Wolves are no exception to that.
Below are all of the Wolves players on the roster that are eligible to be traded (you cannot trade players on 10-day contracts or 2-way contracts, so sorry Isaiah Canaan, Jared Terrell, and C.J. Williams) and the likelihood that they’re dealt, and at what cost.
Anthony Tolliver – Medium high
– Tolliver has seen his playing time fluctuate greatly throughout the season. It’s been up and down more than any other player on the roster, and this isn’t what he signed with Minnesota for this past offseason. There has never been a team that hasn’t wanted more shooting, and Tolliver could provide that for a contender.
o Price: Second round draft pick
Taj Gibson – Medium low
– Gibson has been the heart and soul of the Wolves at times this year. He’s been terrific in the locker room as a veteran leader and great on the floor for the most part as well. But the caveat here is that Gibson is an unrestricted free agent this upcoming summer and could walk to a contender. The Wolves could also look to open up the starting power forward position for Dario Saric to see what they have in him before he becomes a restricted in the summer of 2020.
o Price: Second round draft pick, maybe two
Luol Deng – Less medium low than Gibson but probably not quite low
– Deng has been a saving grace for the Wolves at times over the past few weeks as the injuries have decimated the rotation. He’s been good for the Wolves, but he’s also someone that they shouldn’t hesitate to include in a deal as salary filler if need be.
o Price: Only used as salary filler
Keita Bates-Diop – A little lower than Deng
– Bates-Diop has spent the majority of this season as a developmental piece that the Wolves have hope for in the future, but he’s not quite ready for consistent NBA action. If the price were right he could be had.
o Price: See Deng, Luol
Jeff Teague – Low
– Teague, and everyone below him on this list, isn’t likely to be traded, but not because the Wolves shouldn’t have an interest in dealing him. Teague has a $19 million player option for the 2019-20 season that he has to decide upon following the season. He’s also missed quite a bit of time due to injury. This year will be the fewest number of games that Teague has played in a non-lockout season by at least nine games, and likely more. He’s had one of the more forgettable seasons by a former All-Star in recent memory.
o Price: may need to be used to match salaries if the Wolves shock the world and do something big
Gorgui Dieng – Low
– There is no reason as to why the Wolves wouldn’t want to move Dieng and his inflated contract, but they likely wouldn’t be able to do it without attaching an asset to the team taking him off their hands. Dieng is making $15 million this season, $16 million in 2020, and $17 million in 2021. That’s not exactly enticing to anyone out there.
o Verdict: The Wolves would have to actually send something of value out to move him, or take on a nearly as awful contract
Jerryd Bayless – Low, due to injuries
– Bayless has been awesome for the Wolves since being thrust onto the scene due to the injuries to Jones, Teague, and Rose. He’s averaging nearly 15 points and seven assists in his last seven games. He isn’t afraid of the moment and the Wolves would be much worse off without him. His $8 million salary this season and the fact that he’s got an expiring contract should be enticing to other teams, but it’s hard to envision the Wolves trading him with that position so depleted.
o Verdict: Tough to figure, but probably won’t happen
Derrick Rose – Almost nonexistent
– Rose was experiencing a return to greatness earlier this season but has since come back down to earth, mostly due to injuries. He’s missed 10 of the last 17 games for Minnesota and won’t be playing on Tuesday night in Memphis. Earlier this year it was plausible to think that the Wolves could make get a first-round draft pick in exchange for Rose, but that probably isn’t the case anymore. Making things murkier, Rose has veto rights on any trade involving him, and it would be surprising to see him accept a trade right now.
o Verdict: Staying put
Tyus Jones – Really low
– Jones will be a restricted free agent this summer and there’s reason to believe that he could be the starting point guard of the future. Like the others, he’s missed time lately with an injury, but the Wolves trading him right now simply wouldn’t make any sense.
o Verdict: Staying put
Dario Saric – Really low
– Saric has been a bit disappointing since he was acquired from Philadelphia in the Jimmy Butler trade, but he’s still viewed as a young piece that could be part of the future. The Wolves don’t exactly know what they have in him yet, and it would be foolish for them to deal him before finding that out. It might make more sense to flip him this summer or at next season’s trade deadline, but for now he should be sticking in Minnesota.
o Verdict: Staying put
Andrew Wiggins – Slim chance
– Wiggins is the toughest one to decipher on the Wolves. His contract is terrible and he hasn’t lived up to expectations of his deal or being the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. His career has been far from a success thus far, and it’s fair to wonder if a change of scenery would potentially turn that around for him. The problem is no one would want to take his contract without the Wolves having to add in some serious assets with it.
o Verdict: Not going anywhere, probably for a long time
Josh Okogie – Very doubtful
– So far, Okogie looks like the Wolves nailed the 20th pick of last June’s draft. He’s got potential to be a starter on a playoff team and it would take an awesome return for Minnesota to deal him right now. Can’t see that happening right now.
o Verdict: Going nowhere
Robert Covington – No chance
– Covington has missed the last few weeks with a bone bruise in his right knee and that’s been the biggest detriment to the team’s success. He’s probably the player that’s second-most valuable to the success of the Wolves, and that’s shown in his absence. Covington wouldn’t be moved unless the deal is an obvious win for the Wolves.
o Verdict: No chance
Karl-Anthony Towns – Absolutely untouchable
– Towns getting traded… I’m not going to waste time even writing it up. Well, if the Lakers offer LeBron, or the Warriors want to unload Curry, or…..
– Verdict: LOL