Here we are at the trade deadline, and the Minnesota Timberwolves need a power forward.
If only we knew before the season that they would need a power forward who was better than Juancho Hernangomez. But sometimes these things come as total surprises and, before you know it, you’re trying to talk yourself into Jarred Vanderbilt being okay.
Before trading for a player, it’s worth wondering why the other team would want to get rid of them. This is a good exercise. For example, if someone gives you their leftover Chinese food, why are they doing that? Are they full? Is the food bad? Will it force you to sleep on the couch tonight instead of in bed with your fiancee?
These are all very good questions to ask.
Collins is in the final year of his rookie contract, and he’s about to get paid. Plus, it doesn’t seem like he (or anyone else) really enjoys playing with Trae Young.
Gordon’s athleticism and talent have never really hit the level that everyone had anticipated. He’s in somewhere in that range “good but top-6 guy on a team” and “not a top-3 guy.”
What would a trade look like for each player?
Let’s get the trade machine out, baby!
Jarrett Culver, Jaden McDaniels & future protected 1st for John Collins & Bruno Fernando
Does it hurt me to trade McDaniels? Why, yes it does! I think he has a very bright future, but will he ever be as good as Collins? That’s the question (probably not!). The Atlanta Hawks are trying to win sooner rather than later, so a trade with the Wolves doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Nobody on Minnesota’s roster makes the Hawks instantly better.
The only argument for this is that it could open up future cap space. It’s a question of who Atlanta will sign with the money they could have spent on Collins.
We can also start the D’Angelo Russell rumors, but it seems more likely that the Wolves see Collins as part of their core with Russell than without. I like Collins a lot more than Gordon, but if the Wolves are moving forward with Russell, Towns, and Collins as their big three, we have some questions. Of course, we can’t sleep on Malik Beasley’s contributions or Anthony Edwards’ growth this season.
Ricky Rubio & a 2023 Top-10 Protected Pick for Aaron Gordon
This trade seems like an absolute no-brainer for the Wolves. They move on from Rubio, who honestly hasn’t been the best fit in Minnesota his second time around (although he’s been better lately). And the Magic don’t have to deal with the “What does Aaron Gordon mean to our team?” question that seemingly happens year after year. Gordon seems like the guy who will absolutely shine when he’s not asked to be The Guy.
If the Wolves lose their 2021 pick to the Golden State Warriors and somehow would lose a protected pick in 2023 (I’m assuming the Wolves would protect this pick starting at top-10, right?), this would be an absolute nightmare. But for a team that isn’t going to attract free agents and hasn’t drafted well outside of picking No. 1, making trades like this is kind of what you have to do. You probably have to pay too much for mediocre talent that nobody else really wants and hope it works out.
The trade deadline is March 25 at 2 p.m. CT. My guess is that the Wolves will make some sort of move before then.