The Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans are two not-so-great teams that also happen to have two of the NBA’s best big men on their roster.
In the aftermath of last month’s scandal, chatter restarted regarding Karl-Anthony Towns wanting out of Minnesota. Two teams are frequently cited as potential landing spots for him, but no matter where he ultimately goes, it seems clear that his future with the Timberwolves is very much in doubt.
Similarly, Zion Williamson has made it no secret that he is frustrated with how things have gone with the Pelicans. His open flirtation with the New York Knicks is telling, as are all the reports of him not feeling like his style meshes well alongside that of fellow team star, Brandon Ingram.
Clearly, both of these squads need to make a change.
This week Corey Rausch of Hoops Habit proposed a trade that could solve a lot of problems for both squads.
In the proposed agreement, New Orleans would walk away with Towns and Josh Okogie, while Minnesota gets Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas, and an assortment of draft capital.
For the Pelicans, the upside here is clear.
“The combination of Zion and Towns could be very deadly on the offense,” Rausch wrote. “Considering that Towns can space the floor for Williamson, the dynamic duo would be pretty hard to contain. The only issue is Towns’ defense, but the pros outweigh the cons without a doubt.”
For the Wolves it’s more so about maximizing the value that they can get in return for Towns. Ingram is an All-Star with a high ceiling and loads of potential. He has made massive strides since his Los Angeles Lakers days and at just 24 years old he has plenty of running room to grow.
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Both the Pelicans and Timberwolves have tried to make their current situations work. Repeatedly. At a certain point, you’ve got to admit defeat, cut your losses and move on. This trade could be the opportunity to do that.
Minnesota has been steadfast in its refusal to include one specific player in any Ben Simmons trade. That has effectively killed any prospect of a deal getting done on that front. Which means there is no real path for the Timberwolves to improve between now and the start of the season. And without improvement, they’re destined to simply repeat what’s been going on for the last few years.