There is not much for the Minnesota Timberwolves to complain about, as the 13-year playoff drought appears to be coming to an end. But there is no reason they shouldn’t have their toughest competition in mind as the Feb. 8 trade deadline approaches, which is why Nikola Vucevic should be a trade target.
There are aspects of the game that Tom Thibodeau values that could certainly be boosted by a certain big man from the East.
The Minnesota Timberwolves currently have the fifth-best offensive rating and fifth-worst defensive rating, per Basketball-Reference. With an eye to the teams directly in front of them, Minnesota can make a deal with the Orlando Magic that can give them interesting advantages in certain areas. The player who has been rumored to be on the trade market over the last few years is 27-year-old center Nikola Vuevic.
There are two ways for this trade to go down.
One is for Thibs to decide the team’s offense runs well enough with Tyus Jones as the starting point guard (which it does) and send Jeff Teague to Orlando, where he would easily step into the starting role. Shabazz Muhammad and Mario Hezonja would need to be involved to balance salaries.
The second way for this trade to go down is for Orlando to double down on their slide in the standings, and get rid of Vucevic for any combination of young players and throw-ins.