Wolves deal 5 players in huge trade with Rockets, Hawks, Nuggets

A huge trade as the Wolves overhaul the roster.
Publish date:
Robert Covington

Most Minnesotans were fast asleep by the time the Timberwolves completed a massive trade involving 12 players and three other teams, the Rockets, Nuggets and Hawks. 

According to numerous reports, first detailed by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Wolves traded Robert Covington, Shabazz Napier, Keita Bates-Diop, Noah Vonleh and Jordan Bell, while receiving Malik Beasley, Juan Hernangomez, and Jarred Vanderbilt from the Nuggets, Evan Turner from the Hawks, in addition to obtaining a first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft from the Hawks. 

No. Minnesota has not swung a deal for Golden State point guard D'Angelo Russell as Thursday's 2 p.m. trade deadline nears. 

Here are the nuts and bolts of the biggest trade the NBA has seen in 20 years. 

Wolves get: 

  • Malik Beasley from the Nuggets
  • Juan Hernangomez from the Nuggets
  • Jarred Vanderbilt from the Nuggets
  • Evan Turner from the Hawks
  • 2020 first-round pick from the Hawks via the Nets 

Nuggets get: 

  • Shabazz Napier from the Wolves
  • Keita Bates-Diop from the Wolves
  • Noah Vonleh from the Wolves
  • Gerald Green from the Rockets
  • 2020 first-round pick from the Rockets

Hawks get: 

  • Clint Capela from the Rockets
  • Nene Hilario from the Rockets

Rockets get: 

  • Robert Covington from the Wolves
  • Jordan Bell from the Wolves
  • 2024 second-round pick from the Hawks via the Warriors

The Rockets' 2020 first-round pick was initially traded to the Wolves, who swapped it with Denver in the deal involving Beasley and Hernangomez, according to Wojnarowski, who says "Minnesota considers Beasley and Hernangomez as players it hopes to sign to new contracts in the offseason." 

Breaking down the pick and the players

A critical point in the deal is that the 2020 first-round pick the Wolves get from the Hawks (via the Nets) is lottery protected. If the Nets make the playoffs, which they're currently on track to do, the Wolves keep the pick. If the Nets fail to make the playoffs, the pick will roll over to the 2021 draft. 

Beasley, 23, was the 19th overall pick in the 2016 draft. He's a 6-foot-5 guard/forward who isn't a big-time defender like Covington, but he can score as a shooter, with Zone Coverage's Dane Moore noting that Beasley has knocked down 40.5% of spot-up threes this season (111 attempts). 

Hernangomez, 24, was the 15th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft and has played just over 11 minutes per game this season as a reserve forward for the Nuggets. Vanderbilt is a 21-year-old power forward with a $1.7 million non-guaranteed contract for the 2020-21 season. 

Turner, 31, can play both guard positions and small forward. He was the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft after starring at Ohio State. This season, he has played in only 19 games with the Hawks and has an expiring contract as his $18.6 million 2019-20 salary is set to come off the books. 

Minnesota plays the Hawks Wednesday night, so if the deal is approved by the time the game starts there's a chance Turner could be playing point guard considering Jordan McLaughlin is the only true point guard left on Minnesota's roster. Either that or Andrew Wiggins and Jarrett Culver will be the primary ball-handlers. 

KAT's curious reaction

Towns told The Athletic and the Star Tribune earlier this week that he's going to focus on doing his job and let the Wolves' front office handle everything in the trade market. 

"I think it would hurt the star player or player (that’s) highly regarded in the organization if they didn’t feel confidence in the front office. I do. I feel very confident in Gerss and (coach) Ryan (Saunders) and all of them," said Towns. "So like I said, whatever they do, I’m going to support because I know they’re trying to make the right decisions for us to win."

Despite saying he's confident in the man pulling the strings, President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas, Towns flashed four mysterious images on Instagram. 

Confusion? Frustration? Anger? It's hard to tell what the meaning behind the message is. 

Towns and the Wolves will try to snap a 12-game losing streak Wednesday at home against the Hawks. Towns' personal losing streak has reached 16 games, having not tasted victory while in the lineup since Nov. 27. 

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