The NBA has been fairly quiet in terms of trades this season, other than Sunday’s blockbuster that sent Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets to the Dallas Mavericks.
However, there could be a pretty significant trade brewing right now.
According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the Minnesota Timberwolves have been in talks with the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers regarding a deal that would send D’Angelo Russell to L.A., but there is still work to be done before it could be finalized, if it indeed gets finalized.
ESPN Sources: Three-team trade is largely hinging on how Minnesota values D’Angelo Russell in potential deal and their return of draft assets. Lakers and Jazz have significant deal structure in place, but Minnesota has been engaged elsewhere on Russell too.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 8, 2023
Simply put, this season has been a major disappointment for the Timberwolves.
They made the playoffs as the seventh seed in the Western Conference last season with a 46-36 record, and although they lost in the first round to the Memphis Grizzlies, they were pretty competitive and had established themselves as a team on the rise.
After Minnesota traded for All-Star center Rudy Gobert last summer, some thought they had become dark horse championship contenders.
Instead, they currently sit in ninth place in the West with a 29-28 record.
Russell’s play, particularly his shooting efficiency, has been up and down throughout his career, but so far this season he’s averaging 17.9 points and 6.2 assists per game on 46.5 percent shooting overall and 39.1 percent from 3-point range.
If Russell ends up heading to the Lakers, he could give them another legitimate ball-handler and shot-creator other than LeBron James, which would take plenty of pressure off the 38-year-old newly minted scoring king.
It could be tantamount to Minnesota declaring that this season has, indeed, been something of a failure and that it is starting to reshuffle the deck in preparation for next season.NEXT: The Timberwolves Are Now Back On Track