D'Angelo Russell Trade Rumors: Timberwolves Shopping PG Ahead of 2022 NBA Draft

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 13, 2022

Minnesota Timberwolves guard D'Angelo Russell dribbles during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

Minnesota Timberwolves star D'Angelo Russell "is being shopped around" the NBA, according to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor.

Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported May 11 that Minnesota was "believed" to be open to seeing Russell's value on the trade market this offseason.

Russell's friendship with Karl-Anthony Towns clearly played a role in the Timberwolves' midseason acquisition of the veteran guard in 2020. Trading Russell could then theoretically impact Towns' relationship with the franchise.

It doesn't appear the Wolves are all that concerned.

"Numerous rival teams expect the Wolves to try to trade Russell this offseason irrespective of Russell's close relationship with Minnesota star Karl-Anthony Towns," NBA insider Marc Stein reported on May 2.

In winning 46 games and reaching the NBA playoffs, where it lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in six games, Minnesota might have seen its ceiling with Russell in a high-usage role.

The 26-year-old hasn't made the kind of breakthrough his All-Star nod with the Brooklyn Nets in 2018-19 seemed to portend. Since landing in Minnesota, he has averaged 18.8 points and 6.6 assists while shooting 35.6 percent from beyond the arc.

While those are solid numbers, Russell is clearly miscast as the second star alongside Towns, and his four-year, $117.3 million contract hasn't reflected his value on the court.

The ship has probably sailed on the Wolves flipping Russell for an All-Star-caliber talent, but he might be the best trade asset at their disposal. Towns isn't going anywhere, and Anthony Edwards should be considered untouchable.

By dealing Russell now, Minnesota would also spare itself the inevitable headache that will come with figuring out what to pay him when he hits free agency in 2023.