NBA Rumors: Wolves 'Thought They Had' Bones Hyland Trade Before Clippers-Nuggets Deal

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 20, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBUARY 14:  Bones Hyland #5 of the LA Clippers goes to the basket during the game on Febuary 14, 2023 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves "nearly completed" a trade with the Denver Nuggets for Bones Hyland before the deadline, KSTP's Darren Wolfson reported on The Scoop podcast, but he instead landed with the Los Angeles Clippers,

"They thought they had a deal done, they would have done what the Clippers did," Wolfson reported (h/t HoopsHype). "In fact, they would have done more, but you've heard me mention this… there was a thought that the Denver ownership group was not willing to help Tim Connelly here in Minnesota."

Tim Connelly spent nine years with the Nuggets, including five as the president of basketball operations, before taking on the same role with the Timberwolves last May. It seems bad blood might have affected trade negotiations between the two teams.

Minnesota traded away its starting point guard in D'Angelo Russell in a three-team deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz. While the team got Mike Conley back in return, the veteran won't replace Russell's scoring prowess.

Hyland, who averaged 12.1 points per game while shooting 37.8 percent from three-point range with the Nuggets this season, could have provided the Timberwolves with more of a scoring burst. He would have been a valuable addition as the 31-30 Timberwolves look to climb the Western Conference standings.

The Nuggets instead traded Hyland to the Clippers in exchange for two second-round picks, leaving Minnesota shorthanded in the backcourt for the rest of the season.