2019 NBA Draft Rumors: T-Wolves Trying to Trade Up, Eyeing Pelicans' No. 4 Pick

Paul KasabianSenior Contributor

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 21: President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas of the Minnesota Timberwolves introduces Ryan Saunders as the new head coach during a press conference on May 21, 2019 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 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 2019 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
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The Minnesota Timberwolves "have been aggressive in their attempts to move up in the draft from No. 11," Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Wednesday.    

Stein added that Minnesota is one of numerous teams to have spoken with the New Orleans Pelicans about trading for the No. 4 overall pick. The Pelicans acquired that selection when they agreed to trade six-time All-Star Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers over the weekend.

On Thursday, Jeff Goodman of Stadium reported that Pelicans GM David Griffin has been trying to "get another first-rounder and also a player on a good contract for the No. 4 pick." Goodman noted Robert Covington's name has come up in the talks between the Pelicans and Timberwolves.

Minnesota has enjoyed lottery luck in the past, like when it landed the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft and selected Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns. Since the lottery wasn't as kind this year, the Wolves are apparently attempting to engineer a trade up.

On Tuesday, ESPN's Jonathan Givony reported Minnesota, the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls are interested in moving up to No. 4 to pick Vanderbilt point guard Darius Garland.

Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic also wrote about a potential deal, noting that "interest in such a move is indicative of [president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas'] mindset of star-chasing, an approach honed in Houston."

Rosas, who was with the Rockets for the past six seasons, was part of a front office that brought James Harden and Chris Paul aboard.

"We have to examine every opportunity—moving forward, moving back, moving out," Rosas told reporters. "But we've reached out to every team in this league to see what our options are, and we'll be prepared here on Thursday to make the right decisions for the organization."

Garland would be an excellent fit on a Wolves team looking for its point guard of the future. Jeff Teague fared well during an injury-shortened season last year with 12.1 points and 8.2 assists, but the 31-year-old likely isn't Minnesota's long-term solution. As Krawczynski noted, Garland "would give them the kind of dynamic shooter from the point guard spot that could pair well with Towns and Andrew Wiggins."

However, a move up the draft board may take a seismic haul, and it's hard to see what the Wolves could do to make it work.

"The reality is, and history will tell you, it's hard to trade up into the top three of the draft, even top five in the lottery," Rosas told reporters. "It's very difficult. We know, because we've tried, and will continue to try. But that price, the premium that teams charge for that is at a high level in any draft in any year."

It's even harder when a team is outside the top 10, but that reportedly won't stop the Wolves from trying with the draft less than 24 hours away.