NBA Trade Rumors: Robert Covington Drawing Interest from 76ers, Rockets, Mavs

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2020

Minnesota Timberwolves' Robert Covington plays against the Portland Trail Blazers in an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

The Minnesota Timberwolves may be very busy before the Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline. 

Along with dealing Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham to the Atlanta Hawks for Allen Crabbe, the team is also reportedly shopping Robert Covington, per Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania of The Athletic:

"Rival teams also say the market for forward Robert Covington has been heating up over recent days. Covington has become a coveted player, with his defensive prowess and outside shooting an ideal fit for most teams in the playoff hunt. Houston, Dallas and Philadelphia are among the teams who have expressed interest in Covington, but Minnesota is expected to drive a hard bargain, league sources said."

That isn't the only move the team is considering. The Wolves are also "intensifying their pursuit" of D'Angelo Russell, per Krawczynski and Charania, though Golden State "has been inclined to keep Russell unless it is blown away by an offer.

If the Wolves are going to make any more major splashes, it seems likely that Covington will be one of the players heading the other way. He's an excellent defensive wing and a solid shooter (36 percent from three for his career).

While his numbers haven't jumped off the page this season—he's averaging 12.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game—Covington is a menace off the ball defensively and spaces the court on offense, contributing without needing a high volume of touches. 

That would make him a logical target for playoff contenders like the 76ers, Rockets and Mavericks. He already has familiarity with the Sixers after starting his career in Philly, and his added defensive presence and size would give the Sixers a truly fascinating platoon of elite defenders. 

His 3-and-D style would perfectly complement Russell Westbrook and James Harden in Houston, meanwhile, or Luka Doncic in Dallas. And his affordable contract—he's due a total of $25 million over the next two seasons—makes him an easy piece to fit into a contending team's payroll. 

It's also the reason that the Wolves shouldn't give up on Covington without getting a very solid return, of course. But there is enough buzz surrounding him that it won't be a surprise if he's moved at some point in the next few weeks.

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