The Minnesota Timberwolves are not contenders this season and could look to acquire some assets to facilitate their rebuild by trading Robert Covington.
There will reportedly be a number of suitors if they do so. According to Ben Cohen of the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers have all "expressed some Covington interest."
There is plenty to like about Covington as a trade chip. He is still in his prime at 29 years old and would not be a rental since he is under contract through the 2021-22 season.
He is also a solid defender who can bother outside shooters with his wingspan at 6'7" and keep up with quicker players on the wing. Opponents are shooting 4.8 percent worse than their normal averages from three-point range this season when he defends them, per NBA.com.
Covington is averaging 12.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 34.8 percent from three-point range this season as someone who can play off of the attention others draw with his shooting while attacking the rim and helping control the boards as a versatile playmaker.
He knows he is the subject of trade rumors and said, per Chris Hine of the Star Tribune, "I'm not even focused on that. My main focus is this team and what I do every day. I'm not going to get caught up in rumors or hype or whatnot. I'm a Minnesota Timberwolf. That's all my focus is."
The Lakers (LeBron James and Anthony Davis), Clippers (Kawhi Leonard and Paul George), Mavericks (Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis) and Rockets (James Harden and Russell Westbrook) all have superstar pairings who could partially cancel each other out in a playoff series, meaning the outcome could come down to the role players.
It is no surprise, then, that Covington is so coveted as someone who can impact the game in a number of ways.
As for Philadelphia, it would represent a return to the team that he played with from the 2014-15 season until last season when the 76ers traded him to Minnesota as part of the package that brought back Jimmy Butler.