D’Angelo Russell trade heats up ahead of NBA Draft

The Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to find the missing piece to complement Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns. Rumors of a D’Angelo Russell trade have emerged early on in the offseason, and they’re heating up with the 2022 NBA Draft looming. According to Timberwolves reporter Dane Moorethere is now an increasing belief around the league that a Russell trade is becoming more likely, and could even occur on NBA Draft night, if not at some point in July.

The T-Wolves made huge strides in 2021-22, reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2017-18. While they lost in the first round, it was a critical improvement for the organization and a major step in the right direction. Despite the success they saw last year, the team no longer feels Russell is the guy who gives them the best chance of winning a title.

The Timberwolves could look to pair Russell along with their first-round pick, which is the 19th overall pick. That could likely net Minnesota a quality piece in exchange, though it’s unclear who in particular they have their sights set on. Minnesota’s asking price in a trade for Russell has not been revealed, though it would stand to reason that they’re seeking a proven talent who would be an upgrade over the 26-year-old.

Last season, Russell averaged 18.1 points, 7.1 assists, and 3.3 assists per game across 65 games. He shot 41.1% from the field and 34% from 3-point territory, both his lowest marks since 2017.

With trade rumors flaring across the league, the 2022 NBA Draft figures to see a ton of movement. Russell could be one of a handful of big names traded on Thursday night, though if nothing materializes at the draft, there’s reason to believe a deal can get done by July.

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