Fischer also reports that the Wolves are interested in Washington Wizards starting point guard Tyus Jones, Detroit Pistons reserve guard Monte Morris and Los Angeles Clippers scoring guard Bones Hyland.
Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly drafted both Morris and Hyland during his time at the helm of the Denver Nuggets, while Jones has obvious ties to the team that drafted him (along with 2024 NBA All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns) back in 2015 out of Duke.
Tyus Jones, Washington Wizards PG
Jones is averaging 12.3 points on 49.5/40.3/72.4 shooting splits, 6.3 assists to 0.9 turnovers, 2.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.3 blocks across 28.6 minutes per game in 47 appearances (all starts). His field goal and 3-point percentages (49.5%, 40.3%), and assists, rebounds and minutes per game are all career-highs, as the nine-year veteran is enjoying his first year as a full-time starter in Washington. The Apple Valley, Minnesota native has played in all 47 games for the Wizards this season, and has played in at least 65 games in each of his previous six seasons, including 80 games last season in Memphis.
Fischer also reported that Jones, who is making $14.0 million this season, may not go for as much as the Wizards hope.
“While the Wizards have stated an asking price to inquiring teams of a first-round pick for floor general Tyus Jones, rival executives have indicated a confidence that Washington will ultimately be willing to move on from Jones for a package of multiple second-round picks. Last year’s trade deadline did see various players dealt for three and as many as five seconds.”
Why might that be? Well, if you take a look at the assets other contenders have, there aren’t many readily available first-round picks (or second-round picks for that matter) to trade, as well as the fact that most contenders don’t have expiring contracts they can use to match Jones’ salary without making the deal illegal or not worth it for them.
While that is certainly positive news for Wolves fans that are interested in Minnesota pursuing a homecoming with Jones, keep a few things in mind if you are cooking up trades in the trade machine:
First, The Timberwolves are not going to go over the luxury tax. They currently have $2.36 million in space beneath the tax, so the Wolves would have to send Kyle Anderson ($9.2 million) and likely Shake Milton ($5.0 million) to make the salaries match while staying under the tax. Minnesota would be using both of their key contracts to trade to address a position that probably isn’t their primary need.
Next, Minnesota has five tradable second-round picks. The headliner among those five is the least favorable of the Wizards and Grizzlies second-round pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, which projects to be a top-10 pick in the second round. They also have a pick from the Utah Jazz in 2025, the least favorable of the Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs pick in 2026, and their own picks in 2029 and 2030.
And finally, you only get to pick one of Mike Conley or Jones on the roster moving forward. Both are unrestricted free agents this coming summer. Minnesota wouldn’t be able to afford both given they are set to face a luxury tax bill potentially north of $50 million next year if they bring back their core five of Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, Jaden McDaniels and Naz Reid, plus Conley. They may not even be able to afford Jones even if they chose him over Conley.
You can apply that logic to any other player the Wolves are interested in, too. Unless that player would be cool signing a minimum deal in the offseason, they probably won’t be in Minnesota beyond the rest of this season.
Monte Morris, Detroit Pistons PG
The Flint, Michigan native is an intriguing trade prospect because he could be acquired in a 1:1 swap for Anderson, which would allow the Wolves to potentially pursue another need with Milton’s contract. But it also comes with risk, too. Morris has played in only four games this season as a result of a right quadriceps strain in October, which caused him to miss the first three months of the season.
Morris averaged 10.3 points on 48.0/38.2/83.1 shooting splits, 5.3 assists to 1.0 turnovers, 3.4 rebounds, and 0.9 stocks across 27.3 minutes per game in 62 contests last season for the Wizards on the heels of a career-best campaign for the Nuggets in 2021-22 in Jamal Murray’s absence.
Outside of his familiarity with Connelly, he has shot north of 37.8% from beyond the arc in each of the last five seasons while ranking near the top of the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio in each year he’s played in the league. Morris is also an excellent mid-range jump shooter who would fit in nicely coming off Rudy Gobert screens and scoring against deep drop coverage.
Bones Hyland, Los Angeles Clippers CG
Of the three players mentioned, Hyland would likely cost the least to acquire. Minnesota would not have to trade a player to take in Hyland’s salary, as Bones makes just $2.3 million this season. Given that the Clippers are facing an estimated luxury tax bill of $142.3 million, even shedding $2.3 million in salary could help them save more than $10 million in tax payments. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Hyland is part of a larger deal that also sends P.J. Tucker to another team.
The Wolves were linked to Hyland last year at the deadline before the Nuggets ultimately dealt him to L.A. in a four-team trade. The Clippers sent two second-round picks to Denver for Hyland, who played in only 14 games post-deadline; but he did play a role in the playoffs, averaging 16.4 minutes per game and appearing in all five of the Clips’ playoff games against the Phoenix Suns last spring. This season has been a different story, as Hyland has been out of the rotation since the second week of November.
Hyland in Denver averaged 10.9 points on 40.1/37.1/86.0 shooting splits, 2.8 assists to 1.4 turnovers, 2.4 rebounds and 0.9 stocks across 19.2 minutes per game in 111 contests. He would fit the “more bench scoring” need the Wolves have better than Jones or Morris, but is also the worst defender of the group.
Make sure to bookmark our Trade Deadline Tracker and stay up-to-date with the latest rumors, news and analysis around the Wolves leading up to the deadline next Thursday, February 8 at 2 PM CT.