Much smaller trade today in comparison to my last few but I think this has genuine benefits for both sides and could in theory be completed tomorrow. So, the Wolves move on from DLo and reluctantly let go of Taurean Prince as well, but in exchange they're getting back Kyle Lowry, a vet PG who could bring a similar leadership to the dressing room that Pat Bev brought last year. And they bring in a volume movement shooter admitedly on a negative contract in Duncan Robinson. Here's why both sides make this trade:
Wolves: Russell and Gobert aren't panning out as expected at the moment, their PNR efficiency is through the floor and Russell has been putting up inefficient shooting as a result. Secondly they're having major chemistry issues, KAT is firing shots at Ant, Ant is implying he wants to play without Rudy on the floor, Lowry helps to offset those issues for a number of reasons. He's a super experienced point guard who would distribute shots correctly through the team, feeding Kat, feeding Edwards and working a more effective PNR with Gobert. On a one on one level he's still a much savier defender than DLo too, he'll make the correct plays, limit turnovers and mentor an otherwise young group and is at a point in his career where he doesn't care about putting his stats up where as Russell is in a contract year. In order to make this mutually beneficial I wanted to get the Heat a 4 as they're in desperate need, thus that means giving up TAurean Prince, a perfectly good defender who can knock down catch and shoot 3's, in return for Prince teh Wolves take Robinson, on the face of it, you might think the Wolves say no. That being said I think he's a much better fit in Minnesota than he is in Miami.
Prince has found himself playing 20 minutes a game this year, he's behind Towns and McDaniels in teh fight for a starting spot and Anderson is their nominal sixth man this year. He has a similar skillset to a few players on the roster but ultimately isn't as good as those in his position. Robinson on the other hand brings a new element to the Wolves, yes he's a massive minus on defense but at least has size but o the offensive end I see him as a major asset. The Wolves haven't shot the ball well this season and Duncan is willing to get shots up. Picture him running off of off-ball screens from Gobert, offering massive threat from the perimeter with Towns on the floor, he moves and the other Wolves players don't. Due to his time in Miami he's become a smart cutter, great when Towns is in the post and his defensive frailty can be covered up by the likes of Gobert, McDaniels and Edwards. I see this as a trade that boosts the Wolves on offence, adding much needed shooting and maintains their level on defence due to teh floor Gobert provides. They pick up the Heat 1st next year because they're taking on long term salary but taht doesn't mean the roster doesn't improve.
Heat: Heat are intending to compete for a chip so why do they trade Lowry for Russell right? Well, the fit is better on Miami and they clear $38,000,000 in cap space next year, avoiding a $30,000,000 tax bill and giving them more future flexibility.
I genuinely think Russell could work out in Miami. He's struggling so badly in Minnesota at the moment on the offensive end because teams can so easily switch in the Russell Gobert PNR. Rudy can't punish mismatches meaning bigger defenders can come out and prevent Russell penetrating into the paint while being assured that a Rudy post up is a good outcome. Enter Bam Adebayo. You just have to watch the highlights from the Suns game last night to see how Bam can dominate smaller matchups inside, he opens up more midrange space for Russell, provides just as good a role threat and Russell would even benefit from the dribble hand offs Bam conducts in the high post, letting him build some momentum to help beat his match up. On defense the Heat have played a lot of zone thsi year which Russell showed himself to be proficcient at last year with the Wolves. He reads the game well but just lacks the concentration sometimes, perhaps in a better culture with more accountability Russell locks in. It's a gamble for teh Heat worth taking, if he doesn't fit his contract expires and they get off Lowry money a year early, if it does they have a longer term fix for the PG position than previously. Prince is self explanatory the Heat need a 4 and as detailed above he's perfectly servicable in the position. Yes the Heat give up their 1st next year but they pick up what's likely to be a late 30's early 40's 2nd for 2023 where they've found plenty of value before.
I see the Heat mixing it up with their starting 5's, Herro could return to a sixth man role that he flourished in last year and the Heat could role with Russell, Strus, Butler, Prince and Adebayo as the starters. Oladipo could come in to handle tougher perimter assignments.
The Wolves on the other hand can put out a super strong starting 5 of Lowry, Edwards, McDaniels, Towns and Gobert with Anderson, Nowell, Robinson, Reid, Moore and Mclaughlin can come off the bench too. It's a better fit at pointguard and diversifies their skillset in teh roster, adding Robinson's movement and volume shooting. (For those questioning his shooting chops after a down year last year he still shot 37% last year and he's shooting 90% from the line this year, it will recover.)
Let me know what you think of this trade. Somehow whether I write about a 5 team trade or a 2 teamer it always seems to be about 1000 words...
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