According to Haynes, the meeting will take place in Los Angeles and is expected to feature president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, head coach Ryan Saunders, and franchise player Karl-Anthony Towns.
Minnesota has been repeatedly linked to Russell, a good friend of Towns, who is “really high” on adding the All-Star guard, per Haynes. However, the club’s cap situation makes the path to a deal tricky. Currently, the Wolves project to be an over-the-cap team, while Russell is expected to command a contract worth upwards of his maximum ($27.25MM) or at least something in that neighborhood.
The Nets, who have been strongly linked to Kyrie Irving, could theoretically agree to sign-and-trade Russell to Minnesota, but Brooklyn reportedly has no interest in taking on Andrew Wiggins or Jeff Teague, who would be the Wolves’ most realistic salary-matching pieces.
Even if the Wolves were able to trade Wiggins into another team’s cap room and renounced the rest of their free agents, they could only generate about $20MM in cap room, which likely wouldn’t be enough for Russell, who established himself in 2018/19 as one of the NBA’s most promising young guards.
A sign-and-trade, then, looks like the most viable path for the Wolves to acquire Russell, but at least one other team would have to get involved if the Nets are uninterested in taking on salary. It sounds like a long shot, but it’s worth noting that Rosas came from Houston’s front office, where he worked under Daryl Morey. Morey is no stranger to getting creative with the cap himself, and is currently trying to pursue an equally convoluted sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler.
For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote on Friday that one executive predicted to him that the Wolves would succeed in dealing Wiggins at some point and would get “net-neutral value” for him.