Trade Rumors: Wolves, Wizards, Kennard, Valentine, Burks, More

Timberwolves forward Robert Covington has been one of the most-discussed trade candidates leading up to this year’s deadline, and looks like one of the likeliest players to be on the move. While star teammate Karl-Anthony Towns will understand if Covington is dealt, he admitted in a conversation with Sam Amick of The Athletic and Chris Hine of The Star Tribune that he’s not thrilled by the idea.

“I think it’s very obvious he’s my best friend on the team, so it would be very difficult if something like that was going to happen,” Towns said of Covington. “But like with Zach LaVine (traded from the Timberwolves to Chicago in 2017) , you know this is a business. So like I said, I’m the one who just plays the game. I don’t get paid to make rosters and stuff like that.”

As Amick and Hine note, Towns said it’s not his job to make roster decisions and expressed confidence in Timberwolves president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas to make those calls. Still, given how aggressively the front office has pursued D’Angelo Russell, one of Towns’ best friends, it’ll be interesting to see if the team is willing to part with Covington – another one of KAT’s good friends – if there’s no guarantee that doing so will land D-Lo in Minnesota.

“I don’t get paid to make those decisions,” the Timberwolves’ franchise player said. “Those are tough decisions, but here’s to hoping that I see Cov on Friday, I guess. … He’s a great guy, a great dude. He’s a great player. He’s helped me tremendously and he’s continuing to help me every day. He just gives me such comfort out there.”

Here are more trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • As first referenced by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Wizards have expressed interest in Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson, confirms Candace Buckner of The Washington Post (via Twitter). If the Wizards were to make a move for Thompson, it would be with an eye toward the future, since they’d hold his Bird rights, Buckner notes.
  • Vince Ellis of The Detroit Free Press confirms that that the Pistons are open to moving Luke Kennard if the price is right. However, in the wake of rumors that the Suns are discussing a trade for the third-year sharpshooter, Ellis reports that no deal appears imminent and that Detroit isn’t worried about the possible price tag on a Kennard extension if he remains with the Pistons.
  • Two rival executives view the Sixers and Grizzlies as possible landing spots for Bulls trade candidate Denzel Valentine, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.
  • The Mavericks have real interest in Warriors guard Alec Burks, a source tells Chris Crouse of Hoops Rumors (Twitter link). Dallas and Golden State have already made one trade this season, with Willie Cauley-Stein sent to the Mavs last month.
  • ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski takes a look at the trade talks involving the Timberwolves, Warriors, Rockets, and Hawks, with the Wolves trying to orchestrate a multi-team deal that would send D’Angelo Russell to Minnesota. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer had details earlier on those discussions, with both Woj and O’Connor agreeing that there’s still a gulf between Minnesota and Golden State.
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