NBA Trade Rumors: Wolves expected to shop D’Angelo Russell?

D'Angelo Russell (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)
D'Angelo Russell (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports) /

NBA Trade Rumors: The Minnesota Timberwolves will enter the offseason open to trading D’Angelo Russell? 

The Minnesota Timberwolves were one of the better stories in the NBA this season. They managed to make a return to the postseason for the first time in four years and just the second time in 18 years.

And they even gave the Memphis Grizzlies all they could handle in their first-round series.

The future is bright for the Wolves and the natural next step is to continue to build around their core. The question is, who do the Wolves consider to be their core? You’d have to imagine that Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns are absolutely included in that group. One player that could be in question this offseason is D’Angelo Russell.

According to Marc Stein, the expectation around the league is that the Wolves will shop Russell during the offseason. He’s entering the final year of his contract with the team and could be a piece that the Wolves look at as somewhat of a luxury thanks in large part to the emergence of Edwards.

Russell averaged 18 points and seven assists per game this season, but only 12 points and seven assists on 33 percent shooting from the field during the playoffs. He left much to be desired as a third option for the Wolves this year in the postseason and his unproductivity is part of the reason Minnesota couldn’t complete the upset over Memphis in the first round.

Assuming the Wolves do move forward in shopping Russell this offseason, it would be interesting to see what type of market he would create. He’s still only 26 years old and has proven to be a productive player, even if he does leave some to be desired in terms of offensive efficiency.

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The Wolves need to figure out how to take the next step in their progression as a franchise. It could mean trading Russell during the offseason.