As the NBA moved within two days of its earliest Trade Deadline in recent memory, the Rockets, Timberwolves and two others orchestrated the largest trade since the Knicks moved Patrick Ewing in 2000. At its center, Robert Covington moved to the Rockets.
The Atlanta/Denver/Houston/Minnesota trade -- 12 players -- is the biggest NBA deal since the Knicks moved Patrick Ewing to Seattle in 2000, according to ESPN's @BobbyMarks42.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 5, 2020
Former Celtics swingman Evan Turner found a new temporary home with the Timberwolves in the deal, alongside Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez and a pick. The move replenished the Timberwolves’ asset pool, but Turner largely moved to make the convoluted salary movement work.
Brad Stevens, speaking at shootaround, couldn’t comment on an unofficial trade. He instead credited the minds in organizations that can make a hypothetical 12-player trade work.
Minnesota could trade Turner as $18.6-million of outgoing money in a follow-up trade. Though Sean Deveney reported that if that doesn’t happen, the Timberwolves will offer Turner a buyout. Among the teams interested in Turner in that scenario: the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
The Celtics have been looking to bolster their bench heading into the stretch run of the season. Boston had hoped for more production from rookie wing Romeo Langford, but Langford as struggled with injuries and has averaged only 2.3 points in 14 games. Turner could fill that role, though he struggles as a 3-point shooter, making just 29.4 percent on his career.
The Celtics currently have a full roster, so acquiring Turner for a minimum contract would require cutting loose a rotation player or trading two-for-one before the deadline. Boston sits far enough below the luxury tax to eat money by releasing a player, as they did with Guerschon Yabusele by stretching his salary across multiple seasons.
Deveney floated Brad Wanamaker as a possibility, since Turner plays a ball-handling position. Turner helps a bench that has swayed through spurts of productivity through injuries. They largely rely on young players like Carsen Edwards, Tremont Waters and Javonte Green started with Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart absent on Monday.
Turner is four years older than the last version that played in Boston. He shot 24.1% from three then, or as he’ll tell, you he was the best 24.1% three-point shooter in the league that year.
It’d be fun, he would fit the room and brings boat-loads of experience over the rest of the bench aside from Enes Kanter. Danny Ainge insinuated the need to raise the bench’s average age.
He’d also come at minimal cost, possibly in cohesion with a larger move. Last season with the Trailblazers, he averaged 6.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists on 46% shooting. This year, the Hawks favored younger players and largely sat him prior to the trade.
He’d likely do the same in Boston with Walker, Smart and Gordon Hayward ahead of him as ball-handlers. Though if anybody got injured, he could immediately make plays on the ball.