The Timberwolves are orchestrating multiteam trade discussions with Houston and Atlanta in hopes of ultimately turning discussions into a four-way deal that brings Golden State guard D'Angelo Russell to Minnesota, league sources told ESPN.
The Timberwolves, Rockets and Hawks have the assets to fulfill some of each team's goals: forward Robert Covington to Houston, center Clint Capela to the Hawks and potentially two first-round picks and an expiring contract to Minnesota, league sources said.
For Minnesota, those potential draft assets could be useful in talks with Golden State on a Russell trade or elsewhere in deals at the trade deadline or in the offseason.
The Timberwolves have been engaged in talks with Golden State in recent weeks about a package that includes Russell, league sources said.
A gulf has remained between the Warriors and Timberwolves on a possible agreement.
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Golden State has an interest in shedding salary in a potential Russell trade, and Minnesota could need to give the Warriors flexibility on which year or years they'd prefer draft picks, league sources said.
Golden State is already headed toward a high lottery pick in the 2020 NBA draft, which isn't considered strong. Minnesota's Andrew Wiggins would have to be included in almost any Russell trade package.