ORLANDO – The trade deadline of 2 p.m. today is fast-approaching and the Wolves have remained quiet, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been checking to see what deals might be out there to make.
Specifically, the Wolves are looking for a way to move on from the contracts of point guard Jeff Teague and center Gorgui Dieng, according to league sources.
Teague signed a three-year, $57 million contract in July 2017. He has a player option for $19 million next season that he might take, given he has been injured for most of this season. Dieng has two years remaining on a four-year deal worth nearly $63 million. One source said interest has been soft so far for those players, given their high salary cap hits.
The Wolves have other, more desirable trade chips if they want to cash some in — potentially at the cost of making a playoff push. They have multiple veterans on expiring contracts who might attract interest from teams contending for a title. Among them are guard Derrick Rose and forwards Taj Gibson, Anthony Tolliver and Luol Deng. After rarely playing earlier this season, Deng has shown in recent weeks he still has something left in the tank.
After owner Glen Taylor fired Tom Thibodeau as coach and president of basketball operations on Jan. 6, he left basketball-related roster oversight in the hands of General Manager Scott Layden. Layden has been in communication with interim coach Ryan Saunders on what might be available in the marketplace.
Taylor said then that he wanted to make the playoffs, but the Wolves haven’t surged in the standings amid multiple injuries since Saunders took over. It could complicate whether the Wolves deal any of their veterans for future assets if Taylor still would like to pursue a postseason berth. The Wolves were four games out of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference entering Wednesday.