NBA trade rumors: Wolves may let go of two young stars for veteran

Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves. | Wikimedia Commons / Neon Tommy

A few days ago, there have been talks that the Minnesota Timberwolves are eyeing a veteran presence to help them improve.

So far this season, the Wolves have not lived up to their potential and find themselves struggling in the Western Conference. At the moment, they are 5-12 and have the third-to-the-worst record in the West. They are in a two-game losing streak and things certainly need to change.

As a result, the talks circulated that head coach Tom Thibodeau is looking at one of his older teams to pick up some veteran presence. Names like Luol Deng, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson got thrown around as the Wolves' head coach looked for some direction for the young squad.

However, there were questions on whether who would be traded if the Wolves went for veteran players to improve their season.

Some thought that they would have to give up either Karl-Anthony Towns or Andrew Wiggins in order to bring in older talent. Naturally, there were hesitations given the ceiling that these players had.

However, according to a source, two names have been mentioned in the rumor. Shabbazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine could be on their way to the Los Angeles Lakers for Luol Deng.

In terms of salary, this makes sense as Deng commands more with a four-year, $72-million contract as compared to LaVine and Muhammad's respective deals. Deng is now 31 years old and has slowed down, using his veteran wits to help the Lakers at the moment. This is exactly what Thibodeau wants to bring to the Wolves.

Thibodeau is seemingly ready to give up LaVine who averages 19.9 points this year and has improved significantly. He is only 21 years old and has a lot of upside to his game aside from his flashy play.

Meanwhile, Muhammad is only 24 and may not put up the numbers like LaVine, but he is a combo player who can fill up the space when needed.

This is a calculated risk for the Wolves and should be reconsidered before it is executed.