Three Trades for Forward Robert Covington

With the Timberwolves set to miss the playoffs again, the team will likely trade Robert Covington before Thursday’s trade deadline. Here are three teams that could be interested in acquiring the two-way forward. 

3. Philadelphia 76ers

Timberwolves trade: Robert Covington

76ers trade: 2022 Lotto-protected first, Zhaire Smith, Mike Scott, 2020 Swap Worst (Minnesota second)

Will we once again see RoCo hyping up the Philly fans during opponents’ free throws for free Frosties? The Sixers need shooters, and Covington certainly fits the bill. If this deal goes through, Tobias Harris would likely move to the four, while Al Horford would become the sixth man.

Covington’s a great defender, and an adequate shooter at 35.9% from deep on his career. Horford hasn’t looked comfortable, especially with Joel Embiid also on the court, so a move to the bench would make sense. Covington fits with this team; the bigger question is whether or not Elton Brand is willing to give up a first-round pick to get him.  

The Timberwolves are seeking two first-round picks for Covington, but the reality is that they likely won’t get that. A lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick from Philly should turn into a decent pick down the road. Additionally, Minnesota receives a pick-swap with the Atlanta 2020 second that Philly possesses. The pick swap means the Timberwolves would be getting the more favorable of the two second-round picks between Atlanta and Minnesota. A solid draft payout for a solid player.

Additionally, the Timberwolves would be acquiring the 16th pick in the 2018 draft in Zhaire Smith. Philly had high hopes for Smith, but he was set back by an allergic reaction that caused him to lose 25 pounds last season. The Sixers still view him as a raw prospect who could turn out well down the road. He’s only played 25 minutes this season. In Minnesota, he’ll get more opportunities to play. Mike Scott has had a rough season, but his contract has to be added to this deal to make the money aspect of the trade work. 

2. Brooklyn Nets

Timberwolves trade: Robert Covington

Nets trade: 2020 Philadelphia first, 2021 Atlanta Second, Rodions Kurucs, Garrett Temple

The Brooklyn Nets traded their first-round pick last year to Atlanta in a deal that yielded them Taurean Prince. However, in year four, Prince has taken a big step back, shooting 38.5% from the field, the lowest mark of his career. Prince is barely above league-average as a defender, at a 0.4 DBPM, but Covington would undoubtedly be an upgrade on defense. The Nets projected starting five with RoCo would look something like Jarrett Allen, Robert Covington, Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Kyrie Irving, with Caris LeVert as the sixth man. That’s a solid core for a team with playoff aspirations.

Philadelphia’s 2020 first-round pick projects to be somewhere in the 18-25 range: a nice trade asset for Minnesota.  Additionally, Atlanta’s 2021 second likely projects to be a high second-round pick. Those two draft picks fit what the Timberwolves are realistically going to get for RoCo. 

Additionally, the Timberwolves would get the 40th pick from the 2018 draft in Rodions Kurucs. After an unexpected excellent rookie season, Kurucs has seen his playing time diminish this season with the Nets acquiring Taurean Prince. However, Kurucs is super quick driving to the rim and is a solid shooter at 34.6% from deep in his career.

The biggest concern surrounding Kurucs right now is a possible domestic violence incident that occurred last June. Garrett Temple has quietly played very well for the Nets this season. His contract must be added to make the money aspect of the trade work. Minnesota may be able to flip him to a contender for more assets as well.   

1. Dallas Mavericks

Timberwolves trade: Robert Covington

Mavericks Trade: Jalen Brunson, Courtney Lee, 2020 Golden State Second, 2025 Lotto-protected Dallas First

While Dorian Finney-Smith hasn’t been terrible this season, the Mavericks would be benefitted by getting an upgrade at small forward. Robert Covington would help Dallas guard the perimeter, while still posing as somewhat of a three-point threat. If they can get him, he fits very well on this roster. Finney-Smith moving to the bench would take Justin Jackson out of the rotation. Jackson has had a rough season, with a -3.7 BPM. 

Unfortunately for both teams involved, the Mavericks cannot trade their first pick until 2025 due to the Stepien Rule. With a lottery protection, that pick may not help Minnesota immediately, but it would give them an asset down the road. Additionally, the Timberwolves would receive Golden State’s 2020 second-round pick, which projects to be a high second. Two solid draft assets for a player in Robert Covington, who is very good, but far from elite, is a good payout for this team.

The Timberwolves would also get a young point guard in former Villanova Wildcat Jalen Brunson. Brunson doesn’t get much attention but quietly has been very solid the past two seasons as Luka Doncic‘s backup. With the team trading Jeff Teague to Atlanta, they have no clear point guard of the future. While Brunson likely won’t be an all-star, he’s a helpful young asset to possess. In case you forgot, Courtney Lee is still in the NBA. His 12.8M contract makes the money aspect of this deal work.  

Follow me on Twitter @PodolskyDanny

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