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Minnesota Timberwolves Could Be Dark Horse Candidate To Land James Harden

(via Star Tribune)

(via Star Tribune)

Even with just weeks to go until the start of the 2020-21 season, the James Harden debacle continues to rage on in Houston.

Reports have the star now back in town and ready to begin training camp, but no indication has been made by Harden that he intends to back down from his aggressive trade pursuit.

Needless to say, the rumors have been pouring out from all sides as fans, executives, and media members try to predict what's in store for Harden's future. So far, potential trade candidates for the disgruntled star have only including the Nets and Sixers -- teams that No. 13 himself said he'd be keen to play for. The Clippers also seem like a team that can make a trade like this work.

But in an interesting twist by Locked On Wolves Podcast host Ben Beecken, he presents the Minnesota Timberwolves as a potential dark horse candidate in the Harden sweepstakes.

We know that Gerson Rosas wants to improve the roster and that’s what he should want to do so you have to explore any possible trade for James Harden. A trade for Harden could only happen months down the road. The reason why the Wolves can’t do it now is that they’re not going to trade Towns and they’re not going to trade Russell, they’re just not. You could theoretically include Russell in the trade for Harden, but I’m not sure the Rockets would do that and I’m not sure that it really makes a ton of sense.

So if the Timberwolves wanted to try and make this work, they’d have to wait until some other recently signed and acquired players were eligible to be traded. So in the case of Anthony Edwards who was drafted, they’d have to wait 30 days after he signs his rookie contract. So it looks like late December, roughly three weeks from now when the Wolves could trade Anthony Edwards and of course, his contract is under $10 million. So they would need a ton of other pieces to make the math work. Malik Beasley cannot be traded until the end of February because of his recent signing, Ricky Rubio couldn’t be traded until December 9, which is this week, and because of the shortened season, they are allowing that restriction to be lifted.

If the Rockets do wait a few more months before finally settling for a Harden deal, a package including picks, D'Angelo Russell, or Anthony Edwards might be something they strongly consider. Even with Wall and Cousins, the Rockets would be starting a rebuild if they trade Harden, and the TWolves have the pieces to help them get a head start on that process.

As for Minnesota, joining Harden with Towns might not win a title straight away, but it's certainly good enough for a playoff berth and gets them closer to being a true contending team out West.

While the Wolves' interest in a Harden ordeal is still widely unknown, don't be surprised to see them poking around if the Rockets get off to a slow start this season.