The Minnesota Timberwolves were active today, making two trades to improve the future of the franchise, while aiding in the future of one Eastern Conference team and the now for another.
Earlier in the day, the Timberwolves started it out by trading Mo Williams and Troy Daniels to the Charlotte Hornets in a package for Gary Neal and a future second-round pick.
Williams was highly sought after by many contending teams as a cheap, available option at point guard. He will start for the Hornets–or at least see significant time–until Kemba Walker returns. This move also moves Lance Stephenson out of the point guard role.
It was reported earlier that the Timberwolves would just waive Neal, but recent reports refute that.
Wolves beat reporter Jerry Zgoda explains:
Flip said they have no plans to buy out Gary Neal. Said they needed to get a shooter back in deal
— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) February 10, 2015
Minnesota didn’t stop there. The Wolves went out and acquired Atlanta Hawks first round pick Adreian Payne for a future draft pick.
Payne appeared in just three games this season for the Hawks compared to four D-League assignments. The draft pick is lottery-protected starting in 2017. It becomes a second round pick after 2020.
For the Hawks, the move opens up cap space and a roster spot for a potential free agent (Ray Allen). Meanwhile, the Wolves hope that Payne turns into a similar player as Michigan State product Draymond Green.