NBA Rumour Roundup: Timberwolves ‘intensifying pursuit’ of Russell

NBA insider Alvin Williams joins Lead Off to discuss his playoff expectations for the Raptors this season without a "superstar" player, and whether Pascal Siakam might one day fill that role.

With just under three weeks until the chaos of the NBA trade deadline descends on the Association, the rumour mill remains churning away, frenzied as ever.

In a season that’s seen each franchise claim some share of the league’s narrative — the natural extension of the game’s recent dynastic runs coming to an abrupt end as of late — it’s anyone’s guess who emerges as the kings of the second half.

With a slew of teams taking aim at a title that seems far more attainable than in years past, let’s take a look at the latest rumblings from around the league.

Timberwolves once again in pursuit of Warriors’ D’Angelo Russell

The Timberwolves have opted to start anew — currently sitting 13th in the Western Conference, the club’s front office is “actively pursuing deals on a number of fronts to try to remake the roster to better fit their vision for the team,” according to The Athletic‘s Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania.

Tops among their potential targets is Golden State Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell, whom the club is reportedly “intensifying their pursuit of,” per The Athletic.

Not only is Russell close friends with Minnesota star Karl-Anthony Towns, the T-Wolves reportedly pursued the former Nets guard over the off-season as well, before he landed in Golden State on a max deal.

Though the fit would appear to be ideal should a deal come to fruition, the Warriors “to this point not been inclined to move Russell,” according to The Athletic, with the 23-year-old serving as the team’s primary offensive option during the absences of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

On the flip side of that, Minnesota’s Robert Covington has found himself in demand from a few teams across the league, with Houston, Dallas and Philadelphia emerging as interested parties, per Krawczynski.

Hawks looking at Steven Adams, losing interest in Andre Drummond

After it appeared a deal was imminent between Atlanta and Detroit as recently as a couple weeks ago, it seems the Hawks have cooled on swinging a trade to land all-star Andre Drummond, according to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes.

A deal that would have sent Drummond to Atlanta in exchange for Damian Jones, Chandler Parsons (or Allen Crabbe, who’s now in Minnesota) and a first-round pick has fallen through, says Haynes.

Despite the breakdown in talks with the Hawks, Detroit is still reportedly looking to move its talented big man for the right haul.

As for Atlanta, Haynes highlighted Oklahoma veteran Steven Adams as another target the club will turn its attention to, adding that the Hawks could revisit acquiring Drummond once free agency rolls around, if they don’t find another solution by the trade deadline.

Former Raptor Jakob Poeltl another option as Hawks look to support Trae Young

Atlanta is intent on adding more quality to their roster to supplement young star Trae Young with a competitive squad — careful not to create a situation in which lacklustre results cause the franchise cornerstone’s mind to wander.

For what it’s worth, while Young has seemed patient thus far, he’s made it clear that he wants the Hawks to be better than what they’re showing at the moment:

That being the case, Atlanta’s thrown its hat into the ring for to Drummond, Adams, and a reunion with Dewayne Dedmon. Another option on the front office’s radar is San Antonio’s Jakob Poeltl, according to Bleacher Report’s Michael Scotto.

The 24-year-old is 39 games into his second season with the Spurs after spending two years in Toronto, his exit coming via the trade that landed Kawhi Leonard in a Raptors uniform.

It remains to be seen whether the young Austrian will emerge as the solution for the Hawks’ woes, or if the club opts to let the trade deadline pass and looks to address their needs in the off-season.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.