The NBA’s trade deadline is rapidly approaching, as this coming Thursday at 3 p.m. ET teams will have to have any deals they want done completed. As such, the rumor mill is starting to heat up and while few are expecting much in the way of a huge move before Thursday, there is plenty of shuffling that can happen and maybe, just maybe, a blockbuster out there.
Clint Capela is reportedly getting interest from the Hawks and others, with a three-team deal almost assuredly needed to facilitate a trade — with Houston possibly trying to use such a deal to bring in Andre Iguodala from Memphis. Elsewhere in the Association, Robert Covington is a hot name on the trade market, with the Timberwolves falling out of contention in the West and available 3-and-D wings tough to come by for contenders.
Minnesota seems keenly aware of how valuable Covington might be to teams looking to improve their standing as contenders, and per Marc Stein of The New York Times, they are asking teams for a significant return.
Ambitious as it sounds, Minnesota has sought two first-round picks in exchange for Robert Covington in advance of Thursday's trade deadline, league sources say. Let's see where the Wolves land if/when they actually deal him, with Philly and Houston at the front of the RoCo line
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 3, 2020
Getting wo first rounders in a trade is usually the type of thing reserved for a star player, even if they are protected first round picks. As Stein notes, the Rockets and Sixers appear to be the teams most likely pursuing Covington, and Houston just sent a bunch of firsts to Oklahoma City in the Russell Westbrook trade, so it’s possible that Capela talks could also include Minnesota in an effort to pull in a first from another team to fit the Wolves’ request. Philadelphia has far more future picks at their disposal, but that is a steep price for Covington that they might balk at. The Sixers do still have a ton of seconds that maybe they can pique Minny’s interest with to replace one of those firsts.
What this report mostly indicates is that Covington is likely going to be difficult to trade for this week. It’s not impossible and demands can change as the deadline gets closer, but it’s hard to see Minnesota getting this much for Covington — while also understandable why they’re starting negotiations with such an aggressive ask.