MILWAUKEE — The Timberwolves have reached an agreement to address their bench scoring needs before Thursday's NBA trade deadline, acquiring guard Monte Morris from the Pistons in exchange for Troy Brown Jr., Shake Milton and a second-round pick, a source confirmed Wednesday.
The second round is King of Wolves in 2030.
Morris, 28, has just returned from a quad injury that sidelined him for most of the season and played under Wolves president Tim Connelly for five seasons in Denver. He is a career 39% three-point shooter.
He will be a free agent after this season and will make $9.8 million this season. The Wolves receive an additional $800,000 in salary in the deal, but are still about $1.6 million below the luxury tax line. They currently have 13 players on their roster (not counting dual players), and will need to fill the 14th spot eventually, per NBA rules, but they could wait two weeks to do that and see how the rest of the trade deadline plays out. The takeover market is shaking.
Brown played in 37 games (three starts) and averaged 4.2 points per game. Milton signed as a free agent in the offseason, played in 38 games and averaged 4.7 points. The Wolves made the move in part because they didn't get what they were hoping for from Milton, whom they signed to a two-year, $5 million contract for this season.
Milton was a regular part of the rotation early in the season and the Wolves had high hopes of him being the team's backup point guard and primary creator off the bench, but the role never seemed to click for Milton in Minnesota. He heads to Detroit after averaging 4.7 points for the Wolves while shooting just 40% from the field.
Brown's short tenure with the Wolves contained more highs, as he played a key role in some of the Wolves' victories earlier this season, such as a home win over Oklahoma City on November 28 when he had 17 points off the bench. Brown was usually solid in his minutes, but often found himself outside Chris Finch's squad of eight or nine players.
Morris played college basketball at Iowa State and was a second-round pick by the Nuggets in 2017. He played with Denver until 2022, when he was traded to the Wizards, who traded him to Detroit last season.
Prior to this season, Morris had averaged double figures in each of the past three seasons. For his career, he averages just 0.8 turnovers per game, something a turnover-prone Wolves team could use.
With the Morris deal, the Wolves appear to have made their move at this deadline, though it's hard to say how the rest of the trade market will play out before Thursday's 2 p.m. Sources said they were scouring the market for scoring off the bench and possibly a backup point guard, and were interested in a reunion with Apple Valley's Tyus Jones, but the asking price for Jones, who would likely be a first-round pick, was too steep for what they could pay. Offered by Wolves in terms of venture capital. The Wolves won't be able to trade any of their first-round picks until 2031 as a result of the Rudy Gobert trade, thanks to the Stepien Rule, which states that teams cannot trade first-round picks in consecutive years.
The deal also allows the Wolves to hold onto a high second-round pick this offseason. The Wolves will have the lower second-round pick between Washington (9-40) and Memphis (18-33).
“Food ninja. Friendly thinker. Explorer. Entrepreneur. Zombie junkie.