Could the Heat trade for Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins or Zach LaVine?

Miami Heat Wayne Ellington (2) looks for help from the defense of Minnesota Timberwolves Andrew Wiggins (22) during the first quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Miami Heat Wayne Ellington (2) looks for help from the defense of Minnesota Timberwolves Andrew Wiggins (22) during the first quarter of an NBA preseason basketball game, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

The Minnesota Timberwolves entered this season seemingly destined to improve upon a lackluster 29-53 finish to their 2015-16 campaign. With new head coach and team president Tom Thibodeau and rising stars Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine, the future appeared bright for a franchise that hasn’t experienced a winning season since 2004-05.

Despite their promise, the trio of 21-year-olds has failed to live up to expectations so far. The T’wolves have dropped 10 of their first 14 games, and many are suggesting that it’s time for Thibodeau to make a drastic move.

According to Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report, Thibodeau is expected to look to trade one of his young stars should the losses continue to pile up. The Lakers and the Bulls are mentioned as potential landing spots for the exiled Minnesota player, but could the Heat make a play for one of Minnesota’s young talents?

Pat Riley has made it clear that he intends to add another draft pick if possible, but Riley, with his notorious win-now personality, could attempt to expedite the rebuilding process by acquiring young, proven talent instead.

The Heat have several notable assets they could move. Point guard Goran Dragic has been the name most often linked to potential deals, as the 30-year-old continues the steady play that has been a hallmark of his nine-year career. Dragic would likely hold less value to a Minnesota team that already has an established point guard in Ricky Rubio and invested the No. 5 pick in the 2016 draft in point guard Kris Dunn. Despite the redundancy at the point, if Dragic were to be packaged with a pair of fellow veterans that are outperforming their contracts, like James Johnson or Dion Waiters, it might bolster the proposal.

The Heat also have a young core of Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson they could pull from to sweeten a trade offer, though that seems unlikely.

Of the ‘Wolves young trio, it seems that Towns would be the premiere trade target, but Minnesota likely has no desire to move a player that they’re hoping becomes a franchise cornerstone. In addition, few teams, if any, would be able to put together a package that would make such a trade worthwhile to Minnesota.

Wiggins is no stranger to being dealt, despite his talent and upside, having been acquired by the Timberwolves in the Kevin Love deal in 2014. Wiggins is averaging 23.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game this season and appears to be ascending toward the superstar tier of NBA players. Any move for Wiggins would likely require a superstar-caliber asset in return.

The final piece of the ‘Wolves trifecta is LaVine, the former Slam Dunk Contest champion, who is averaging 19 points and three rebounds per game. LaVine has improved since entering the league in 2014 as the 13th overall pick. Though his value may be lower than that of Towns and Wiggins, he would also likely require a sizable return if traded.

It is unclear whether the Miami Heat have the assets to swing a deal for one of Minnesota’s three young studs, and it’s surprising that the Timberwolves are reportedly willing to move any of them so early in the season. In any case, whether the T’wolves decide to keep the trio intact or the Heat refuse to put together an adequate trade proposal, it remains unlikely that Towns, Wiggins or LaVine will be taking their talents to South Beach.

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