The Minnesota Timberwolves reportedly were willing to offer more than the Los Angeles Clippers did for guard Bones Hyland at the trade deadline, but the Denver Nuggets’ ownership didn’t want to help the Wolves.
Hyland, who was dealt to the Clippers for two second-round draft picks, was a first-round pick by the Nuggets in the 2021 NBA Draft, but he had recently fallen out of Denver’s rotation.
“Bones Hyland was the second trade target that they nearly completed,” Darren Wolfson said of the Timberwolves.
However, the Nuggets didn’t seem willing to help Tim Connelly, who used to be in Denver’s front office, and the Wolves complete a deal for Hyland.
“They thought they had a deal done, they would have done what the Clippers did,” Wolfson said. “In fact, they would have done more but you’ve heard me mention this. … There was a thought that the Denver ownership group was not willing to help Tim Connelly here in Minnesota.”
The Wolves and Nuggets are in the same division, so that could be another reason why Denver chose the Clippers’ offer. It’s possible that the Nuggets didn’t want to face Hyland on a rival team several times a season.
Adding Hyland would have been helpful for the Wolves, especially after they traded away D’Angelo Russell at the trade deadline.
The team did get Mike Conley to replace Russell at the point guard position, but Hyland is a streaky scorer that could have made up for some of the offense the team lost by moving on from Russell.
This season, Hyland is averaging 11.9 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game while shooting 39.9 percent from the field and 38.0 percent from beyond the arc.
He should have a solid role for the Clippers the rest of the season, especially since the team parted ways with point guards John Wall and Reggie Jackson at the deadline.
The Nuggets ended up adding Jackson to their roster in the buyout market, and it’s likely he will step into Hyland’s old role off the bench.
Both Denver and Minnesota are in the playoff picture in the Western Conference with the league at the All-Star break. Denver has the No. 1 seed in the West, holding a five-game lead over the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Wolves, on the other hand, are looking to avoid the play-in tournament. Right now, Minnesota sits in the No. 8 spot with a 31-30 record.