Comparing NBA rebuilds: Are the Detroit Pistons close to an all-in move?

Detroit Pistons v Chicago Bulls
Detroit Pistons v Chicago Bulls / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Minnesota Timberwolves' Route

The argument could be made that the Timberwolves had the best setup before their rebuild began. They traded for Andrew Wiggins a month after he was drafted in 2014, hit on Karl-Anthony Towns the very next year, and traded for Jimmy Butler. For the sake of this article, however, the Timberwolves kicked off their rebuild by trading star Jimmy Butler after public issues with roster chemistry surfaced, specifically surrounding an internal scrimmage that went south in 2018.

After this trade, they began hitting on draft picks, both on Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels. It was around this time that Minnesota jumped above .500, signaling they were in a position to make the jump, and so they did. Minnesota packaged up veterans that they had collected over the years, plus multiple first round picks to go out and get Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz. They would trade Andrew Wiggins in a larger package that netted them D’Angelo Russell, who they eventually would flip as well to retool the draft capital cupboard. 

Again, Minnesota was in a good position to reset their rebuild with guys like Jimmy Butler, Karl Anthony-Towns, and Andrew Wiggins, but they still succeeded at their rebuild thanks to their strategic moves. Correctly deciding which guys to restart around, getting value for the others, hitting on draft picks, and making the move for an all-star at the perfect time now has the Timberwolves in second place in the West.