In a three-team accord, the Wolves traded Kevin Love to the Cavaliers and Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved to the 76ers, receiving Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett from Cleveland and Thaddeus Young in return. The move has been Saunders' best so far, as it rid Minnesota of a disgruntled Love and gave it a rookie of the year favorite and potential superstar in return. Bennett, though, has struggled this season, and Young ended up being traded again at the deadline for Kevin Garnett.
Starting the rebuild
After a bevy of injuries derailed an already developmental, reset season, Saunders' decision to send veterans Corey Brewer and Ronny Turiaf to Houston in a three-team deal that brought back cash, Troy Daniels and a pair of second-round picks signaled the Wolves' move into full rebuild mode. Brewer, meanwhile, has done well for the playoff-bound Rockets, averaging 12.6 points off the bench.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY SportsTroy Taormina
No more Mo
Like Brewer, point guard Mo Williams has helped Charlotte immensely since Saunders traded him there with Daniels for cash considerations, a 2019 second-round pick and sharpshooting guard Gary Neal on Feb. 10. Williams is scoring 19.8 points and handing out 7.6 assists per game while filling in for injured Kemba Walker, while Neal has rediscovered his shooting touch in the Twin Cities after a couple rocky seasons in Milwaukee and Charlotte.
Chris Nicoll-David ShermanChris Nicoll-David Sherman
Bringing the Payne
Saunders, general manager Milt Newton and the rest of Minnesota's front office were awfully high on Michigan State power forward Adreian Payne heading into the draft. So when they saw an opportunity to add him to the roster for nothing more than a lottery-protected first-round pick Feb. 10, they jumped at it. In 14 games with the Wolves, Payne is averaging 7.6 points on 39.4 percent shooting and 5.9 rebounds per game.
NBAE/Getty ImagesAndrew D. Bernstein
The decision to deal Young for estranged franchise face Kevin Garnett was as much about The Big Ticket's potential impact on Minnesota's youngsters and repositioning him within a franchise he one day hopes to own as anything else. The on-court returns have been minimal: between rest and a sore knee, Garnett's appeared in just five games since the Feb. 19, trade deadline deal, averaging 7.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest.