This small backcourt of Rubio & Ridnour the Wolves have used has been effective at times...and at others...not so much. I think a small backcourt like that would be good to bring off the bench. Bring Barea or Ridnour off the bench to pair with Rubio or paired together!
Wesley Johnson has been starting at small forward, though he began this season as the Wolves' starting shooting guard. I've said this before though: Wes shouldn't be starting at all and should have a lengthy stint in the D-League to regain some confidence on both ends of the floor. So...clearly Wes isn't the option as viable starting shooting guard for the Wolves or in the NBA...right now.
The trade deadline for this shortened season is March 15th. Up to that date, analysts, reporters and fans will all be speculating and even hoping the Wolves make a trade (the fans at least).
The Timberwolves are currently 5th in the Northwest, but they're 11th in the Western Conference and just two games out of an 8th seed for the playoffs. It's going to come down to David Kahn & Rick Adelman debating whether or not they want to give a key piece of a budding franchise away for a playoff chase this year.
There do seem to be some expendable players on the roster that aren't in Adelman's playing rotation. Those players? Anthony Randolph for one. Randolph has found himself to be the odd man out for the Timberwolves. He's played in 18 of the Timberwolves 28 games this season. 8 of those games are listed as Coach's decisions. The other two, AR was inactive (as the Wolves could only dress 13 players and they had 14 healthy players at the time). And in the TWolves' last 7 games, he's played just 1!
Let's take a look at some potential players who the Wolves could look to acquire via trade (at least some players that names have circulated the past month or so...
ANTHONY MORROW, New Jersey Nets (13.7ppg, 2.8rpg, 42% FG, 42% 3PT, 94% FT, in 29.5mpg)
-It wasn't really until Feb. 3rd when the TWolves played the Nets and Morrow dropped 42pts on Minnesota, that he began to catch the eye(s) of most fans. In that game on 2/3, Morrow played just 33 minutes as he was still recovering from an ankle sprain he suffered in a previous game. He shot 13-for-20 from the field and an impressive 8-for-11 from three-point range, while adding a perfect 8-of-8 at the line. Of all the candidates we'll find on this list, as far as making trades goes...Anthony Morrow is the most likely candidate, in my opinion. With the deadline approaching and the Nets in a really good position to make a trade for Dwight Howard in some sort of trade that will likely include the following combination of players for the Nets: Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Jordan Farmar, Mehmet Okur & a first-round pick, in exchange for Dwight Howard & Hedo Turkoglu. That seems to be the most likely trade for the Magic, who'll very likely trade away DH before the March 15th deadline. How does that effect Minnesota? The Nets will be looking to shed some salary space in order to accommodate to Dwight's large contract. If the Nets were able to dump Anthony Morrow's $4million salary, they may not have to give up so many players to the Magic. I'm not sure who the Wolves would trade to get Morrow, but I reckon it wouldn't be much...
O.J. MAYO, Memphis Grizzlies (12.0ppg, 3.2rpg, 1.9apg, 1.0spg, 42% FG, 37% 3PT, in 25.9mpg)
-Without a doubt Mayo is the most talked about trade target, among TWolves fans. Mayo was originally a Timberwolf, when Minnesota selected him in 2008 with the 3rd overall pick. He was soon traded to the Grizzlies in exchange for the 5th overall pick: Kevin Love as well as shooter Mike Miller. Clearly this was an EXCELLENT trade for Minnesota, as it's panned out better for the Wolves, as K-Love has turned into a superstar. Since the Grizzlies acquired Tony Allen last summer, O.J. Mayo has been moved to the bench as a sixth man. He's the player on this list that I most hope the TWolves make a trade for. I felt that way last season when the rumors of him potentially being traded last season arose. A trade of Anthony Randolph & Wayne Ellington may be enough to get him. That seems a bit low to me, but then I remember at the trade deadline last season the Indiana Pacers nearly traded Josh McRoberts (now with the Lakers) and a pick to the Grizzlies for Mayo! With Mayo, Ellington would've seen even less time and Randolph has again been buried at the end of the bench and clearly isn't a part of Adelman's rotation. In this trade, Memphis would be getting a solid shooter and a versatile big man that can play the two forwards and even some center.
RAY ALLEN, Boston Celtics (14.6ppg, 2.9rpg, 2.7apg, 49% FG, 50% 3PT, 92% FT, in 33.3mpg)
-Out of all the possible trades being discussed here, a trade for the Celtics' Allen, is definitely the most unlikely. Ray Allen is without a doubt one of the greatest shooters the NBA has ever seen. The Wolves' GM Danny Ainge said a few weeks ago that he would definitely consider breaking up the Celtics' 'Big Three' (Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett) if it brought back a building block and young player for the future. For Minnesota--I'd assume that would be someone like Michael Beasley, Derrick Williams, or even Wesley Johnson. Yeah, let's be honest, Wes Johnson couldn't bring back any player of value to this team, not with the way he's been playing this season! Allen will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and has already said he'd like to sign an extension with the Celtics. A trade of Michael Beasley & Martell Webster would work financially, but I'm not certain that Beasley is someone Boston is very interested in and considering Martell Webster has struggled thus far this season after having offseason back surgery. Probably not the most likely of trades. I can basically guarantee the Wolves wouldn't give up a young prospect like Derrick Williams for a 36-year-old shooting guard, not matter how good he is.
KEVIN MARTIN, Houston Rockets (18.4ppg, 3.1rpg, 2.6apg, 43% FG, 35% 3PT, 90% FT, in 32.7mpg)
-After Ray Allen, a trade for K-Mart is the next most unlikely. Mainly because his salary is around $11.5million a year for this year and the next. Martin is a key cog for the Houston Rockets, but that doesn't mean a trade for him is completely out of the question. If you recall, Kevin Martin was a part of that original trade that would've sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers. In that deal, Martin & Scola went to the Hornets and the Rockets ended up getting LA's big man: Pau Gasol. The same trade that we discussed in that deal for Ray Allen would also work here. Beas is owed roughly $6.3million, with just one-year on his contract as he'll be a restricted free agent this summer & Martell Webster is owed roughly $5.3million this year and next.
COURTNEY LEE, Houston Rockets (9.9ppg, 2.5rpg, 1.5apg, 1.1spg, 47% FG, 38% 3PT, in 25.4mpg)
-Here's a more likely trade the Wolves would be able to pull off. Sure, he's probably one of the less talented players of the rest listed here, but he'd be better than anyone the Wolves have at shooting guard right now. Lee is currently coming off the bench for the Rockets and with all the swingmen on their roster, it may not take much to get him. I think a trade of Anthony Randolph of Courtney Lee would be fair enough. It, of course, works financially and the Rockets would be able to add to their frontcourt with a young athletic player that can play both forwards and some center. Randolph is in the final year of his contract and will be a restricted free agent next season. As I said before, he's no longer in Adelman's rotation, so I highly doubt he'll be back next season in Minnesota, anyway. I'm not sure of the relationship between Lee & Adelman, but Courtney would likely be a welcome addition as he knows Adelman's system and could start right away alongside Ricky Rubio in the backcourt. I'm going to be honest, this seems to be the most likely trade to go through and I truly believe he'd be the best possible option for Minnesota. Lee will be a restricted free agent next season and I highly doubt they'll have to give up much to get him.
J.R. SMITH, Free Agent
-I pray that the Wolves aren't serious, when they say that they're actually considering signing J.R. Smith. Sure, he's a good shooter, but he's not the kind of player I want on my team. J.R. is a shooter and by that I mean, if he touches the ball, don't expect him to give it up. He's been playing over in China and is heading back this week. He'll soon sign with a team and according to multiple sources, the Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks & Indiana Pacers have also registered interest in Smith and the Clippers & Knicks are listed as the two most likely destinations for the shooter. I pray the Wolves don't make the mistake of signing him. He's not worth who/what they'll have to give up. With 15 healthy players, someone would have to be either traded or waived to make room for J.R.
Who do you want the Wolves to acquire? Is there someone we've overlooked? Do you have a trade of your own? Let's us know what you think in the comments section below. I've made my 'decision'--If we can't get O.J. Mayo then Minnesota should trade for Courtney Lee. Both players seem to be available by their respective teams, Mayo's name has definitely shown up more in the trade rumors, however. Below is simply a list of the names of some guards (some swingmen, but mostly shooting guards) that will either be restricted or unrestricted free agents this summer, if the TWolves do indeed decide to 'wait it out'...
JASON TERRY, Dallas Mavericks (UFA)
RAY ALLEN, Boston Celtics (UFA)
COURTNEY LEE, Houston Rockets (RFA)
ERIC GORDON, New Orleans Hornets (RFA)
RANDY FOYE, Los Angeles Clippers (UFA)
MATT BARNES, Los Angeles Lakers (UFA)
O.J. MAYO, Memphis Grizzlies (RFA)
CARLOS DELFINO, Milwaukee Bucks (UFA)
LANDRY FIELDS, New York Knicks (RFA)
BILL WALKER, New York Knicks (RFA)
CHAUNCEY BILLUPS, Los Angeles Clippers (UFA)
JODIE MEEKS, Philadelphia 76ers (RFA)
VINCE CARTER, Dallas Mavericks (UFA)
NICOLAS BATUM, Portland Trailblazers (RFA)
LEANDRO BARBOSA, Toronto Raptors (UFA)
C.J. MILES, Utah Jazz (UFA)
That's all for now. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!