The Wolves secured veteran shooting guard Kevin Martin by sending away Luke Ridnour to the Milwaukee Bucks. Minnesota acquired Martin via sign-and-trade with the Thunder on Thursday night. Ridnour was sent to the Bucks along with a second-round pick from Minnesota. The Thunder got the draft rights to Szymon Szewczyk from the Bucks and OKC also send an undisclosed amount of cash to both Minnesota & Milwaukee.
By trading away Ridnour, the Wolves gained financial flexibility and were able to strike a three-year, $15million deal with swingman Corey Brewer. They also were able to make Chase Budinger's 3-year, $16million deal official.
Andrei Kirilenko also found a new home during my time away. He agreed to a two-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets. The first year of the deal is worth about $3.1million and the second year is a player option--AK certainly didn't secure the long-term deal he sought, but he has a chance to play for a contender, while being the primary backup to Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett.
The Wolves then signed journeyman big Ronny Turiaf to a two-year deal worth an estimated $3.2million. He'll provide backup at power forward and center. Most importantly, he gives the Timberwolves a veteran presence and leadership and the experience of playing for a number of winning ball clubs--last season with the Clippers and a member of the 2012 Champion Miami Heat.
The Wolves also upped their offer to center Nikola Peković. It now stands at 4-years and $50million with many expecting Pek to take the offer and remain in Minnesota.
Minnesota's assumed roster when the offseason comes to a close...
Point Guard: Ricky Rubio, J.J. Barea
Shooting Guard: Kevin Martin, Alexey Shved
Small Forward: Corey Brewer, Chase Budinger, Shabazz Muhammad
Power Forward: Kevin Love, Derrick Williams, Dante Cunningham
Center: Nikola Peković, Gorgui Dieng, Ronny Turiaf
That gives Minnesota 13 players and it's likely that they could add one or two more to make the maximum 15 players on the roster.
I really like how the roster is shaping up. A starting lineup of Rubio, Martin, Brewer, Love & Peković is an offensive juggernaut and luckily with Brewer in the fold, the Wolves may not be as bad defensively (as initially thought--with Chase as the starting three).
In other TWolves related news: Greg Stiemsma signed a one-year, $2.7million contract with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Wolves waived him earlier this week and there was some talk of him returning to Minnesota on a smaller deal once some of these larger transactions went through. I'm beyond elated that, that didn't happen. I am slightly upset that Kirilenko won't be back, but I'm pretty excited to see what this team can do. I was thrilled about the way last year's team was built and I truly believe this one is EVEN better.
A healthy TWolves team means the end to the decade-long playoff drought in the Twin Cities!
I'm off to Paris for the weekend and won't be back until Sunday night, so I assume I'll miss plenty more. My apologies in advance. I'm back stateside a week from today and regular and timely posts should be back to normal then! Thanks for reading!