Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
We're fast approaching the Trade Deadline--a day that I always look forward to, year after year. I usually spend the day sitting at my computer on Twitter constantly hitting refresh from about 8am-2pm. That is my plan...once again.
This season is Flip Saunders' first at the helm and it will be very interesting to see what he does at the deadline. I think the Wolves will make a deal, but I don't know that it will be a significant one.
The Wolves already made a trade early in the season sending Derrick Williams to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Unfortunately with a bit of a logjam at the forward positions (Brewer, Budinger, Cunningham, Muhammad, Hummel and even Alexey Shved--in certain lineups).
There are differing reports on who exactly is 'available' for Minnesota. Some reports say that everyone except Kevin Love is untouchable, others say that J.J. Barea, Alexey Shved & Dante Cunningham are all available. I don't see Saunders trading Kevin Love (at least not this season) despite what all these NBA analysts are saying. I can understand why the Wolves would trade him now--get a couple young guys and lotto picks for the loaded 2014 Draft, because it's pretty clear that this team isn't going to make the playoffs. I also understand retaining him because he's not eligible to be a free agent until after next season, when he can decline that player option and join the 2015 free agent class.
According to multiple reports, the Mavericks & Lakers are trying to put together trade packages to pry him away from the Wolves before Thursday. I can't see them putting together any kind of package good enough. Are you interested in Ryan Kelly or Robert Sacre and some second round picks? How about Monta Ellis & Sam Dalembert with a late-first round pick next season? Unless the Thunder call offering KD or the Heat offer up LBJ, I can assure you that Love will still be a Wolf come Thursday evening.
Is anyone else getting a little tired of hearing a new weekly 'rumor' that states: "The (insert team name) are interested in Minnesota's Kevin Love." Who wouldn't be interested in Love? He's the NBA's best rebounder, a Top 5 scorer and a big man with three-point range. All 30 NBA teams would/should want him.
So, with the unrealistic Kevin Love rumors out of the way, let's get on to Andre Miller, J.J. Barea, Chase Budinger & the Memphis Grizzlies.
Last night, Woj sent out a tweet that had stated that 'discussions' had taken place between the Grizzlies and the Wolves on a deal that would reportedly send Chase Budinger & J.J. Barea to Memphis and bring Tayshaun Prince and (maybe) Tony Allen to Minnesota.
Usually, I'd say that I'm for any trade that rids the team of J.J. Barea. I'm not a fan and while he's nowhere near the main problem with these underperforming Wolves, he's still one of the problems. It sounds as though Flip is shopping Barea hard and that's what I like to hear.
However, this trade rumor with the Grizzlies is not ideal for the Wolves. They'd be giving up two of their best shooters (on a team that continues to struggle to hit three-pointers) and they'd be getting to defensive vets on bad contracts. Tony Allen makes another $15million the next three years after this season and Tayshaun Prince makes $7.7million next season. Tony Allen is a perennial All-Defensive team candidate and he would definitely bring an added toughness defensively for the Wolves (something that is foreign and strange to this Wolves squad as currently constructed). I think it's a great idea to add some defense to this team, but I don't know that Allen and the ghost of Tayshaun Prince are the answer. Prince is having the worst season of his NBA career. Beyond Prince's rookie season where he averaged just over 10 minutes a night, he's averaging career lows across the board: points (6.1), rebounds (3.1) & assists (1.7). Add to those awful stats the near $8million he's making next season and I don't envision anyway in which this really helps the Wolves. If you want added defensive toughness, play the guy you already traded for who (given the chance) could help these Wolves (Mbah a Moute). With Allen, I like the initial idea of him on the team, but the lengthy contract he signed this offseason, that he'd be 'on the books' until he's 36 years old and the fact that he's played just 27 games this season with a hand injury--and I don't see why the Wolves would mortgage what little financial flexibility they may have this offseason for two aging defensive players who struggle to score.
I think this 'rumor' was something that the Grizzlies put out to try and spark some interest from the other 28 teams out there. I'd love for the Wolves to add more defensive toughness, but this isn't an ideal trade.
The other big rumor out there is Minnesota's interest in Andre Miller. We've talked about Miller in the past and his situation (see those past posts in the News section for more on that). Miller has been adamant that he WILL NOT return to the Nuggets (despite their dire need for a reserve point guard). It has also been reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves are Miller's #1 choice among teams that have expressed interest in him. Unfortunately it's not up to Miller and the Nuggets ultimately don't care where he'd like to go.
A swap of J.J. Barea for Andre Miller has been proposed, but the Nuggets aren't interested in J.J. The Wolves are looking to pawn Barea off elsewhere and assuming they can do that, it sounds as though there will be another trade that will bring Miller to Minnesota.
The trade deadline is Thursday at 2pmCST. Stay tuned to HOWL for all your TWolves trades (& rumor) updates.
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