The Minnesota Timberwolves need depth at the wings, 3-point shooting, perimeter defense, and could stand to unload one of their three point guards under contract for $4 million-plus a pop (not Ricky Rubio). And since it’s officially dealing season with the NBA Draft hitting us on Thursday, it’s time for rumors that don’t make any sense to start flying.
Remember MarShon Brooks out of Providence? Back in 2011, I really wanted this guy to be on the Timberwolves. The team had the 20th pick in the draft and following their selection of Derrick Williams at No. 2, it seemed like a real possibility the Wolves could get him at 20. Instead of opting for that route, David Kahn started wheeling and dealing to
bring in cash to pay for Kurt Rambis’ existing two years left on his deal after being fired accumulate assets and ended up with… well hell, I can’t even keep track of it two years later. I know the Wolves got a bunch of cash, Brad Miller’s hunting gear, and Malcolm Lee.
Well, now the Wolves can acquire Brooks for the low, low price of J.J. Barea and Luke Ridnour, according to sources of the New York Daily News:
The Nets have been involved in discussions of a trade that would send MarShon Brooks to the Timberwolves, multiple sources told the Daily News.
Minnesota has shown interest in the third-year guard out of Providence, calling around the league for feedback and initiating trade discussions. Talks have not escalated to anything serious or imminent at the moment, according to a source. However, another source said that a proposal is on the table waiting for the Timberwolves’ approval.
The Timberwolves have an excess of experienced point guards, and the Nets are searching for one because CJ Watson will opt out of contract by the June 30 deadline. JJ Barea and Luke Ridnour would seem to fit the Nets’ needs, although it’s unclear if they’ve been discussed in trade scenarios.
Both point guards earn more money than Brooks, however, and other players would have to be added to a trade to make salaries match. In the past the Nets have also shown an interest in Minnesota’s Andrei Kirilenko.
Let’s go through this entire idea step-by-step:
- Stefan Bondy is a good guy (had the pleasure of meeting him at the Finals) and a good reporter. I don’t think he’s lying here; I just think his sources are drumming up crap, throwing it at a wall and seeing what’s cooked pasta. Stefan is doing his job of reporting what multiple sources are telling him.
- Brooks for Barea or Brooks for Ridnour literally can’t happen under the collective bargaining agreement. The Nets currently have $Texas as their cap number and so they need a trade to be of salaries within 125% of each other (I believe that’s the number for the kind of taxpayer the Nets are with their salary). Brooks makes $1.2 million this year. Barea ($4.6m) and Ridnour ($4.3m) make nearly four times that amount. A straight-up trade of them is against the rules.
- The mention of Andrei Kirilenko being a target of the Nets for some time means the Wolves would have to take some combination of Kris Humphries and MarShon Brooks for Luke Ridnour and Andrei Kirilenko. Considering the Wolves need 3-point shooting and defense to be a part of this package, it doesn’t make any sense. Brooks can’t shoot from outside (30.2% from 3 in his two seasons) and the Wolves are just fine at power forward for the time being.
- Mirza Teletovic and MarShon Brooks for either J.J. Barea or Luke Ridnour works under the CBA, but now it doesn’t make sense. The Wolves would get a 3-point shooter and a wing scorer for their backup point guard but the Nets are looking to deal Brooks for a backup point guard because re-signing C.J. Watson would be too expensive. So the Nets are going to lose depth with a 2-for-1 so they can get a backup point guard that makes probably the maximum of what Watson will be offered on the open market, assuming he wouldn’t take the mini mid-level the Nets can offer him?
- This is clearly coming from the Brooklyn side of things, which is important here. How would it benefit the Wolves to let this information go or start a rumor about it? How would it benefit the Nets to let this information go or start a rumor about it?
- Let’s say the Wolves are worried about losing Andrei Kirilenko (don’t think they are but let’s pretend) and decide they need to have a replacement of some type for his roster spot? Why would the Wolves trade him to Brooklyn and bring on another big expiring deal that keeps them near the luxury tax when Nikola Pekovic possibly re-signs instead of using their picks and assets (Derrick Williams, Alexey Shved, backup point guards) in an attempt to move up in the draft and try to snag Otto Porter to play the 3 in Minnesota? Then they could let Kirilenko opt out, walk, and save a lot of money in the process (although they’d probably have to take back a mildly bad deal to give incentive for the trading partner to move up). Oh that’s right, because it wouldn’t help the Nets if they did that. Which brings me to…
I’m breaking this part away from the numbering because it will be far more dramatic when I put it out there on its own. I’m all about Flash and Flare, just like Little Brother used to spit about.
This is pointed more toward the Nets fans that will look at this post to see what the Wolves’ side of it is saying (thanks for clicking, by the way). One of my favorite dramatic movies is A Time To Kill with Matty McConaughey as the lawyer representing Samuel L. Jackson, after he killed the men who beat and raped his daughter. The final speech in the movie is a closing argument from Matty in which he asks the jury to close their eyes and pictures the events of the crime against Jackson’s daughter. He describes the terrible acts that happen in gruesome detail and makes just about everybody in the scene and the majority of people watching the movie shed a few tears.
Then the big moment hits when he’s done describing the crime and instructs the jurors to now “imagine she was white.” It’s a startling tactic to cut through the racial components of the situation in the Deep South and get everybody on the same page of what transpired. And that’s the kind of logic I like to apply to trades. It’s not a racial component but the idea of trying to see the other side of things without bias.
What if you were a Wolves fan looking at this trade rumor? Would you view it as something worthwhile and beneficial to both teams or would it look like nonsense to you? (And for the terrible trash-talkers that are going to respond with “I’d never want to be a Wolves fan, I love the Nets, rabble rabble rabble,” you’re a Nets fan. Unless you go way back to the Dr. J days, you really have nothing to brag about either so miss us with that.)
What would possibly be in this for the Wolves if it does include Kirilenko? How does that make them better or put them in a better situation as a roster? They get rid of their best perimeter defender and a backup point guard so they can have Kris Humphries’ expiring deal with Kirilenko already possessing a potentially expiring deal (assuming he doesn’t opt out) and a shooting guard that can’t shoot from outside or play defense when there are plenty of options at No. 9 in the draft to fill the need at the position? The Wolves could move Chris Johnson or Mickael Gelabale for Brooks to make the salaries work but then it doesn’t actually fill a need for point guard with Watson opting out.
Like I said on Twitter, unless the Collective Bargaining Agreement gets deleted and was never saved on someone’s computer/can’t be recovered, I don’t see how this trade rumor makes any sense for anybody other than Nets fans hoping to transform their roster into a deeper team at the charity of other teams expecting nothing in return when it comes the transaction.
I guess technically, it’s a possibility because we’ve seen plenty of horrendous trades in the NBA and a fair number of them involving our favorite organization. But this is Flip Saunders working the phone lines and not David Kahn. You can’t just say, “Hey, here’s a shooting guard you ordered! What do you mean he’s not a good shooter? His position has ‘shooting’ in the name!” Brooks can end up being a pretty decent Sixth Man at the shooting guard position down the road, but he doesn’t really have any of the qualities that Flip Saunders and Rick Adelman have talked about this roster needing.
This rumor smells like guano to me.