2013 Offseason

Here's a rumor that doesn't make any sense: MarShon to the Wolves?

Brooks Stare

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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?
  6. 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.

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9 thoughts on “Here's a rumor that doesn't make any sense: MarShon to the Wolves?

  1. Circling back on some of the points DK and I both brought up on Twitter…

    -C.J. Watson is going to opt out of his deal and become a free agent.

    -The only way the Nets can re-sign Watson is if they offer him the mini-MLE (which they plan to use on Bojan Bogdanovic) or the vet minimum ($1.1 million, which is the same amount as the Nets currently pay Watson, which is apparently not enough for him).

    -Since the Nets are unlikely to be able to bring back C.J. Watson due to salary cap restrictions (rather than determining they just don’t want to pay him a certain amount), they will have to find a backup point guard either through the draft, a trade or awakening some latent potential lying dormant deep down inside Tyshawn Taylor.

    -As far as backup point guards are concerned, Luke Ridnour and Jose Barea both seem like pretty good fits for the Nets, and the T’wolves are an ideal trade partner since they have a glut at point guard.

    -MarShon Brooks averaged 12.5 minutes per game this season. Mirza Teletovic averaged 9.4 minutes per game. By contrast, C.J. Watson averaged 19 minutes per game, so it’s safe to assume that anyone brought in as a replacement would garner similar burn. So, in theory, the Nets would be giving up their 11th and 12th men to fill the void left by the departure of their sixth man.

    Since, in theory, Nets fans seem to be okay with this, the T’wolves get what they want, and it fulfills CBA requirements, why would Minnesota fans be against this?

  2. Well at the very least Ridnour and Barea’s names are in trade talks, although they’re not substantial. It would be so great if we could find a way to part with one of them. Aside: I love both of them as players but as a lifelong basketball fan I can’t stand seeing either of them play the two spot. We desperately need some perimeter help at the 2 spot. Sometimes in that whimsical space between waking and sleeping I have these visioins Rubio having another good perimeter defender on the court with him forcing turnovers and getting us into those beautiful transition situations. But then I come to and realize that all I saw this year was Barea trying desperately to guard bigger guys and flopping all over the place.

    I also really wanted to get Brooks in that draft, he’s a guy that looks to have all the tools physically but he’s not there yet. I’m not really a guy that goes into the trade machine and pumps out bad trade ideas, but I really do hope Flip finds a way to flip one of those guys even though one of them looks like he’s about 5 feet tall on the court and the other is on the wrong side of thirty and dealt with back issues a lot of the year.

    I actually like the Otto Porter idea as well but I think I’m in the majority when I say I LOVE Oladipo as a player and the things this team could do defensively with him on board if Andrei sticks around. Nice post, thanks for continuing to provide Wolves material through this horrifically depressing season.

  3. I like Oladipo but I think KCP is just as good as a defender and can stroke the long ball something I don’t think victor can do so why aren’t more people jumping on that bandwagon?

  4. I thought I was going to go to the ESPN trade machine and make magic happen where anything brooklyn had would help us……..I was wrong.

  5. I think this particular rumor was conjured up by a writer who has either never watched the Wolves and only knows propaganda he reads on the team or has bad “sources”. Sources who think the Wolves are a minor league club for bigger markets and believes we should trade Love for the Cavs first pick in a weak draft…pretty much like this guy:


    Sidenote: I love the comments from the Wolves faithful and the writer basically giving into the fact that he has no idea what’s going on about the Wolves (which was a fairly big topic in the story)

  6. I don’t understand how Brooks would be a better option to backup the 2 than Shved. I know Shved isn’t exactly a SG, but he shoots similarly from 3, makes more plays for his teammates and plays better defense. Even #26 for Brooks doesn’t make sense because we have a guy in house who can play a similar role better and we could get a shooter or big at 26 who could actually serve a role on the team next year. Shved is going to be stuck behind 2 PG’s anyway (maybe 3 if we can’t deal JJ or Luke), so it makes more sense to me to have him backup the two over getting Brooks to do it and losing an asset in the process.

  7. Great breakdown, I love that you guys are up to the task of thoroughly addressing some of the more publicized rumors- especially ones like this that would otherwise send me into my annual summer T-Wolves panic mode. I peruse the other teams’ TrueHoop blogs now and then, and I am really grateful that you guys are the ones covering my team. Wolves nation was starving for talent, and now we’ve got a bit on the court and a ton on the blogosphere. Keep up the great work!

  8. I totally agree with Kyle here, plus i dont think Brooks is a guy Adelman wants on his team – too selfish and no effort on defense.

    FYI: The Wolves can’t trade Kirilenko unless he opts in for next year, per CBA rules. I suspect thats also one of the reasons his agent wants to wait until after the draft before doing so.

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