Breaking Down the Trade of Telfair/Smith/Madsen for Q. Richardson

As you all have probably already heard the Wolves traded Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith, and Mark Madsen to the Clippers  in exchange for the twice already traded this summer Quentin Richardson.

I’ll have more on the deal later but for now you can take a look at Kevin Arnovitz’s breakdown of the deal from the other side of the table over at ClipperBlog.

You can also listen to David Kahn’s conference call with the local media about the trade as well as his trip this week to Spain and an update on the ongoing coaching search.

Analysis Update:

Why this trade makes sense:

With a roster full of point guards and power forwards we move 3 from those 2 positions and get 1 at a position of need, shooting guard, back. So it certainly makes sense in terms of balancing out the roster.

Talent wise I think the Wolves lost in the deal. I think Craig Smith was the best player we sent to LA in the deal and he was actually sneaky efficient on offense (He had a PER of 17 by John Hollinger’s formula last year). That being said its not like we had a ton of minutes to go around and give him. Right now Love and Jefferson should be eating up about 50-60% of the team’s minutes at 4+5 with Ryan Gomes sure to take a chunk as well as some combination of the newly acquired Etan Thomas and Darius Songalia. As for Quentin, he showed he still has at least some game left and is known for being mostly a 3 point shooter (career 35% from 3). That being said other than bringing a little bit of size the best thing he brings with him is his expiring contract.

Speaking of Q’s expiring contract, salary cap wise is another way this trade makes sense for us. Both Smith’s and Madsen’s deals were already expiring, however Telfair had a player option next year for $2.7 million that he would have most likely exercised. By making the trade the Wolves have given themselves even more flexibility next summer.

Chemistry wise this trade may be a wash. I do really think that moving Telfair before he had the opportunity to be a bad influence on Flynn (and Rubio) was a good move. That being said both Smith and more especially Madsen were good locker-room presences and leaders on a younger squad like the Wolves.

The one other positive this trade brings the Wolves is the flexibility moving forward as we get 2 roster spots from it that we can use to signe free agents, whether it be Paul Harris, Garrett Siler, or Rob Kurz  from our summer league team, or for some late season free agent pickups.

Overall I think the trade makes some good sense for the Wolves. As its a minor deal it probably deserves a B grade or so.

Two important things to keep in mind as well are that in the conference call Kahn leads one to believe that the Wolves have more moves to make and that it could very well be that Richardson could be moved yet again.

About Jonah Steinmeyer

Been a Wolves fan for probably way too long to be considered a sane human anymore. An avid golfer in my free time.

Jason B.
Jason B.

I'm actually sad to see Rhino go. If he could have picked it up on defense, he'd have been more than solid. That said, we had to lose some at the 4. I just hope Richardson and at least one of our new centers works out. I'm excited about Flynn, and I'll be excited about Rubio whenever he shows up.


We're getting killed because Smith is a good scorer but I stood next to him at one point last year and he is way too short to defend any post player. There's no way he's over 6'5 and that killed us on D. Either Q gives us a decent 2 next year and we have more cap space or we move him for something better. Either way, I think it was a good trade.

Jim G.
Jim G.

I thought all 4 of these guys were already retired and collecting their guaranteed money that the teams had bought them out with since not any of them could play a lick any longer.