Yes folks the Timberwolves just made their third trade of the summer and no it probably won’t be the last. The Wolves dealt the recently acquired Etan Thomas to the Oklahoma City Thunder along with multiple second round picks in next years draft in return for two veterans in point guard Chucky Atkins and wing Damien Wilkins.
The Minnesota Timberwolves announced the team has traded center Etan Thomas and two future second-round draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for 6-6 guard Damien Wilkins and 5-11 guard Chucky Atkins.
“We’re committed towards rebuilding our roster with an eye towards flexibility and long-term success, and this move better positions us for the summer,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “I want to thank Etan for his professionalism and understanding, and wish him all the best moving forward.”
Atkins, a 10-year veteran, could replace Telfair as a much-needed mentor to the young point guards. He could also provide depth if Rubio, who has an enormous buyout clause in his contract with DKV Joventut, is forced to remain in Spain instead of playing for the Timberwolves this season.
Wilkins, meanwhile, will be making a belated move to Minnesota nearly four years after nearly joining the Timberwolves. Wilkins signed an offer sheet with the Timberwolves in 2005, but the SuperSonics — who later moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder — matched the offer for the restricted free agent and kept him.
The way Kahn is wheeling and dealing this summer, there’s no telling how long Wilkins will be on the roster. Like Thomas, Wilkins and Atkins have expiring contracts.
Much like the trade last week for Quentin Richardson, this is at best just a lateral move that helps the Wolves positionaly this season while also now splitting Etan’s expiring contract into two for Kahn to have more flexibility in trades moving forward. I don’t foresee either guy playing too much (you can see the Daily Thunder rejoicing at their departure here), although Atkins could see more time as the backup pg over Bobby Brown especially after his summer league play, and I see both as being acquired for more of a veteran presence in the locker room especially with Atkins being able to show the point guard ropes to Jonny Flynn. As for Etan Thomas, although a serviceable center in the league, he probably wouldn’t have seen too much time either with Love and Jefferson both getting the heavy minutes at the 4 and 5.
The only thing that I could call into question is losing the two second round picks especially as next years draft is said to be much deeper than this years, and that even this year second rounders were being sold for up to $2 million each.
Taking it all into account this is probably another B trade and like the last nothing to get too excited about.
What I think Wolves fans can get excited about however is what this trade shows us about Kahn.
- He continues to work the phones in the midst of a coaching search and trips to Spain.
- He is not afraid to pull the trigger on deals even if they don’t change the franchise significantly
- He sounds like he is setting up the roster for something big later in the year probably at the deadline.
For these reasons I think its another day to smile as a Wolves fans. Good things are going to come to those who are patient.
UPDATE 7/27/09 10:06 CST: From Jerry Zgoda’s Twitter account:
Chucky Atkins contract (only 760K of $3.48 mil is guaranteed) is the key to today’s Etan Thomas for Atkins/Damien Wilkins trade with OKC. Expect another one w/ Atkins soon.
David Kahn calls Atkins’ contract “valuable,” suggests another trade featuring him and his contract is on the horizon.