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The trade deadline is nearing and only rumors and speculation swirl around the forefront. To no surprise, the deadline’s headliner is the unknown soon-to-be destination of Carmelo Anthony and which teams — if any others — will actually be involved in the mega deal that could potentially be the start of another big three forming on the East coast somewhere.
According to reports from All-Star weekend, Melo is still not interested in signing an extension with the New Jersey Nets. Chris Broussard and Marc Stein believe that the Knicks are still the front-runner to land the NBA superstar.
From reports in the past few weeks, it’s been rumored that this is where our Puppies fit in. In order to actually facilitate salary cap numbers to make a deal for Melo, the Knicks need a third party to come along and take on Eddy Curry’s fat contract — and body?With a surplus of cap space and nothing to lose, who better than the Wolves to get involved? This is where the blurred confines of this deal begin to fade even more.
The Wolves have been interested in the athletic and highly talented Anthony Randolph for quite some time, and now it seems inevitable that they end up getting him before the deadline in whichever trade actually takes shape (There have been rumors that if it doesn’t get done through the Melo deal, the Knicks will deal him to the Wolves straight up.) Randolph is an under-utilized post player with some seriously special skills. He can play either the 4 or 5 and would come in and make an immediate impact on defense. The offensive side could be a different story, which makes you contemplate whether he and Love — both average post players at best with a limited repertoire of moves down low — would actually coincide as beautifully as others make it out to be.
In order to obtain this bundle of potential, the Wolves will actually have to give something of value as well as take on Curry’s contract. The proposed value being exported is really where no details have been clear at any point in time. Some reports have us sending just Corey Brewer. Some say just a first-rounder — either the Utah or Memphis pick — is the price. Even some reports have us sending both in the deal.
In my personal opinion, Randolph’s case is awfully similar to Darko’s last season. A talented but clueless big man who never quite caught the eye of Mike D’antoni and his high-octane, offensive driven style of play. Both players remind me a lot like that kid on the school ground that neither team captain wants, so he ends up being picked last and never gets to play anyways. Where I’m going with this? Last year, we sent Brian Cardinal to the Knicks in exchange for Darko’s potential; a legitimate trade that counts as sending nothing-for-something. This year, we’re surrendering much more than just a garbage-time player. Although the late first-rounder may not be worth that much, Corey Brewer has quickly established himself as one of the better defenders in the league this year. His freakishly long limbs and endless energy physically wear down his opponents to the point of exhaustion — we’ve seen it from some of the league’s best already this year.
This trade, if both Brewer and a first-rounder are involved, are a classic example of David Kahn failing to make anything of our current resources while sending away a fan-favorite in Brewer. The TWolves Blog has something to say about this:
This is another example of Kahn’s continued demonstrated incompetence and a very questionable use of resources. Consider the perceived value and opportunity costs given up by the Wolves: 1) Worst case scenario: Brewer, a starting player on our team, a first round pick, or both. Decent value as it is and certainly more than enough value for an 11th man on a Knicks team, However, 2) We are renting all of our cap space in favor of a potentially better deal until the offseason, a time when our cap room will be in the $6-$7 million range, potentially less with the Randolph addition. All of this so New York can: 3. Move an albatross deal that will free up enough cash so they can acquire Carmelo Anthony and 2 former Wolves point guards, one of which was a NBA Finals MVP, thus solidifyng their future and essentially making Donnie Walsh’s Knicks rebuild a staunch success. If this doesn’t get any Wolves fans left on team-Kahn to fold, then I will start to rudely question sanity.
It just doesn’t make much sense for the Wolves to be apart of any deal involving Brewer. Period.
As the week moves along, more and more details will develop. But don’t fooled! Rumors are never true until they come to fruition, so my warning to you all is not to get your panties in a bunch when you hear petty rumors about Steve Nash or Andre Iquodala here and there. Just let it all play out and we’ll converse on Thursday when the deadline passes.