Agree or disagree but rumors have the power to saturate one’s mind. Living in a fantasy where everything lives up to your standards is the ultimate dream for so many Americans. Even us basketball junkies can become swept by the rough tide rumors create.
So it’s time to face our fantasies. Let’s quickly review all the rumors going on in the past few weeks and I’ll tell you exactly why they will/won’t/should/couldn’t work.
This one is a bit old dating back to the trade deadline but Iguodala’s name has popped up everywhere this offseason to no surprise. Most recently he’s been linked to the Golden State Warriors, where an Ellis-Iggy swap could be done straight up. As for the Wolves, a move for Iggy would be picture-perfect; he’s an NBA All-Defensive team player with emphatic skills on the offensive end to hold his own.
The issue is the asking price. Some rumors are linked to Mike Beasley, Ricky Rubio and the #2 pick (Not all but a combo of probably two of them). The other problem with Iggy is his contract. Iggy’s guaranteed over $44 million for the next three seasons. And although the Wolves have the money and flexibility to absorb that deal, it’s not very practical. David Kahn has been adement on keeping that cap flexibility open — for only God knows what reason — but now with the financial stability of the league at stake as well as a looming lockout, it’d take a Charles Barkley to gamble that much money away in unstable times like these.
Iggy would be a great play for the Wolves if the conditions were perfect, but they’re not. From what I’ve been hearing, the 76ers are asking for too much, Iggy gets paid too much, and so, it’s just not there. Therefore the rumors should be DENIED.
Monta’s a terrific young player. He’s matured greatly over the past season and seems ready to carry any team’s offense all on his own, if needed. Only problem is that Golden State is looking to develop Stephen Curry more, another guard that needs the ball in his hands to do his work, and, poof, the Curry-Ellis tandem is now considered a mess.
Golden State could really benefit moving Ellis, especially for the right asset. How about shipping him to Minny? Who says no first? I’ll tell you: The Wolves. Unlike Iguodala, Ellis forgets to play defense, a major red-flag for David Kahn right there. And no matter how many points you score on the other end of the court, if you can’t play a lick of defense, the Wolves shouldn’t have any business with you. There’re too many players, already, on this team that don’t quite sit up to par when it comes to defense, and adding another starter with the same trait won’t help in the defense efficiency category.
Even though Ellis is an exciting player in of himself, he’s not exactly what the Wolves are looking for. The Wolves need leadership, defense and perhaps the ability to take over offensively when the game’s on the line. Ellis holds just one of those characteristics. Sorry, we need someone to possess at least 2/3 for them to be worthy. DENIED.
Many of you have talked with me about how Granger would be the ‘perfect fit’. You’re right. He’s got plenty of what the Wolves need. The only problem is that he’s not a superstar and needs to be surrounded with the right talent otherwise he’ll fizzle out. Let me explain.
Granger just finished his sixth season in the NBA, all six with Indiana. He’s 28 years old, and while that may not seem old to many, in basketball years, 28 is as good as 33. The Pacers had six years to surround Granger with the right talent and probably gave its best hack at it this year bringing in Darren Collison to play alongside Granger as well as Roy Hibbert and Tyler Hansborough. They did reach the playoffs but were violently ousted by the Chicago Bulls. It just simply wasn’t enough. Granger did all he could during the season and postseason to lift the Pacers to victory, but the supporting cast wasn’t there.
As much as I respect Granger, he’s just not the guy for the Wolves. To pay a price like Beasley and the #2 for an aging scorer just isn’t worth it. The value doesn’t match the price in this case. It’s close but not quite enough. DENIED.
This one’s been all over. And rightfully so. With the joyous news of Ricky Rubio finally ready to jump the pond for next season, the Wolves want to be very careful with his development. After all, this team’s built for player development, right?!
Anyways, Nash could come to Minnesota and easily step in as the starting point guard ahead of young Rubio. He would mentor and guide Rubio on his quest to become a part of the NBA’s elite. It truly does seem like he’s the perfect fit in terms of need on the court, in the locker room and everywhere else. But Nash is 37-years old…
37-year olds don’t want to spend the rest of their career mentoring students of the game. We’ve seen it this year even. Veteran players prefer to play for winners and have the best possible chance at a championship. Steve Nash is no different. He’s a one-time NBA MVP without an NBA championship to speak louder than his other accomplishments. Minnesota just isn’t the place for him, even if it was just one season. We’d be doing him a big favor by not trading for him, so he can go out there and end his career on top, perhaps even holding the Larry O’Brien trophy. So unfortunately, DENIED.
The Wolves need help at center. The “Manna from Heaven” Darko Milicic and Nikola Pekovic made that need very clear last season. David Kahn really enjoys “long and athletic” players too. Enter Javale McGee. Arguably the longest, most athletic center in the league (Na, it’s really D. Howard. I’m just trying to spice up McGee’s resume) McGee seems to be the perfect fit along the Wolves’ front court. He’s a defensive prowess in the paint, hawking down fluttering balls, left and right. He’s a great rebounder given his sheer size and strength. And he’s an explosive treat on offense, especially when on the end of an alley-oop pass.
But is he the right fit?
Granted these are still rumors we’re talking about, the suggested deal of McGee/#6 for #2 would be a steal. The Wolves could acquire a decent center while not falling out of the mix of getting a good player in the top 10. They could then turn that #6 pick into a shooting guard, or even Bismack Biyombo, and head into the new season with a fresh, young core and established starting lineup. The only problem is that I don’t think the Wizards would ever throw this deal out there. Even though McGee’s a bit juvenile in his demeanor, they love his upside, as does everyone. They’d have to be asking for more in return than just the #2 pick which makes it much less appealing to the Wolves. This rumor is just a game of tug-o-war: Who’s gonna cave first? Wolves cave and say no unless the deal is Mcgee and #6 for #2. DENIED.
Now this one’s really coming out of left field. I mean, someone must have dug so far into the imagination-land that they came up with this one and decided to throw it out there for all to see, and I’m not entirely sure of the real source.
I’ll make this easy for ya. The Wolves, despite Kahn thinking Favors could be the best player from last year’s draft down the line (He actually said this), will not do this deal. They have such a log-jam in the frontcourt already, including Beasley, that adding another young big that needs development and experience would be an ultra hassle. BUT, say the Wolves traded Love for another piece and then did this deal, it would make sense. I’d trade the #2 of this draft for 1, 2, or 3 of last year’s draft (Wall, Turner, Favors) But all that ain’t goin’ down. DENIED.
I threw Varejao’s name in here because I’ve heard it multiple times but also another rumor was the proposed three-way trade with the Pistons and Cavaliers. The Pistons would send Rip Hamilton and his colossal contract along with the #8 pick to Cleveland for a rack of balls and two spare basketball nets, and then the Cavs would send that Pistons pick (#8) and/or the #4 or Varejao to Minnesota for the #2. If you get the combination right on the Wolves’ returns, David Kahn has to listen.
It’s been established that this draft is a two-player draft (Irving and Williams). Neither of those players fit the bill in Minnesota right now given the current make-up of the roster. Without doing major changes, there’s just no way they could fit in. And reaching for a player like Enes Kanter at #2 could be frowned upon. In this deal, the Wolves would automatically fill the need of a defensive-minded center while moving back in the draft and having the opportunity to draft someone like Brandon Knight or Alec Burks. It just seems like the perfect move.
But the likelihood of the deal going down rests in the hands of Detroit. Sources say that Detroit thinks they can get players back for Hamilton and not just some loose change. So the odds of the deal going down are slim-to-none, but for the first time in a while, there goes a rumor that makes tons of sense and has a better than 0-percent chance of happening. APPROVED.
Stephen Litel is a writer/reporter for Hoopsworld.com, so take this rumor with a hefty tablespoon of salt as well as any other rumor. But this could be fantastic. Although Raptor fans wouldn’t be the least bit happy, depending on the package they get in return, the Wolves would walk away with an exciting young player that has the ability to blow the whole top off the Target Center.
Odds are that if this deal went down, though, the Wolves would have to take on a bad contract, most likely Jose Calderon. But what many don’t know is that Calderon and Rubio were teammates on the Spanish team back in the 2008 Olympics, where they got the silver medal. Calderon would actually be a great mentor to Ricky, perhaps better than Nash, because of their nationality, their friendship and even Calderon’s knack for being a better shooter than Rubio. Taking on a big contract such as Calderon’s is a big price to pay but it could very well be worth it. And as for Derozan, well, what else is there to say? He’s an exciting talent on the rise. He can’t shoot, which would be a problem next to Rubio, but over the last two years, the Raptors have invested plenty of effort into his development and he now has a shooting stroke that is much more mechanically sound, tooling himself for a more efficient year shooting next season.
The pieces aren’t really set in place here. There are things that need to be assessed before pulling the trigger on this deal because it’s hard to tell what actually would be involved on the Wolves side other than probably Flynn, who Toronto has liked since the 2009 draft, and the #2 pick this year. But regardless, this seems like the deal that could ultimately help swing it back into winning ways while still establishing a young core that can grow for years to come. APPROVED.
That’s all for now. Please let me know if you’ve heard of any other relevant rumors flying around and I’ll be sure to add them to the list.