UPDATE: As time has progressed, the rumors are whizzing by faster then ever before. The draft is just around the corner and there’s no denying the Wolves are listening to offers around the league. Here are just a few more rumors sliding down through the grapevine. Let’s review:
The Lakers seem irritable. They failed to accomplish their goals this past season and Kobe Bryant isn’t getting any younger. But if the rumor that they’re actually dangling their second-best player is true, then it seems they’ve gotten desperate. Very desperate indeed.
Gasol is not the best player on the Lakers, but he’s certainly been a major piece to their success. He started all 82 games last season with no real injuries and posted nearly 19 points a night along with 10 boards, even at 31 years old. He’s as efficient as it comes and is what I think keeps Kobe from running off the track and turning L.A. into a train-wrecked, one-dimensional offense on a nightly basis. But, with Phil Jackson out as head coach, Gasol’s role in the offense may soon be limited as they’re triangle sets could be inched out of the equation by Mike Brown. The Lakers may now pair they’re desperate needs with the aging Gasol’s potentially limited offensive role and turn it into youth, draft picks and a new future in L.A. After all, dynasties must rebuild after some time; they don’t last forever.
As for Minnesota, I think they’d be reluctant to make this deal happen… That’s if they pay the right price for it. Kevin Love is deemed nearly untouchable right now and newest reports say the Wolves are falling more in love with the #2 pick than ever before and plan to keep it. But if the right offer presents itself, they’ll deal it, and fast. Gasol would fit nicely along next to fellow Spaniard, Ricky Rubio, as he eases himself into transitioning to the NBA. Gasol would be that mentor for Ricky, which would be great, and be a great locker room presence for the rest of the team.
So, even though I highly don’t see this deal getting done, the Wolves could really use it. It’d bring some star-power and leadership back to the Twin Cities and fulfill that ultimate need of a veteran big man. APPROVED.
This rumor just started a few days ago and could perhaps be the one to trump ’em all. Maybe. Although he’s had health issues in the past, Bogut played very well for the Bucks last season. He averaged a double-double with nearly 13 points a game and 11 rebounds and also led the league in blocks (2.6 bpg). He’s one of the few pure, prototypical defensive-minded centers in the league, which must be highly desirable.
Bogut coming to the Wolves would mean two things: 1) They’d have a legit defensive stopper in the paint to help Love inside; and 2) They’d finally have that franchise center to build around. Bogut, since coming into the league in ’05, has really improved his game from year-to-year. He’s never really changed who he is but has adapted his game to establish himself as a dominant, not over-powering though, center in the league.
This deal also comes with a bonus on the side and that’s that #10 pick. Any deal that acquires a veteran big man and allows the Wolves to stay in the lottery is a win-win. Also, projected to go around this pick are sure-fire needs like Alec Burks and Klay Thompson. Both players are pure shooting guards and would plug a gaping whole at the 2 for the Wolves. Burks would be a better fit given his scoring ability, especially off-the-dribble and at the rim, but Thompson’s shooting efficiency would be just as welcome and embraced warmly. Either way, it seems like this trade couldn’t go wrong for the Wolves, especially if Bogut stayed healthy. APPROVED.
Seemingly enough, according to the newest rumors, the Wolves are getting their wish granted for a veteran big man. The latest rumors have Chris Kaman, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bogut on the docket. Next on the list: Marcin Gortat.
Although it’s my least favorite named deal out there, it wouldn’t be a bad one. Gortat is a talented center with his best years still ahead of him. After being traded to Phoenix from Orlando at this year’s deadline, Gortat thrived being the main attraction at center after being stuck behind Dwight Howard. He’s showed the league he can be a monster in the paint and will likely continue to do so.
Now let me explain why this trade isn’t my favorite. Gortat is only known for his big body and offensive lethality. He’s not the defensive menace the Wolves are craving in the paint. Honestly, I’d say he’s no better than Darko on the defensive end. Sure his offense would be a tremendous plus, but do we really need yet another liability on the defensive end? Let me answer: No.
There are ways to sweeten this deal on the Wolves end. The supposed trade is #13 + Gortat for the #2 pick, but if the Wolves could somehow throw fillers in (Flynn/Ridnour, Pek/Darko, Webster) and pry Nash out of the desert, it would be well worth the lack of defense coming our way. It would satisfy the fan base’s desire for a star and give Rubio that much-needed mentor while filling that need for a starting center. Nash/Rubio, Wes, Beas, Love and Gortat along with whom we get at #13 would be great. But that’s certainly far’ fetched. For now, I’ll simply call it DENIED.