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Welp, it’s here, and although nothing has happened yet, I want to quickly review for you everything that has been going down in the past few weeks up to this very minute. And once the Timberwolves make an actual move, be sure to catch it here at Howlin’ T-Wolf as well as analysis from Tom and I.
The rumor with the most legs to it has been a proposed three-way deal between Minnesota, Portland and LA Lakers. The deal has Michael Beasley going to LA, Steve Blake going to Portland and Jamal Crawford coming here with other pieces — draft picks, salary stuffers — involved where needed. This deal came to fruition last night, and Crawford’s DNP-CD against New York last night had everyone thinking it may be a go as early as this morning.
But for some reason the deal came to a hault. Whether the teams are working out details or still laying down the groundwork, nothing has been declared official. Because nothing has become official yet, rumors have it that the trade’s groundwork is still being structured. Instead of Steve Blake leaving the Lakers for Portland, reports have it that Luke Ridnour may be the PG on the move in the deal. That would mean the Wolves give up two players for one and the Lakers giving up essentially no one at the moment for Beasley.
This can’t be right, right? Before Ricky Rubio’s injury, Ridnour may have been expendable, but now Ridnour is one of two full-time ball-handlers at the PG position — Malcolm Lee ain’t ready just yet. If this indeed is the newest rendition of the deal, I’d be surprised if the Wolves didn’t get more, say one of LA’s two first round picks in the upcoming draft. And that’s at the bare minimum they should receive back in addition to Crawford. There’s no reason to hand cool-hand Luke over for nothing. Beasley and Crawford have similar trade value, in my opinion, so shipping Ridnour out too just sweetens the deal for Portland.
It is entirely possible that the Wolves could receive a PG in return if they include Ridnour. Perhaps the Wolves take on Raymond Felton, or another fourth team jumps in to send a PG here just to shed a contract. If that’s the case, it may make more sense.
Regardless, I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around the idea of trading Ridnour after he’s done so much for this team in almost two seasons. He has a role on this team and just shipping him out for another PG doesn’t seem logical in any way unless he’s simply not happy playing here.
If the Wolves fail to get this three-way deal completed, they could look elsewhere to bolster the 2-guard spot. Reports two days ago said the Wolves and Magic talked about a Jason Richardson-Michael Beasley swap. The deal looks good for both teams, giving the Wolves a true shooting guard and the Magic just pure talent to entice Dwight Howard to stay.
I’m a bit indifferent to this move. I enjoy watching J-Rich play, and he fits the bill of need for a shooting guard who can, well, shoot but also use his athleticism to get to the hoop — He’d be fun watching play alongside Rubio. But the posing issue is J-Rich’s contract. He’s signed through 2015 at just over $6 mil a year. That’s not expensive by any means, especially given his current production this season but by 2015, J-Rich will be 34 years old. That’s just too old, even for a team looking to acquire veteran players.
That’s about it for now. With two trades swirling in the rumors and no deal done yet, the Wolves are likely to make a move. Stay tuned and follow me on Twitter for all the updates. Once a deal is — or isn’t — finalized, I’ll add a post analyzing just exactly what went down. Until then…