Rumor: Timberwolves Floating Ideas to Upgrade Backup Center Position

The Timberwolves will be considering many options to add depth to their frontcourt this offseason, and 1500′s Darren Wolfson has said that Eddy Curry is a name that is being — and I emphasize – floated around as a possible target. Now, before we overreact, the definition of “floated” has not changed to the point of becoming a synonym for “imminent”. It’s an idea, and one that seems pretty typical of the Kahn-Adelman era as a low-cost and low-risk/high reward option. Sometimes those gambles have worked out (Kirilenko) and other times they haven’t (Brandon Roy), and this appears to be another that could potentially be added to that category.

Curry SS

 

Curry would also come cheap based on the contract he signed with the Mavericks at the beginning of the season that was for the league minimum and also non-guaranteed. With the Timberwolves snug against the cap going forward, these are the types of contracts they’ll be looking to add.

However, Curry, who has played very little in the past years, showed several signs of rust with the Mavericks. In just two games, he somehow managed to post a PER of -0.1 in addition to averaging  a comical 10.1 fouls  per 36 minutes and just 5.8 rebounds per 36 minutes. As terrible as he was, his .500 FG% would’ve been his best since the ’07-’08 season, but that’s based off of only a two game sample in which he took just eight attempts.

Likely the only reason the 30-year old Curry still gets any mention is because he’s seven feet tall, and size like that will almost always ensure that you’ll continue to pique a team’s interest long after you’re even a worthwhile garbage time player. After all, the Spurs, Heat, and Mavs have all taken a chance on Curry in the past couple of years using the same low-risk/high-reward mentality.

At his peak, Curry was a solid contributor, but those days are long gone. It’s clear that the Timberwolves are turning over pretty much every possible stone to upgrade the backup center position, and apparently Curry’s name has been thrown out there, although that idea could very well be dead by now. Yet, it seems that help in that area will go by a different name and not Curry’s.

Waning through the rumors

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:

Pau Gasol

Pau Gasol:

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.

Andrew Bogut:

Andrew Bogut

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.

Marcin Gortat

Marcin Gortat:

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.

Click here to review a few other rumors that have been floating around for weeks now.

Waning through the rumors

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.

Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala:

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. Continue reading

The pot's beginning to boil

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.