Minnesota Timberwolves: Michael McDonald, Dunking With Wolves
It’s been disappointing in Minnesota this year. It’s difficult to get excited about the trade deadline. The poor health of Kevin Love (the best stretch-4 in the game) means the Wolves are probably going to have to keep Derrick Williams (their hot, young and inconsistent stretch-4) on their roster until a bigger deal can be made. It will probably happen on Draft Night, because that is when our lame-duck G.M. makes all of his moves. As it stands, the Wolves have their own pick and another one from a ’11 trade with Memphis and most of the good blogs are already breaking down prospects. It wasn’t supposed to be like this this year.
Ah, but trade talk…
The Wolves have been connected to the Knicks, Sixers, Celtics and Jazz in rumors surrounding utility guard Luke Ridnour. Ridnour was signed as a backup point guard, hasn’t ever really gotten a chance to play that role — he is currently the starting shooting guard — and thus, isn’t exactly a fan favorite despite being one of the few Wolves still standing who can shoot straight.
For Rick Adelman to give up such a security blanket, you would hope the Wolves to get more of an actual shooting guard than the futures package. So giving up Ridnour and pieces for a return of Courtney Lee, Arron Afflalo, Evan Turner, and Jared Dudley — even Alec Burks would be a coup at this point.
No one is expecting anything close to this.
More encouraging is what hasn’t made the trade rumors: Brandon Roy’s expiring contract. Roy hasn’t met his games-played requirements guaranteeing the second year of his deal — needless to say — and reports are he is rejecting overtures to buy him out. Regardless of whether or not he just wants the money or is attempting another ill-fated comeback, the fact he is even being offered a buyout instead of being actively shopped means the Wolves are looking to keep his expiring contract as salary cap relief to be used for themselves.
This is in itself great news because Nikola Pekovic’s pending restricted free agency has been looming as large as the man himself all season. Center production doesn’t come cheap and last summer’s ill-fated Nicolas Batum offer is likely to spawn a spiteful Paul Allen offer for him. Pek has been given verbal assurance he isn’t going anywhere, for now.
The Wolves could have used Roy’s roster spot for a live body to throw out when things were real bad, but at this point the Wolves are just trying to get healthy enough to build some continuity for next year. If it’s JJ or Luke who has to go to get a functional wing besides Rubio and Kirilenko while Shved gets his legs under him, they have to go. But don’t ask me what a win looks like. It doesn’t look like this.
New Orleans Hornets: Christian Blanks, Pelican Debrief
The Hornets do not need to make any trades at this time. Many have said to trade this year’s draft picks but I think the Hornets pick will be more valuable if they kept it rather than trade it. Other than trading their draft pick no player with any trade value on the Hornets should be traded (Anthony Davis, Greivis Vasquez, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, and Robin Lopez).
There is one trade I have thought about that would be awesome for the Hornets. If somehow the Lakers would agree to do this, trading Metta World Peace to New Orleans for Al-Farouq Aminu and Xavier Henry. It checked out via ESPN’s trade machine. This could make sense for both team, Metta is on a two-year contract worth $7 million a year while Aminu and Henry both have expiring contracts. If the Lakers may decide to go in a different direction after this season this deal wouldn’t be so far-fetched after all.
Aminu has been emerging as a dominate wing rebounder and plays with a ton of energy, what the Lakers need.
Acquiring World Peace would be huge for the Hornets. All they need is a more reliable small forward and World Peace would bring offense and tenacious defense. Al-Farouq’s future with the Hornets is un-clear right now, his team option for next season was declined but they can still re-sign him. Trading him for a good seasoned veteran would be ideal.
New York Knicks: Matt Shetler, Buckets Over Broadway
Do Nothing. Ideally I would like to see the Knicks make a push for Utah’s Paul Millsap, but there are two problems with that situation. The first being that it would take a whole lot more than Iman Shumpert to get that deal done. Secondly by bringing in Millsap, it moves Carmelo Anthony away from the 4, where he is his most effective.
I feel the Knicks need a traditional low-post banger to contend for a title this season, but being that the Knicks only have one trade chip in Shumpert, a deal for Millsap or even Portland’s J.J. Hickson is unlikely.
The potential move for J.J. Redick is intriguing, but the Knicks biggest need is frontcourt depth. With that being said there is no way I move Shump for Jared Dudley or Luke Ridnour, so I stand pat and roll the dice with what I currently have.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Andrew Kennedy, Thunderous Intentions
For the Thunder, there is a 99 percent chance they don’t make a big move. They could possibly trade Eric Maynor and someone like Kevin Martin would be a long shot. It doesn’t seem like there’s a lot out there though that the Thunder would take a chance on and they haven’t been linked to hardly any rumors.
Orlando Magic: Brett David Roberts, Presto in the Paint
J.J. Redick is far and away the Orlando Magic’s most valuable trade asset. He’s been linked to Milwaukee, Indiana, Chicago, Minnesota and Utah. His 15.3 points per game and 4.4 assists are career highs, and he’s on a $6.75 million expiring contract.
The Milwaukee Bucks may be the most attractive trade partner. However, their reported interest is mitigated by the fact that they want assurance he’ll re-sign. If they feel they can retain the 2-guard’s services, they can put together an attractive which could sway Magic GM Rob Hennigan. Hennigan is reported to be seeking young talent on a rookie contract, expiring deals and a draft pick for Redick.
If Milwaukee was willing to part ways with 2012 lottery pick John Henson, Mike Dunleavy’s $3.7 million expiring deal and a first round pick, Hennigan may have no choice but to do it. Redick has said numerous times he wishes to stay in Orlando, but the 28 year old may not be a part of the Magic’s long-term plans.
That’s what Hennigan has to decide: Can he re-sign Redick to a favorable deal this summer to keep him in central Florida, or does he have to trade him now to avoid getting nothing for player whose value is very high around the league?