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Timberwolves receive O.J. Mayo ($5.6M), Matt Barnes ($1.9M), Troy Murphy ($900K) and Brian Scalabrine ($900K).
Timberwolves lose Michael Beasley ($6.3M), J.J. Barea ($4.3M) and Wesley Johnson ($4.0M).
Minnesota is the most interesting team involved in this trade. It currently has a roster filled with low cost players and budding NBA stars. However, it is not a true playoff-caliber team. Not yet, that is.
The Timberwolves have a trio of young talented players at point guard, small forward and power forward positions to build a dynasty around in Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams and Kevin Love, respectively. What the Timberwolves need now is to use the expiring contract of Michael Beasley and former No. 4 overall pick in Wesley Johnson to solidify the shooting guard spot.
Minnesota can use Johnson as the primary bait to acquire a more established former lottery pick in O.J. Mayo from Memphis. O.J. is in the last year of his rookie deal, and it does not look like Memphis will have the money to re-sign him. Therefore, the Grizzlies' best move is to trade him now and get some value for his departure. Swapping Mayo for the younger Johnson would be a win for Memphis, but even more so for Minnesota who has the money to lock Mayo into a long term deal.
Additionally, this trade presents the Timberwolves with an opportunity to rid itself J.J. Barea's bad contract that it entered into this past off season when Rubio's arrival and transition were in question. Signing Barea seemed like a decent idea this summer given the state of Minnesota, however, it no longer seems like a good move in the long term due to the swift emergence of Rubio. With Rubio and Luke Ridnour manning the point, Barea is expendable. He becomes even more expendable after the addition of Mayo because of Mayo's offensive skills.
Picking up Mayo would set Minnesota up long term with a starting five of talented young players capable of making noise in the NBA for the next half decade. Adding O.J. to a core of Rubio, Williams and Love would give the Timberwolves four stars to pair along with one of the NBA's biggest breakout players of the year in center Nikola Pekovick.
This trade would use Beasley's expiring contract and former lottery pick Johnson to land a potential star shooting guard in Mayo while simultaneously dumping Barea's bad contact. The contracts of Matt Barnes, Troy Murphy and Brian Scalabrine, which the Timberwolves would receive in the trade all expire at the end of the year, which amounts to millions in savings and additional cap space to sign free agents this summer.
PG: R. Rubio, SG: W. Johnson, SF: D. Williams, PF: K. Love, C: N. Pekovic
First 5 off bench: J.J. Barea, L. Ridnour, M. Beasley, D. Milcic and M. Webster
PG: R. Rubio, SG: O.J. Mayo, SF: D. Williams, PF: K. Love, C: N. Pekovic
First 5 off bench: L. Ridnour, M. Webster, M. Barnes, D. Milcic and T. Murphy