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Best Landing Spots for NBA Swingman Ace Corey Brewer

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Best Landing Spots for NBA Swingman Ace Corey Brewer
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Corey Brewer has become a hot commodity.

Six years into his NBA career, the small forward's stock is once again on the rise, much like it was after the 2010-11 campaign.

Last season with the Denver Nuggets, Brewer averaged 12.1 points and 1.4 steals per game, providing the impetus on defense and fueling their transition-heavy offense.

Most impressively, he did all his damage in under 25 minutes per night off the bench, meaning his per-36 minute averages were through the roof. Brewer was one of only three players in the league who played a minimum of 20 minutes per game to post at least 17 points, four rebounds and two steals per 36 minutes. The other two were Chris Paul and Manu Ginobili.

Brewer was also the only player in the NBA to put up at least 12 points, two rebounds and one steal per night while playing under 25 minutes.

Pair that with the 14.3 average PER he held opposing shooting guards and small forwards to on the defensive end, and the market for his services isn't about to dry up anytime soon.

 

3. Dallas Mavericks

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Long live Dallas' plan to fill out the roster with spare parts.

In all seriousness, this is something Dirk Nowitzki can get on board with.

Signing Brewer won't guarantee the Mavericks a return to the playoffs, but alongside Shawn Marion, Dallas would have two of the most serviceable inside-out defenders in the game.

As constructed, the Mavs aren't on pace to become a strong defensive team. Devoid of a formidable presence in the middle (for now), it's imperative that they cut off adversarial ball-handlers before they enter they paint.

Marion provides great help defensively from the free-throw line in, but again, Dallas is going to need another body if it wishes to avoid becoming posterizing fodder.

And, while I hate to say it, if the Mavs don't wind up with Andrew Bynum or another competent big man, Brewer could wind up being their best shot-blocker. That's not saying much, but it does attest to their need for a two-way player like Brewer.

I also envision fast breaks that comprise Jose Calderon or Devin Harris lobbing the rock up to Brewer for an easy dunk. A more risqué vision includes Brewer being wide open in the corner for some transition threes (more on that later).

Perhaps the best part about Brewer is that any contract he signs won't strap Dallas financially. He may command $4 or $5 million a season, but that's not much at all when you consider how much the Mavs are paying Calderon.

For want of additional cap space in the future, any deal Brewer inks will be easy to move in the future.

At the moment, it's all about now, and how the Mavs can field the most competitive team possible next season. Brewer would allow them to do that.

 

2. Milwaukee Bucks

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The Bucks aren't going to sign Brewer. I say this because they have a propensity for making bad decisions, and passing on Brewer would classify as one of those bad decisions.

Milwaukee is fresh off trading Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for two future second-round picks.

See what I mean about making bad choices?

My gut tells me that the Bucks are going all in on next year's draft, but my brain still can't shake the feeling that Brewer would be a great fit.

Regardless of whether the Bucks wind up housing Brandon Jennings or Jeff Teague as their point guard, Brewer provides a nice complementary piece on the wing. He's someone any floor general they throw in the lineup can use while on the break. Just ask the Nuggets, specifically Ty Lawson and Andre Miller.

Defense.

Now that Mbah a Moute is heading to Sacramento, Milwaukee also have a clear need for a versatile defender.

Per 82games.com, Mbah a Moute held opposing forwards to a combined average PER of 12.6 per 48 minutes last season, well below the league average of 15. (Seriously, how bad was that trade?)

Brewer isn't able to defend power forwards as well as Mbah a Moute could, but there's still a glaring hole on the perimeter, where the Bucks are more susceptible than ever to the opposition's dribble penetration.

Signing Brewer would be a step in the right direction, which means the Bucks will probably look the other way.

 

1. Minnesota Timberwolves

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Come back to Minny, Brewer.

Andrei Kirilenko seems to be on his way out, so the Timberwolves should ensure Brewer is on his way (back) in.

In fact, that may be exactly what they're doing.

According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Minnesota is closing in on a three-year deal in the $15 million range for the multi-faceted swingman.

Whether or not the Timberwolves sign him outright or agree to a sign-and-trade with the Nuggets isn't particularly important. All that matters is that he's on his way back.

Brewer won't replace everything Kirilenko provided on defense, but they are strikingly similar.

Which team would Corey Brewer fit best with?

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Like AK47, Brewer is one of the best shot-contesting wings out there. Truth be told, he's one of the only ones. Blocking shots isn't often a defensive attribute guards and small forwards possess, but Brewer is one of the few.

Alongside a healthy Ricky Rubio, however, Brewer may prove to be a better fit than Kirilenko ever was. Not only is he five years his junior, he's a more lethal threat out on the break.

Minnesota ranked 18th in fast-break points scored per game last season (12.4), a travesty when you consider that a healthy Rubio likes to run, and then run some more.

He'll need to improve his three-point shooting, as the Timberwolves need to retool their shooting corps. Chase Budinger and Kevin Martin were solid signings—though they were a bit overpaid—but they still can't afford to cover up the 29.6 percent conversion rate Brewer posted last season.

Brewer's three-point shot chart from 2012-13 (via NBA.com).

The potential is there, though. Brewer converted on more than 40 percent of his weak-side corner threes during the regular season in Denver. If he can duplicate that kind of efficiency in other areas behind the arc, the Timberwolves will be a serious force in the West.

Brewer experienced the most successful season of his career in Minnesota during their 2010-11 crusade, and now's as good a time as any for a reunion to take place between the two.

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