UPDATE on Feb. 19 at 1:30 p.m. ET by Adam Fromal
Slow down on preparing to buy a Memphis Grizzlies jersey that says "Budinger" across the back.
CBS Sports' Ken Berger, who reported earlier today that the potential deal between Memphis and the Minnesota Timberwolves was gaining momentum, now says that the deal is dead:
One person involved in Memphis-Minnesota talks describes them as "dead." Others are holding out hope it can be revived.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 19, 2014
It's an about-face on the earlier updates, but not too surprising if you listen to all the other reporters who have said these two squads weren't particularly close to finding common ground.
Memphis will apparently have to look elsewhere for shooting help, though there's always an outside chance this deal could be resuscitated.
--End of update--
UPDATE on Feb. 19 at 12 p.m. ET by Adam Fromal
Ok - will have latest on show but will just go ahead and say here - the Grizz and TWolves haven't even talked in several days.— Chris Vernon (@ChrisVernonShow) February 19, 2014
Source says Griz have 'nothing close' on trade front. There are a lot of 'fishing expeditions' right now, per source— Ronald Tillery (@CAGrizBeat) February 19, 2014
The problem? The 'Wolves want the Grizzlies to include Tony Allen in the deal, and that's being met by some stubborn resistance:
Griz-Timberwolves are nowhere close to a deal, per source. Memphis won't part with Tony Allen in proposed deal that's been reported— Ronald Tillery (@CAGrizBeat) February 19, 2014
Minnesota firm that it wants Tony Allen to join Tayshaun Prince in Budinger-Barea deal, but Memphis resisting - for now, sources tell Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 19, 2014
It seems as though a few more things are required before we see a deal:
- Communication between the teams.
- Flexibility on the part of Memphis.
After all, it still makes sense for the Grizzlies to part ways with both veterans in exchange for some sorely needed outside shooting.
--End of update--
UPDATE on Feb. 19 at 11:30 a.m. ET by Adam Fromal
The structure of this deal is being fleshed out as the trade deadline looms in the not-so-distant horizon.
According to CBS Sports' Ken Berger, the Memphis Grizzlies are now seriously considering a swap that would send both Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen to the Minnesota Timberwolves:
The Grizzlies and Timberwolves have gained momentum on a deal that would send Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen to Minnesota, sources say.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 19, 2014
A few years ago, this would've been quite the haul, but neither player has exhibited much value during the 2013-14 campaign. Assuming J.J. Barea and Chase Budinger are still the guys who would be coming back to Memphis, this feels like it would be a nice move for the Grizz.
Getting rid of Prince's contract is almost never going to be a bad thing, especially not when the players coming back could help shore up the league's worst three-point-shooting unit.
--End of update--
ORIGINAL TEXT BY JOHN DORN
Siince both the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves have struggled through disappointing first halves, the teams are discussing a potential swap to shake up each roster. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, a deal involving Tayshaun Prince, Tony Allen, J.J. Barea and Chase Budinger has been considered.
Y! Sources: Minnesota, Memphis discussing trade package centered on Chase Budinger and Tayshaun Prince. http://t.co/hqSLMWFNJQ— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 18, 2014
The Timberwolves are seeking to add a defensive identity, according to Wojnarowski, which more than explains the pursuit of Allen. It seems as if the Grizzlies are trying to convince Flip Saunders and the 'Wolves to take on the remaining two years of Prince's contract, worth nearly $15 million.
Prince has struggled through his worst season as a pro at age 33, averaging just eight points and four rebounds on 39 percent shooting.
Allen has established himself as an elite defender along the perimeter, although his performance may have regressed since last season. According to 82games.com, Allen held his opponents last season to a PER under 12 and an effective field-goal percentage of just 47. Those numbers have inflated this year to an 18 PER and an effective field-goal clip over 50.
Allen's lack of a perimeter game has always been frustrating, but he is shooting at his highest field-goal percentage in three years at 49 percent.
In exchange, it appears Memphis is considering taking back Chase Budinger, who had missed most of the first half recovering from knee surgery, and J.J. Barea.
In 19 games this season, Budinger has shot 35 percent from the field and averaged just six points, though he is still just 25. Barea has averaged nine points off the bench for the T-Wolves.
Barea was in the middle of controversy early in the season when Kevin Love took exception to the guard's attitude.
Also referring to Dante Cunningham, Love said, according to John Krawczynski, "We can't have two guys sitting at the end of the bench that play good minutes just sitting there and not getting up during timeouts. We all need to be in this together. That kind of pisses me off. We're supposed to be a team."
Another motive of the potential deal could be for Minnesota to prove where its loyalties lie and show Love that he's the focal point of the team's future plans.