One of the more intriguing rumors out there right now is that the Golden State Warriors are talking to the Minnesota Timber Wolves about Warriors' forward Anthony Randolph. The discussions are still at the beginning stages, and nothing is imminent, but the possibility has already been reported on numerous occasions. And where there's smoke...
Randolph is a very interesting player. His supporters will point out that he has a ton of length and athleticism, can handle the ball well for someone his size, and will begin next season (his third) at the tender age of twenty, giving him loads of potential. His skeptics will argue that he has yet to show any consistency, appears to have attitude problems, and hasn't progressed as much as some might like in the first two years of pro ball.
However, trading Randolph, or trading for him certainly won't be easy. A player with his upside is both hard to part with and hard to obtain. I've heard many theories as what the potential swaps might look like: Anthony Randolph for Minnesota's 4th pick straight up, Anthony Randolph and filler for Kevin Love, Anthony Randolph and the Warriors 6th pick for Kevin Love and Minnesota's 16th pick, but whatever the alleged deals are, it could potentially be beneficial for both ball clubs.
Minnesota could really use Anthony Randolph's athleticism at the power forward spot with Al Jefferson and Kevin Love, both bigger, slower, but much more polished post players, already in the fold. They have tried to play Jefferson and Love together and it has yet to prove successful. Bringing Randolph off the bench as a spark plug would be very enticing.
Golden state, on the other hand, remains high on Andris Biedrins and Brandon Wright, both long, lanky, athletic big men, despite their recent injury woes, and would benefit greatly from Love's size and skill set down low if that were indeed the deal in place. If the deal involved the Wolves' 4th overall pick, then the Warriors would likely take Demarcus Cousins, a very young and skilled center from Kentucky, who is considered to have top 3 talent but has some questions about his character (though so does Randolph). Cousins size, scoring and rebounding would greatly help the Warriors, especially considering the insane amount of games missed due to injury for Golden State last season.
If I'm running the Warriors, and a deal of Anthony Randolph and the 4th pick in the draft is on the table, I take that without too much complaint. Randolph is a high price to pay, but at worst Cousins will be available at that position. Bottom line if you have a chance to get a center with his size and basketball ability, you take it. And you never know, maybe Evan Turner or Derrick Favors falls to you at 4.
If I'm the Wolves, I'd be a little more hesitant. Anthony Randolph could be great, there is no doubt about that. The question is whether or not he will be. I'm not so sure, but maybe someone up there in Minnesota knows something I don't. If I'm going to give up the 4th pick or Kevin Love, I want a bit more of a sure thing coming back to me.
At the moment, it seems these two teams are at an impasse. The value seems pretty fair in these trade ideas, but neither team is quite willing to give up their asset. As we get closer to the June 24th draft date, however, and the players' destinations become a bit more clear, one of the clubs could become desperate enough to take a chance. After all, both Golden State and Minnesota had terrible records last year, so it wouldn't be the worst idea for either of them to shake things up a little.