The latest hot rumor circulating within the NBA is that the Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to deal Jonny Flynn and its No. 16 and No. 23 draft picks in exchange for Danny Granger and the Indiana Pacers No. 10 draft pick.
Mike Wells, beat writer for the Pacers, tweeted late into the evening on June 21 that the teams are exploring a straight trade in which the Wolves send Flynn to Indiana in exchange for Granger.
If there is any truth to either trade rumor, the Wolves need to pull the trigger and make the trade.
Granger fills the most pressing need for the Wolves, a legitimate scoring threat from the small forward position. Granger has exceptional shooting range, passing skills and is not a liability on the defensive end.
Last year, Granger averaged 24 points, six rebounds, three assists and had two steals a game. If his numbers weren’t enough, the book on Granger is that he is a great teammate and he is an intelligent player.
Granger played in first All-Star game last year and it may be the first of many appearances for him.
Flynn is valuable and could develop into a solid point guard in the league. Last year, Jonny showed flashes of brilliance but it is not clear if he will become one of the more elite guards in the league within Minnesota’s system.
The immediate problem for Flynn and the Wolves is that Flynn’s game is more suited to a pick and roll offense and Minnesota is committed to the triangle offense.
Flynn will likely learn how to effectively run the triangle offense but next year will likely be another year in which Jonny is learning on the job.
The Wolves have a solid dependable point guard in Ramon Sessions. Sessions will not likely become one of the top five point guards in the league, but he is dependable enough for the Wolves to trust turning the keys of the team to him.
Further, President David Kahn still from all accounts is very hopeful that point guard Ricky Rubio will join the Timberwolves in the 2011-2012 season.
Losing Flynn will hurt the Wolves but with Sessions at the helm this season and Rubio in the wings, the Wolves need to make the deal to get Granger.
If Minnesota needs to swap its draft picks with Indiana to make this trade happen, the Wolves should proceed with the trade.
The 10th overall pick in the draft is high enough in the draft that the Wolves should get a quality player. Also, the Wolves could package the draft pick from Indiana with a player currently on the roster to move up earlier in the draft.
Is this rumor too good to be true for Wolves? Why would Indiana make this trade?
The only answer for why the Pacers would make this trade is that they have payroll issues—Granger is scheduled to make about $50 million over the next four years.
The Timberwolves have the luxury of having plenty of cap space to absorb Granger’s contract.
Many Wolves fans would hate to see the warm infectious smile of Flynn leave the Twin Cities but they will likely forgive the brain trust of the Wolves if the team moves from the cellar to respectability next year.