"With the 34th pick in the 2008 draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select.....Michael Beasley!"
What? (you ask).
Essentially last night, that is what happened when the Wolves surprisingly acquired (statistically) the second best talent of the NBA draft" target="_blank">entire 2008 draft for a second round pick, which in comparing to that draft, the Wolves took 34th overall, and ironically flipped—Mario Chalmers to the Miami Heat.
Basically, if he stays, all it costs the team was a second round pick in the 2011 draft for a guy everyone knows could still be 20-10 on any given night.
"A ham sandwich and a bag of chips" is the shock described on how I read the trade referenced on the ESPN message-boards by the reaction of readers who couldn't believe how easy that was for the normally passive Wolves.
I know I know and I can hear it now already: "But they also agreed to swap future first round picks with Miami"
In a curious move, the "chips" part of the deal of the above is true, however the Wolves have up to seven years to complete that portion of the deal and if they can't get at least that pick to be around 20 when the Heat should be around 29 or 30 (depending on if they can finish the deal on their latest NBA title at that point) well then that's just too bad for our Wolves.
Basically we'd be (hopefully) swapping 20 for 30 if all goes well and we continue to improve.
Consider that at least we didn't lose a first round pick. That would have probably been the case had Kevin McHale still been in charge.
It's not every day that 15 point scorers (as Beasley essentially is: 14.8 ppg this past year ) fall into your laps and all it cost the Wolves to get the young 21 year old improving stud was a measly second round pick and the swap.
In his two short years in the league his stats have steadily improved from:
2008-09: 13.9 ppg 5.5 rpg, 1.0 ast .5 bpg, 77.2%FT to
2009-10: 14.8 ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.3 apg, .6 bpg, 80%FT and just his FG percentage has dipped albeit not enough to be concerned about
The Wolves got a stud, the Wolves got a steal, provided they keep him.....
Should they keep him, I predict he'll rocket to second most favorite Wolf in the eyes of many—right behind either Kevin Love or Wesley Johnson, depending on how the latter does. Or you just might fall for Flynn's smile?
Forgive me if I'm wrong, but the "Easily Beasley" move got me thinking of the all-too typical "Minnesota Twins acquire Brett Boone/Orlando Cabrera for a player to named later" move of years past. I mean, really. That's it? That's all it took?
Difference is, Boone and Cabrera weren't 21, with untapped potential, that's the exciting part.
Right now, it just seems too good to be true, and after early jubilation, I'm starting to get spooked. Hopefully I'm wrong.
With "Trader Dave" you just never know. Considering we haven't heard of a press conference being set up, I am starting to wonder if there is any truth to the rumors that he could be on his way to Charlotte—who supposedly really want him—for something packaged around either Tyson Chander or Gerald Wallace, who in either case would be a stupid move of epic proportions given that even the most pessimistic Wolves fan, (or national NBA fan) calls this a win for the Wolves for once.
Here is more on the Wolves board about possible Charlotte chatter, which is speculative at this point, and I hope it's nothing but it's out there.
Kahn, you've finally done good. You've finally made a move that virtually no one is going to criticize save for the lamest of Wolves "fans ." Please, don't [mess] it up by trying to make one too many moves.
Wolves sitting in a good position:
In my last Wolves article, two short days ago, "Defending Darko and David: Milicic First Of T-Wolves Many Right Moves" I mentioned how the Wolves obviously aren't done making moves. They still have Jefferson to deal.
With David Lee now (mercifully) off the board—seriously did you see how much he got? 6 years, $80 Milion!—if the Golden State-NY swap, which included long time coveted player Anthony Randolph, doesn't scream Jefferson and Sessions for Randolph and a future first (2012 anyone?) I don't know what does.
That's my best guess and it's a suggestion on logic, only.
Remember, the Knicks-close-to-signing-guard-Ramon-Sessions?urn=nba,180348" title="Knicks close to signing guard Ramon Sessions" target="_blank">Knicks wanted Sessions in 2009 just before we got him.
I hinted in the above article that he could be out the door and now with Lee off the table, that would just make too much sense given Randolph is a player many in the Wolves base have long wanted, and his athleticism and versatility are both Wolves needs, goals, and wants if you've watched their transaction theme so far this offseason.
A future 2012 First round pick seems appropriate since we're likely to lose ours by then to the L.A. Clippers for the failed 2007 Marco Jaric trade. This would lessen that blow, and given they've only got Amar'e Stoudemire (so far) the Knicks aren't going to improve as much as they thought from their 29 win team just a year ago. I say he's worth five-six wins, which only puts them at 35 tops and outside the playoffs yet again.
In losing out on LeBron and now having a gap in Lee, it's been one bad offseason to date for the Knicks. Would Jefferson be their saving grace?
Moving Sessions and his $4 million salary in addition to Jefferson's $13 for 2010-11 would take roughy $17 million off the Wolves books for next year. It fits in with Kahn's plan of having further cap flexibility, which we currently don't have since Beasley took the last of our (roughly) $5M we had after the Nikola Pekovic and Darko Milicic signings .
But it's not really $17 million when you consider Randolph, who made just under $1.8 million this offseason likely got a raise, probably around, what $2.5-3 million tops? Even so, adding him to the team would still net the Wolves around $14 million in savings if you do the math.
Still, with Beasley, suddenly the need to find Jefferson's replacement isn't that vital.
It might just be a sixth man type player (SG)/bench player or several picks in any future deal that we're looking at. Quite a change from just a few days ago when starting power forward seemed necessary in any deal back.
After a failed four-way Bosh trade involving Toronto, Miami, and Houston fell apart via the Houston Chronicle, Minnesota swooped in, in uncharacteristic fashion, and smartly got Beasley. By the way, the Chronicle link, explains the 'Cats wanting Beasley.
I mentioned in my "Defending Darko" article how the Wolves are probably no worse than a 25 win team at that point, with (Wesley) Johnson worth five wins alone and the continued progression of Corey Brewer, Wayne Ellington, and Martell Webster probably worth another five. While that is risky given all the x-factors, I can strongly say I do believe that Beasley too is worth another five—a "safer" five if that makes any sense.
In short, 15 wins last year+Johnson (5)+Beasley (5)+Brewer/Ellington/Webster(5)= 30 wins minimum.
That's what I am thinking right now and that's on the absolute low end.
As bad as it's been for the Wolves this past year, consider it could be worse.
Michael Beasley could be a Raptor right now given the Heat's desperation and need to literally give him away and he's not. The Wolves, who weren't losing anyone, did what Toronto could have, and should have, done.
Or consider the New Jersey Nets who also had eyes for LeBron among others, in an ability to offer a second max contract. What did they end up for their troubles? Travis Outlaw as their only consolation prize—if their ever was one, for $35 million to boot. Now where's that Darko-esque outrage?!
David Kahn said last year he's not here to build "40-45 win teams that lose in the first round each year" he wants to build a championship team we can all be proud of. For the first time in a long time, I think even the most pessimistic of Wolves fans can feel good about this one—provided we keep him and ultimately re-sign him.
PF Beasley SF Love C Milicic SG Johnson PG Flynn
Bench: Webster, Pekovic, Ellington, (whoever we get for Jefferson), Hayward,
If Kahn doesn't look out, soon he'll have a team that actually resembles an NBA team! Amazing how quick it's been.
I still think we are one good (safe i.e Wesley Johnson draft pick) away from being back to playoff contention (and Rubio) but it's starting to get there and as a Wolves fan, that is exciting.
Hopefully the "ham sandwich" stays.
I mean, we all like ham, right?
Statistics and information from ESPN.com, Chad Ford, The Houston Chronicle, Yahoo! Sports, Wikipedia, The Minneapolis Star Tribune and Jerry Zgoda directly contributed to the content of this article.