ESPN's Chad Ford reports:
Two league sources told ESPN.com that the Wolves have reached an agreement in principle with the Memphis Grizzlies that will send the draft rights to Mayo, Marko Jaric, Antoine Walker and Greg Buckner to the Grizzlies in return for the draft rights to Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins.
It's funny -- I'd been working on a recap of the Mayo pick throughout the evening, and actually wrote the following: "Prior to the draft, there had been no shortage of rumors about the
Ostrich orchestrating a possible draft day trade, in which the Wolves
would move further down into the top-10 while adding a (hopefully) solid rotation
piece. This talk was just that -- talk. The 600 First Avenue Country Club has made a habit of being predictably unpredictable, but the decision making
process for their first round pick was surprisingly drama-free. And logical." Whoops!
I also wrote this: "A lot has been made of what Mayo brings to the table offensively, but I'm looking forward to seeing what he brings to the table defensively.
Couple him with Brewer, and you've got a pair of damn good perimeter
defenders on the floor. Looking at his game as a whole, though, he has
superstar potential and was the absolute correct pick for this team." Double whoops!
So, what do we make of this deal? The overwhelming reaction has been...welll, outrage -- and honestly, I cannot blame the people who
have reacted in that manner. Here's the deal: McHale better be praying his ass off that Mayo doesn't become a superstar, because if O.J. blows up, this deal will have been an resounding failure for the Wolves. The Foye-Roy deal will look like nothing compared to this.
In fairness, let's take a quick look at the positive aspects of the deal. We got rid of a monumentally bad contract (Jaric) and two largely irrelevant pieces of the roster (Walker and Buckner). Miller will give you 17 PPG and knocked down 43% of his threes last season. People are pissed right now, but there are reasons to like this deal. In fact, I've long been a fan of the main pieces Memphis is shipping to Minnesota -- that is, Love and Miller.
Still, those positives will go completely out the window if Mayo becomes the perennial all-star that most league pundits believe he'll become. In other words, if Mayo merely lives up to expectations -- nothing more, nothing less -- Memphis will have the edge. Bottom line: You don't trade away players with superstar talent. I could give a sh*t if you already have several young players at the position of the guy you're drafting. You don't trade away potential superstars.
Love will be a good player. Not a great player. A quote from tomorrow's Sid column (the column that appeared on the Strib's website before the Mayo-Love deal went down): "Our people thought that Mayo had far more upside than Love," Wolves owner Glen Taylor said. Wait, what?
I'd like to repeat that: "Our people thought that Mayo had far more upside than Love," Wolves owner Glen Taylor said. And once again, for emphasis: "Our people thought that Mayo had far more upside than Love," Wolves owner Glen Taylor said.
Nothing against Love or Miller. But when you're trading away a player with legit superstar talent, you need MORE than a solid big and a quality perimeter shooter. As the owner himself said, Mayo has far more upside than Love -- so, at the end of the day, I can't help but expect that this deal will ultimately become yet another McHale goof.