Second, I don't like the deal. Greg Buckner is about two inches
shorter and three years older than Hassell, which, given that both are
defensive specialists, is not a good sign. Buckner has a little more
range on his jumper but is less accurate overall as a shooter. Probably
most significantly, Buckner is nearly $2 million cheaper over the next
three seasons, and I suppose if the Wolves are going with youth anyway,
the vets on the bench can be discounted.
[Update: A smart reader just informed me that because Buckner's
third year is a team option and thus not guaranteed, Wolves could save
up to $6.79 million in this deal.]
Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune
writes that the trade "clears the way for the team to sign second-round draft pick Chris Richard before it leaves for Turkey today."
Friday night's trade could be the first in a series of deals this
season as the Wolves try to reduce a roster that still stands at 17
Buckner is expected to arrive in the Twin Cities
today to take a physical and is expected to join the Wolves for their
trip to Istanbul, Turkey, where the team will hold training camp...
Buckner, 31, and Hassell, 28, are both known as
defense-minded players. But Buckner's contract is potentially shorter
and could give the Wolves more roster flexibility.
Hassell is owed $13.05 million for the next three seasons, including $4.35 million this season.
Buckner signed a five-year contract that could be worth up to
$19 million. The last two years of the contract reportedly are not
guaranteed. Buckner is owed a total of $7,259,259 for the next two
seasons. After that, the Wolves can part ways with Buckner.
Hassell had been photographed in full Minnesota gear before the trade
was announced, as the Timberwolves held their media day Friday.