An otherwise idle Wednesday on the much loved and relatively "inactive" post-Christmas work week has suddenly exploded with a frenzy of Wolves-related activity, in which we are now on the front page of CBS sports for absolutely no reason other than showing a picture of Jonny Flynn looking startlingly similar to Stephen Jackson. Several things to talk about here as the trade deadline begins to a make its way into message fan conversation, and the non stop speculation rises higher than our Minny winter heating bills.
Top of the list is this gem of an article from CBS's Ken Berger. Don't let the title mislead you, contained within is a ton of Wolves-related info. I'll get to the good stuff:
CBSSports.com has learned that the Wolves plan to make a push to acquire Memphis guard O.J. Mayo, whose rights they traded to the Grizzlies on draft night in 2008 in the deal that brought Love to Minnesota. Mayo is frustrated coming off the bench in Memphis and "needs a change," according to one person familiar with the situation. The Wolves envision Mayo playing in the backcourt next season alongside Rubio, who according to a person familiar with the situation has given team officials his word that he will join the Wolves next season. The buyout that Minnesota must pay FC Barcelona is down to $1 million, but it's not clear how Rubio's decision could be affected by a lockout. Even if Rubio comes to Minnesota, there's no guarantee he'll thrive immediately.
Sources say the Wolves also are targeting Anthony Randolph, who is languishing on the Knicks' bench after being acquired from Golden State as part of the sign-and-trade arrangement that landed David Lee in the Bay Area. Minnesota officials will not part with Ridnour in the deal, according to an executive familiar with the team's strategy, but instead hope that Telfair would be enough to solve the Knicks' backup point guard dilemma.
In the TWB Forums, we have been talking about acquiring both Mayo and Randolph for some time now, and both seem like decent additions to our team. Mayo's value couldn't be lower, and Memphis could probably use a backup point guard and a defensive stopper. Fellow TWB columnist Pants just e-mailed this to me while writing this:
|Player News (last updated: December 28, 2010)|
|News: Mayo did not start against the Raptors on Monday despite starting shooting guard Xavier Henry sitting with a knee injury.
Spin: Instead, Sam Young made the start. Mayo scored 12 points in this one, but he did not achieve as many minutes as fellow backup guard Tony Allen (26 to 33).
Wow, how the mighty have fallen.
Would a package of Flynn and/or Brewer be enough to coax Memphis into giving up Mayo, who doesnt even start as an injury replacement to mediocre rookie Xavier Henry? Would you make this trade? Hard not to. Mayo is an extremely talented player capable of putting up 20+ points, shooting extremely well, being a surprisingly decent defender, and playing both guard positions. It is unclear to many why he is on the dog house, so a Flynn deal could be a great reclamation trade for both teams. Even though Conley just signed an extension, Flynn could very well get plenty of court time.
The other major comment in the article suggests Rubio has given the Wolves his word he will join the team. Not surprising, but still nice to hear from a national source. Stupid lockout.
The problem the Wolves run into at this point is managing the youth come extension time. You simply can't have TOO many young players and retain them all with the CBA looming. However, it is still tough to not look at any Mayo deal very closely.
Furthermore, it seems as if the Wolves are listening to trade offers for Jonny Flynn. Can't say I blame them. I have always thought Jonny is a terrific basketball player, but he just doesn't thrive in our system and he simply shouldn't be underachieving to this degree. He has more in him and it just may be elsewhere where he finds it. Rumblings of a Rambis/Flynn feud aren't helping matters either.
Another likely BS trade rumor today, but interesting none the less. Since Wolves fandom follows trade rumors like our significant others do celebrity gossip, we feel it prudent here at TWB to post any and every trade rumor regardless of its source. Apparently the Wolves and Bulls have been talking a Webster deal, perhaps involving Taj Gibson. Don't like it for either team.
Also, several excellent Wolves tidbits can be found in a chat recap from today with Star tribune Wolves writer Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune....who sadly thinks (as I also have as well for some time, despite above rumors) that the Wolves will not make any major moves prior to the deadline.
And off topic, the much beloved Anthony Tolliver is way ahead of schedule and may make a return as soon as this week, which would mean New Years day vs. New Jersey. This is fantastic news for the Wolves,. AT has been an invaluable defensive role player this season and a terrific pickup. Here's wishing AT the best and we are excited to see you back in action almost a month sooner than expected.
Lastly, Wolves face a Melo-less Denver tonight at home. No TV of course, which means the Wolves stand a 60-70% better chance of winning vs a televised game. A three game win streak would be a great way to end 2010...