Apr 17, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) goes up for a shot over Minnesota Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic (14) in the second half at Target Center. The Grizzlies won 91-84. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Grizzlies - Timberwolves Trying To Make A Deal

Apr 29, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Dante Cunningham (44) dunks the ball over Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) during the first half of game one in the Western Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

The Memphis Grizzlies and the Minnesota Timberwolves have began making trade talks regarding the acquisition of one of three guards. The Grizzlies, who were eliminated in the first round last post season by the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games, have shown interest in three Timberwolves guards: Wayne Ellington, Martell Webster, and Wesley Johnson

Among the three guards, Wayne Ellington is most likely the Grizzlies’ target among the three guards mainly because he is the only point guard among two other shooting guards. Ellington’s salary with the Timberwolves for this season will give him $2 million. For Johnson he will make $4.2 million while Webster will make $5.7 million.

Last season, Wayne Ellington averaged 6.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game through 51 games played. Wes Johnson averaged 6.0 points and 2.9 rebounds per game through 65 games played. Martell Webster, who didn’t play much due to injuries, averaged 6.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game through 47 games played.

In my opinion, the Timberwolves don’t need to get rid of Wesley Johnson, the other two guards would be fine to let go mainly because We Johnson showed some positive signs last year and it was just his 2nd season in the NBA. Johnson brings solid offense of the bench from his shooting and also from his dunks which are mostly perfectly thrown to him from Ricky Rubio. Johnson brings great energy off the bench and is also a fan favorite in Minnesota. Alongside Barea coming off the bench I can see Wes Johnson as a key contributor offensively for the Timberwolves. With the addition of Brandon Roy into the mix, Roy could possibly teach Johnson a little bit more basketball. Ellington is almost not needed by the Timberwolves at this point with the Wolves already having 3 point guards in Ricky Rubio, J.J Barea, and Luke Ridnour, who can also play the 2 from time to time.

The Grizzlies will most likely try to trade off forward, Dante Cunningham, who will be entering his 4th season in the NBA this year. Cunningham already has a little bit of playoff experience from playing 7-games with the Grizzlies this past NBA playoffs. Cunningham is most notably known for dunking over the Poster Child, in Blake Griffin this past post season. Cunningham only averaged 1.1 points per game in the playoffs, but averaged 5.2 points per game through 64 games during the regular season. If the Timberwolves are successful enough to acquire Cunningham I would personally like it because defense has always been a problem for the Timberwolves. Cunningham will add that length and versatility down low and would also be a force on the glass alongside Kevin Love. Furthermore, if the Timberwolves are successful enough in acquiring Nicolas Batum from Portland, the Timberwolves’ defense will be at it’s best since Kevin Garnett played at Target Center. Trust me, I’ve seen the Timberwolves’ defense last season up close and personal, it ain’t pretty.

For more NBA analysis and opinions check out Theon’s general NBA blog, THEONBA

  • Andrew Donaldson

    Wes Johnson is pretty roundly loathed in Minnesota.  This is the first I’ve heard of any interest in Johnson by any team in the NBA.  If Minnesota could trade him for a second round pick (and be freed of his salary), I’d be popping champagne corks.
    Only worth trading for Cunningham if C’s salary is lower, and not more than a year or two left on his contract.  
    Martell Webster’s contract can be bought out cheap…and it will be.  Minnesota wouldn’t trade him to any other team, and take on some loser the other team is looking to dump.  Any offer would have to be part of a bigger deal, and anyone signing Webster at his current salary would be looking for the cap relief of cutting him. 

  • stanny

    Where on earth did this guy hear Wes Johnson is a fan favorite in Minnesota?

  • Michael7777

    Wes johnson in no way at all is a fan favorite in minnesota

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