A number of interesting things happened the day after Dwight Howard chose to leave the Los Angeles Lakers for the Houston Rockets. None of them directly involved the Wolves, but the movement could have implications for their roster’s future.
Jarrett Jack signed a 4-year, $25 million dollar contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Dorrell Wright went to Portland for 2 years and $6 million. Those deals don’t break the bank or take them out of the running for Pek, but it could signal he’s not in their plans.
Everybody’s hot for J.J. Barea to return to Dallas, but Devin Harris is close to returning to the Mavericks for 3 years and $9-plus. Both Cleveland and Dallas were dark horses to bid for Pek. Zgoda has more on the Barea speculation…
One to watch for: Trading J.J. Barea back to Dallas, where he helped the Mavericks win the 2011 NBA title before signing a big four-year deal with the Wolves as a free agent.
The Mavericks’ roster is a disaster — except for cap space now — while they targeted Howard and now that they got the ol’ Heisman, Mark Cuban in a tweet late this afternoon said his team is back open for business.
The Wolves likely would trade Barea, if they could, for a draft pick or picks and in return receive a valuable trade exception matching Barea’s $4.7 million salary that they could add to the kitty to clear enough space to make at least one or two more significant moves.
If they can clear enough space, they could go in trade or by signing a guy who can defend on the wing, such as Philadelphia’s Evan Turner or Washington’s Trevor Ariza, both of whom probably are very available, or by bringing back Andrei Kirilenko.
If Barea goes, you’ve got to believe the Wolves will keep Luke Ridnour as their backup point guard, right? If not, then maybe Ridnour gets dealt to Milwaukee or another destination instead.
Meanwhile, expect the bidding for Wolves restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic to heat up, if it’s going to heat up.