Welcome back, Corey Brewer.
Normally, I’d have a hard time getting too excited one way or the other about the Wolves signing a third wing. Corey’s coming off a solid, some would say breakout, year where George Karl encouraged him to run like a banshee and shoot like a frontiersman for a mile-high Denver team hellbent on breaking the sound barrier. It helped his confidence and, despite his chucking, let the league know he had to be respected as a threat, if from nowhere else but the left corner and in the open court.
I am a huge fan of Corey Brewer’s hustle. I’ve always liked his wiry strength. I have good memories of his time spent beginning his career in Minnesota. There were multiple games he kept the Wolves in by being a pest on defense — wreaking havoc is fast becoming the overly-popular way to reference it. Kevin Durant, Peja Stojakovic, Carmelo Anthony, and even Tony Parker were routinely annoyed, if not flat-out frustrated, by his long arms and endless hustle.
But he was on some horrifyingly bad Wolves teams. He was asked to score. He was asked to shoot. He was asked to create. Randy Wittman was awful.
I’m not going to complain about another wing getting the full MLE right now. Too many guys making that kind of money will sink a squad. The positive thing about Brewer being back is this time his role will be defined, he will be asked to do infinitely less, and the intangibles he brings will benefit the Wolves core pieces — more about them later.
I don’t like giving up on Andrei Kirilenko, but I’ll take a breath. From the four-letter…
The Wolves have agreed to sign Martin to a four-year deal in the $30 million range via sign-and-trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The deal will at least create a trade exception for the Thunder — along with draft considerations — after they failed to hang on to Martin, the most accomplished player Oklahoma City acquired in last October’s controversial James Harden trade.
The Timberwolves, sources say, also have agreed to a trade that will send veteran guard Luke Ridnour and his $4.3 million expiring contract to Milwaukee to create the needed salary-cap space to sign Brewer to a three-year deal in the $15 million range.
Martin, 30, averaged 14.0 points while shooting 42.6 percent from 3-point range last season for the Thunder. The 27-year-old Brewer averaged 12.1 points last season with the Denver Nuggets.