December 15th was the beginning of trade season — the buyer’s remorse bonanza for whoever threw too much money around during free agency this summer — their wares are now available to be someone else’s problem. Get it line.
A quarter of the way through the season, everyone pretty much has an idea what they have, what they need, and what they need to get rid of. What does that mean for the Wolves now that Derrick Williams is gone? Crickets.
At least until Chase Budinger and Rony Turiaf return, then maybe they could move a redundant hustle, defender type (Dante Cunningham?) or trigger happy bricklayer (Alexey Shved? J.J. Barea?) But don’t hold your breath. It’s the Wolves-old adage of improving from within. (Remember when Rasho Nesterovic was going to mature into a low-post presence big enough to… never mind.)
Tim Faklis at Canis Hoopus sums it up…
This year, the Timberwolves were one of the first teams this year to make a move, trading Derrick Williams to Sacramento for defensive specialist Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. The trade not only parted the Wolves and their No. 2 overall pick from just two years ago, it also may have marked the end of the Wolves’ trade aspirations this season.
Of course, that’s never definitive in the NBA, especially with a team like that Wolves. At 11-12 and coming off a tough loss a night ago to the Boston Celtics, they could certainly use a pick-me-up in their rotation. The problem with getting that done via trade comes from the team’s lack of assets.
It’s fairly simple. In order to execute a trade in the NBA between two competent front offices (which, in fairness, doesn’t happen all the time), you generally need to give up a player of value to receive one.
The Wolves will also be re-signing Ricky Rubio and will likely work tore-sign Kevin Love. The Wolves will need money for that. In order to keep their money, and still have space to sign someone with the MLE in the coming offseason. It seems unlikely Flip Saunders will want to make any moves for another substantial contract, and odds are the only type of player they’d go for right now is an expiring contract.