We’re officially entering the dog days of the NBA off-season, so anything can be construed as “news”.
Yes, this includes Anthony Bennett being pulled from a Canadian Pro-Am tournament by his agent, as well as newest Timberwolf Mo Williams addressing his decision to sign in Minnesota on Twitter.
As far as the Bennett report goes, well, there’s definitely smoke where there is fire. Amid the various rumors that are slowly surfacing from around the interwebs claiming that a Kevin Love for Andrew Wiggins swap is already agreed to in principle, nothing can afford to be leaked by either side. The NBA would come down extremely hard on anyone that violated this thirty-day trade moratorium on rookies that have signed their contracts.
That said, we appear to be slowly turning the ship towards the inevitable consummation of the trade. The biggest question mark seems to be the inclusion of a third team — will there be a third team, and if so, who is it?
The most-mentioned third team is Philadelphia, as general manager Sam Hinkie is extremely opportunistic, and is clearly willing to “sell” his vast cap space for the right price (primarily draft picks). The framework is likely Wiggins and Bennett to Minnesota for Love, with another player or two (probably Dion Waiters) heading to a third team (probably the Sixers). The Wolves are holding out for Thaddeus Young from the 76ers, which would be a fantastically savvy move from the win-now-minded Flip Saunders.
We’ll spend some more time analyzing the likely new-look and completely overhauled Wolves’ starting lineup and bench rotation once it’s finally set, but it certainly feels like a team stuck in limbo. That is, not a truly terrible lottery team, but not a playoff team in the loaded Western Conference. Not where we want to be, of course, but at least the basketball would be entertaining in a Rubio-LaVine-Wiggins-Young-Pekovic world.
Jerry Zgoda also weighed-in on the Bennett news, suggesting that we indeed read something into it. Things may (finally) be about to get real, Wolves fans.