Wolves trade that wasn’t: Friday night on NBA Twitter


Wolves fans fell victim to the dark side of basketball Twitter on Friday night.

Twitter is an incredible thing. It’s huge for sports reporting, obviously, and the way that rumors and even facts are reported has changed drastically over the past few years.

Think about it: just five, maybe six years ago, a whisper from front office folks to a league or media source would maybe get dumped into a notes section on a Sunday Wolves feature penned by the Star Tribune’s Jerry Zgoda or Kent Youngblood. Nowadays, we don’t have to wait for the ink to dry on the weekends.

We get served those whispers in real time, on Friday night.

Here’s what happened around the time when I would venture to guess there are less #BasketballTwitter fiends trolling the interwebs than at any other time in a normal seven-day week.

That’s your 0-to-60, passive aggressive first tweet followed by a 100 m.p.h. follow-up a mere 16 minutes later, just shy of 11 p.m. Central Time on a Friday night. And it (predictably) got Twitter a-buzzing.

Generally reliable Twin Cities reporter Darren Wolfson kept our interest piqued initially, apparently due to his own curiousity…

This was followed by (insert random NBA Twitter-er here) speculating about everything from a Nikola Pekovic-into-cap-space move to a more benign Anthony Bennett trade to an absolute earth-shaker involving both Damian Lillard and Ricky Rubio.

Darren Wolfson than gave us this, although we all tried our best to ignore it while imagining every possible scenario while the dream was still alive.

For what it’s worth, there was never any further clarification or solid hints from anyone “in the know” to suggest that anything was actually going on. But my opinion is that any trade in which Anthony Bennett is the most significant piece can no longer be considered a “major deal”, so it wasn’t that.

Rubio-for-Lillard makes zero sense for anyone involved (Lillard, despite being a very good player, isn’t the absolute best fit with the Wolves’ current roster and young core and Rubio needs playmakers around him and Portland barely has functional players, much less playmakers), so it wasn’t that, either.

Which leaves a Pekovic trade. This is possible, but also unlikely because it’s difficult for me to see the incentive for Portland to pull that trigger unless another semi-major piece was included. Maybe it was Bennett and Shabazz Muhammad. Maybe they aimed higher.

And that’s my guess for what ultimately tabled these talks. The Blazers had room to absorb Pekovic’s massive contract, and any number of combinations of players surrounding him in a trade work from a salary perspective. But Portland no doubt asked for someone else to take on the contract, whether it was Muhammad or even someone like Zach LaVine or Gorgui Dieng.

Maybe the Wolves insisted that Portland took both Pek and Anthony Bennett and the Blazers balked. Another interesting thing to consider is that Gerald Henderson, who was part of the Charlotte-Portland trade that sent Nicolas Batum to the Hornets and Noah Vonleh to the Blazers, is eligible to be traded again beginning on Sunday. His $6 million expiring contract could have been part of the conversation, too.

At any rate, local scribe Jon Krawczynski ruined everything with this tweet.

And then this tweet came from the original source a mere 33 minutes after the madness began.

And then Krawczynski confirmed the confirmation.

And that was how I spent my Friday night. You?

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