INBOX: Target Practice, the Pau and Monta Edition


RUMINT has it that the Lakers would throw in Pau's Ed Hardy shirt for a conditional second-rounder, which Kahn demanded as a part of any trade

Patrick J: With all rumors swirling around Pau Gasol, the only thing for a hard-up blogger to do is fire up the good ol’ trade machine.

Wolves get:
Pau Gasol
Darius Morris

Lakers get:
Michael Beasley
Derrick Williams
Wes Johnson
Luke Ridnour

In this two-team trade, the Wolves’ lineup would look something like:

PG – Rubio
SG – Barea
SF – Webster
PF – Love/Randolph/Tolliver
C – Gasol/Pekovic
6th man: Pekovic

The Wolves end up with a Pau, Ricky, K-Love core. Barea and Webster are arguably upgrades over Johnson and Ridnour as starters at the 2 & 3. Pek is a matchup nightmare against opposing teams’ second units. We still have one high-upside enigma with Anthony Randolph. (One’s enough, right?)

An elephant in the room common sense question is whether the Wolves would be competitive in a Pau Sweepstakes.

John Hollinger’s (Insider) column suggests the answer may be no:

“It’s not hard coming up with dance partners, that’s for sure. Send him to Houston for Luis Scola,Goran Dragic, Marcus Morris and Chase Budinger, and the Lakers suddenly fill four rotation spots with one deal while saving several million on luxury tax; deal him to Indiana for David West,George Hill and Dahntay Jones and you accomplish a similar feat. These aren’t the only possibilities; one can build similar trades with several other teams, ones that don’t bring back a talent on Gasol’s level but plug so many gaps that it may be worth it anyway.”

Can a Williams/Beasley/Ridnour/Johnson package compete with Scola/Dragic/Morris/Budinger or West/Hill/Jones? We know the Rockets really want Gasol, and that’d be a pretty strong offer. What do you think?

Andy G: Well, for starters, I like it.  Anything that puts Kevin Love between playmakers like Rubio and Gasol is a winning idea for this team that lacks dynamic scoring punch. Pau’s Spanish connection with Ricky is obviously a nice factor too, but the primary upside to adding Gasol is that he’d fit wonderfully in an Adelman-led, ball-movement offense. He can pass and he can score. The only DOWNSIDE is that you’ve just taken on a huge salary ($19M for each of the next two  seasons after this one) and dealt our only trade chip with probable value, in D-Thrill.


Sources have confirmed that Ellis' tattoos would be part of any deal

Andy G: So how about this one instead?

Wolves get:
Monta Ellis

Warriors get:
Michael Beasley
Derrick Williams
Wes Johnson

In this scenario, the Wolves end up trotting out a lineup like:

PG – Rubio
SG – Ellis
SF – Webster
PF – Love
C – Pekovic

Not too shabby.


They also clear some cap space for next off-season by ridding themselves of The Wesley Johnson Disaster. Monta isn’t perfect, but you can count on him for 22-25 points and 4-6 assists per night–that type of wing production is simply not available in many places.  He’s only 26 (Pau will be 32 before Monta turns 27) and aside from this truncated first half of season, Ellis has steadily become both more accurate and more prolific from downtown each year. Thoughts?

Patrick J: Gasol plays team ball and wins championships. Ellis plays me ball & has only played on one competitive team. Then again, Pau wasn’t a winner until he arrived in LA so we’re not exactly looking at apples and apples. I like the idea of adding a SG, especially if Pek is the real McCoy (and it’s looking more and more like he is). But what I’d dig even more would be OJ Mayo at a lower cost, presumably retaining Williams as our key trade chip for a future deal.

Andy G: Ellis played on two Warriors teams that finished above-.500, and in each case he was one of their leading scorers. Does he have a propensity to shoot too much? Maybe. (Okay, yes.) But would that hurt the Wolves? Their glaring weakness is creating shots from the wing position, for chrissake. ALSO, can we at least partially attribute Monta’s stunted growth to Golden State Syndrome? Think about the “lessons” he’s learned from DON NELSON, KEITH SMART, and MARK “HAND DOWN MAN DOWN” JACKSON. Are you kidding me? I’ll take the liberty of suggesting Rick Adelman and staff might clean up the rough edges of Monta’s game. That would leave the Wolves with a pretty elite two guard.

For what it’s worth, I’d prefer a team with Pau Gasol and a restricted free agent like Mayo, Batum, or (most of all) Eric Gordon.  But I’m not sure the dollars work out with $38 Million going to Pau over the next two years.

Patrick J: I see your point regarding Ellis, but I’m not sure if Adelman could wean him away from some of the habits he’s developed in the Bay.

That said, we’ve gotten to yes–I’d prefer Gasol + a restricted free agent too, and Gordon would be my favorite target (despite whatever it is that’s happening this year).

Given that Gordon, Mayo, and Batum are all potential candidates for this position, we’ll likely be taking a closer look at these guys in the not-too-distant future.



Filed under Timberwolves

9 responses to “INBOX: Target Practice, the Pau and Monta Edition

  1. After the last few games, I saw no to include D-Will in any trade. Trade Wes, Ridnour + picks if you need to.

    • A. Shah-
      I wrote a little bit about this in tonight’s game wrap. (Of course, I question trading him right after he plays hero in a dramatic win.)

      It may just boil down to patience being a virtue. There are restricted free agents this coming summer that could probably be had if the team can clear some cap space. Perhaps they just let Beasley and Randolph walk, and even amnesty Darko if they have to, and make aggressive runs at the Gordon/Batum/Mayo trio of 2008 draftee wings?

      • I think that is one thing to take into consideration – patience. This team, really plays like a team. Besides an occasional Beasley session of ball-hoginess, they are very unselfish. How many teams celebrate the way they do after Ridnour hits a game winning shot? How many teams cheer like Rubio, Tolliver, AR-15, Darko etc. from the bench? I think taking chemistry into account means a lot, and Kahn even alluded that he doesn’t want trade talks to affect the team.

        Personally I think a guy like Kevin Martin would fit in well and wouldn’t cost as much as Ellis. Eric Gordon would fit in as well, but I think the Wolves are just a good SG from being a lock for the playoffs.

        • K-Martin actually earns more than Monta (but maybe you meant “trade value” cost.)

          It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. It would kind of surprise me to see Beasley ride the pine for the rest of the season in Minnesota.

  2. Pingback: Five Minutes of Fun (WOLVES 100, Jazz 98) | Punch-Drunk Wolves


    Perhaps we can forget about Monta trades? Or maybe Derrick Williams would qualify as a star player, in their eyes.

  4. Wade C

    Derrick Williams still hasn’t learned how to be effective in the NBA, but he will, and the Wolves will want to keep him. If he works on his midrange jumper in the offseason and improves his defense he can play the 3 but will be more valuable when Love is at the 5 during the game and he’s at the 4. Right now they have to trade Beasley even if its for 2 second round picks like what we paid for him. We’re not bringing him back (attitude, on-court chemistry in the offense, and salary). Someone will pay him 5-7 million and we can’t afford that. Last note. They will definitely amnesty Darko in the offseason, Brad Miller retires, and then they can draft in the 2nd round or pick up a backup center in free agency. Go get a SG now and don’t wait until the offseason. Lets make that NO 1st pick as bad as it can be.

    • Wade,
      The only thing I’d add here is that if they go get a SG now, it’s probably going to cost them one of Beasley, Williams, or Pekovic (unless the SG comes from the D-League, free agency, or the end of some team’s bench.) If Beasley has trade value (reports were that Lakers had interest) he would seem like the likely option of the three. If he doesn’t, it comes down to either trading D-Thrill or Pek, or waiting until the summer.