Wolves Get Love

Pn_20080221151704-1_medium

(Actual footage of the Wolves/Grizz deal)

Just in from ESPN radio.  They just pulled off a deal according to the update; getting rid of Jaric, Toine, and Buckner's deals while picking up Mike Miller and Love along with Collins and Cardinal.

UPDATE: Britt has the rundown:

11:43: Okay, Mayo is being traded to Memphis for Kevin Love! In addition the Grizz are almost totally clearing the useless contracts on the Wolves, taking Marko Jaric, Antoine Walker and Greg Buckner. In addition to Love, the Wolves are getting Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins. ESPN is reporting it, we don't have confirmation yet, but that's got to be the reason we haven't seen McHale.

Wow.  That's highway f'ing robbery.  That's worse than the Lakers deal.  They just cleaned out the Wolves' entire stash of bad contracts with an expiring deal (Collins) and a 1/4 way serviceable bench player in Cardinal.  Miller pushes this thing way over the top.  That's an amazing deal for the Wolves.  I went from hating this draft (thanks to the insane Chalmers trade) to being a big fan. 

I would like to know how it all went down.  Hoiberg seemed pretty sure that Mayo was the guy earlier in the evening.  I get the fact that people try to hide their hand, but...well, Sid's got some good quotes in an article entitled Wolves wanted Mayo all along (highlights are mine):

The media got fooled into thinking the Timberwolves rated Southern California guard O.J. Mayo and UCLA center Kevin Love even in ability, and that it was going to be tough to pick between them with the third overall choice in Thursday's NBA draft.

Well, there never was any doubt. Wolves assistant general manager Fred Hoiberg verified Thursday night that Mayo was their choice all along.

Hoiberg said the Wolves never came close to making a trade. The truth of the matter is they think so much of Mayo that they wanted him on the team.

"Our people thought that Mayo had far more upside than Love," Wolves owner Glen Taylor said. "And very important was the fact that Fred played for Tim Floyd at Iowa State, and we knew Floyd [who coached Mayo at Southern California] was going to give an honest scouting report on Mayo."

OK, as much as I'm on board with this pick, I'd be interested to see if everyone was on the same page here.  This doesn't sound like everybody was briefed on the mission; most of all Papa Glen. 

Sid continues to say that Mayo was viewed by some scouts as being superior to Derrick Rose.  Of course, Grandpa Sports had that take yesterday don'chya know? Tomorrow?  He'll be all about Mr. Love. 

The weird thing here is that even real journalists like Jerry Zgoda were being told that Mayo was staying:

Mayo said he will visit Minnesota for the first time today, when the Wolves introduce him at a news conference. He played with Brewer at the Nike Jamboree when he was in seventh grade and once watched Jefferson play in high school.

Earlier in the evening I joked in the live chat that maybe Hoiberg had tried to force McHale's hand by announcing that Mayo would be staying as the pick.  I'd really like to know if this is the case.  Did Hoiberg get ahead of himself?  Did McHale override everybody after everything was supposedly said and done?  What happened here?  I like the results, but something really doesn't add up.

UPDATE II: OK, I  removed the question mark from the title as this thing has been reported in several media outlets.  I also updated the picture at the top of the post.  Here's the update from the Strib:

The Minnesota Timberwolves have traded No. 3 pick O.J. Mayo to the Memphis Grizzlies for Kevin Love in an eight-player, late-night blockbuster long after the NBA draft concluded.

A person with knowledge of the deal confirmed it to The Associated Press, speaking on the condition on anonymity because the trade had yet to be officially announced.

The Timberwolves also received shooter Mike Miller and frontcourt retreads Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins from Memphis in exchange for the draft rights to Mayo, forward Antoine Walker and guards Marko Jaric and Greg Buckner.

I can't believe they got rid of Marko's deal.  That's almost worth it by itself.  In the interest of poking a stick in the eye of Jim Souhan, here's his masterful take on the selection of Mayo:

The Wolves did the right thing, taking O.J. Mayo instead of Kevin Love, or any other distant Beach Boy relative.

That Mayo is better than Love is easily quantifiable. Mayo and Love both played one year of college basketball in L.A., and Mayo made a lot more money.

If you're drafting a college player to help your NBA team, you want the kid who has raised eyebrows at the IRS, not the one who is assumed to have played for cafeteria cheeseburgers and NCAA-sanctioned sneakers.

I know it's hard to believe, but it actually gets worse.  You know, for the first time in a long time I'm sympathetic for to the Wolves' FO for having to deal with clowns like Souhan and Hartman.  I can't wait to read Souhan's next column about how the Wolves made a mistake by taking a guy who was paid for in cheeseburgers.  I think that may be the worst Wolves column I have ever read.

Oh well, as for the trade itself, this one is sure to cause quite a few heads to explode.  I'm super hyped about it.  The Wolves got rid of their worst contract, Toine, a bad contract in Buckner, and Mayo for the best big available, a solid NBA starting 3 who will stretch the hell out of sagging defenses, an expiring contract on a center, and they shaved one year off of Marko's bad deal by taking a guy they could probably buy out.  Meanwhile, they took the best Euro big in the draft and stashed him away until Collins' money comes off the books when they can bring him over.  This is a brilliant f'ing draft.  More tomorrow.

UPDATE III:  Rubechat is going batshit right now.  "Who is everybody's new team?  I'm a Rockets fan now" is my favorite thread.  Although, the "*** the Wolves for good!!! Forever!!!!!" is making a push for co-leader.  Folks, it will be all right.  Hale-Bopp isn't coming for you and there's no reason to drink any kool aid.  KFAN's very own Doogie has his own thread against the trade here. There's even some sort of grass roots petition to write the Wolves FO to tell them how upset everyone is that they didn't take Mayo.

UPDATE IV: Andy G over at Britt's place has the best and most thorough anti-trade take

1) I don't care about Mike Miller. Nobody considers us a playoff team (let alone contender) right now, so getting a couple years out of a quality vet that will take Brewer's minutes doesn't interest me as a fan. Plus, Memphis sucked with Miller last year, and we always bitch about Rudy Gay over Randy Foye. Well...if Gay is so great, I'm not sure who he's playing with to match our win total of 22.

2) Love plays Jefferson's position. Last year, we found out the hard way that this position is not center. Love should now back up Jefferson, and we need to sign a center and be happy with depth at the 4.

3) We passed on DeAndre Jordan at 34. This is the most upsetting part of the entire draft, as he has Dwight Howard-potential. Maybe he'll never reach it; maybe he'll reach some of it; maybe he'll reach all of it. There was no risk at 34, and instead, we let the Clips take that tiny gamble with a Powerball payout. That pisses me off more than anything.

4) I hope the dealing isn't done, and I hope they use that frickin money they got for Chalmers and sign Pekovic over here NOW. We still don't have a center, and I'd at least be happy if we got this guy soon. He got rave reviews, and it's the lone bright spot on an otherwise colossal disaster of a night. All season long, people complained on this site about Jefferson playing center, and I was quiet about it--figuring that it didn't matter because McHale surely realized the problem and would address it in the off-season. If Pekovic isn't over here, we have exactly 0 additional centers on the roster.

5) I actually like Love, like most people, but it's a fit-thing here. We traded Kevin F*cking Garnett and decided to rebuild around a different power forward. With the highest pick we'll ever have in this process, we ended up using it to get another power forward. Love + Jefferson is too small, and too unathletic to guard Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan, Tyson Chandler, Greg Oden, Shaquille O'Neal, Dwight Howard...I'll stop before I barf.

6) Let's hope Pekovic saves this draft. He sounds like a stud.

That seems to be the most accurate representation of the most common anti-trade take. While I'm glad the team didn't take a 7 foot Gerald Green at 34, I completely agree with Andy G's take on it being a dumb decision to pass on that pick with some of the talent that was on the board.  Oh well...until later.

UPDATE V: Check out 3 Shades of Blue's take here. The Commercial Appeal has more here.  Chris Herrington has more Grizz takes here.

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