This is the type of deal David Kahn had in mind when he said during his introductory press conference that he'd look to take advantage of teams with poorer financial situations than the Wolves
Alando Tucker, 2nd rounder in '10 and cash for [Jason] Hart.
For the Suns, it's purely a financial move. They'll likely waive Hart, given that his contract isn't guaranteed until next month. If they did so today, they'd still owe him about $306k. That's $766k less than Tucker's contract and since the Suns are in luxury tax territory, that difference is worth double to them. They did give the Wolves cash to cover the remainder of Tucker's contract (about $675k), but it still means the Suns can save up to $857k on the deal.
That, apparently, is worth losing a 2010 2nd round pick. No word yet on which pick the Suns gave up (they've got picks from Charlotte and Cleveland in addition to their own).
For the Wolves, Kahn and Rambis get a free look at a prospect. The Suns declined Tucker's option for next year, so there's no financial commitment for Minnesota.
There is a small concern with losing Hart in that if Flynn or Sessions goes down with an injury, the Wolves will have to scramble to sign a backup point guard. That shouldn't over-shadow Tucker's acquisition, though.
The 6'6", 200 lb. Tucker is in his 3rd year out of Wisconsin (Badgers, WHAT!) but has seen only 400 minutes of NBA action. His shooting hasn't been great in that time (.422/.294/.783) but with such spotty minutes on a contender, there's not much opportunity to find one's niche/flow/rhythm. He's a Bo Ryan product, though, so his ability to play a team-game and defensive abilities should be welcomed by the Wolves.
The really good news is that Tucker's played well in his D-League time. In 21 games over the last 2 seasons, Tucker posted averages of 28 points, 6 boards, 1.5 steals with percentages .526/.402/.849. Yes, it's the D-Leage. But it's a sign that Tucker has potential.
The Wolves backcourt and perimeter have been shaky to say the least. While Tucker is no surefire upgrade in talent, he'll get a chance to take minutes from Damien Wilkins, Wayne Ellington and Sasha Pavlovic. I vote for Pavlovic, who's with me? Judging by the comments so far today, almost everyone.
Now let's go pick-up Marcus Landry, Kammron Taylor, Joe Krabbenhoft and Brian Butch. Who's with me on that one? Fine, we can sign Spencer Tollackson too.
[UPDATE: Pick and cash details from Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic]
Phoenix traded Tucker and a conditional second-round pick to Minnesota for Jason Hart, a point guard with a non-guaranteed deal that the Suns will waive. Minnesota gets the Suns' second-round pick in the June draft unless it falls in the top 40. In that case, Minnesota would receive the Cleveland second-round pick that is owed to the Suns.
The Suns will pay the remainder of Tucker's $1.07 million salary and give the Timberwolves an additional $100,000. The Suns' savings come from how much less they will be taxed for being over the luxury tax threshold.