I figured while we're all waiting for some news or another to break on Rubio, we might as well engage in our favorite pastime, speculation about possible trades. Last week, Chad Ford mentioned in a chat that the Kings are also big fans of Johnny Flynn. Based on that, here a Minnesota/Sacramento/Utah trade I came up with:Sacramento
Sends Kenny Thomas to Utah
Sends Kevin Martin to Minnesota
Receives the rights to Johnny Flynn from Minnesota
Receives Andrei Kirilenko from Utah
Sends Andrei Kirilenko to Sacramento
Sends the New York Knicks' 2010 first round pick to Minnesota
Receives Kenny Thomas from Utah
Receives Brian Cardinal from Minnesota
Receives Craig Smith from Minnesota
Sends the rights to Johnny Flynn to Sacramento
Sends Craig Smith to Utah
Sends Brian Cardinal to Utah
Receives Kevin Martin from Sacramento
Receives the New York Knicks' 2010 first round pick from Utah
Why Sacramento does this:
They get better at the 3 and the 1, while reducing the years that have an 8 digit contract on the books (Kirilenko's contract ends after 2010-2011, Martin's ends after 2012-2013). In terms of productions, Martin is +5.5 on PER relative to his team at SG (5.0 versus -0.5), while Kirilenko would be +7.7 at SF for the Kings. It also makes Nocioni redundant, so they can trade his contract either space of functional shooting guard later on.
Why Utah does this:
It clears their cap by $16,451,250 for the next season, and allows them a reasonable chance to keep Millsap. It also means that if/when they lose Boozer, they have a good young replacement in Smith. The real value is that even if they extend Millsap and Smith, they'd still have a lot of money to go after free agents in 2010 (probably around $15-20 million worth of cap space).
Why Minnesota does this:
They get Kevin Martin, meaning that they have an above average player at the 2, 4, and 5. They fix their roster imbalance, and should make a definite step forward in terms of of overall team skill. It gives the team another first round pick next year, almost certainly in the top 10. It gives the team an identity as an offensive force, and means the Wolves should have enough free space to pay a bit more than the midlevel in 2010 for a free agent, if needed. It also gives everyone who is being viewed through their potential a chance to prove themselves. Love, and Telfair get their minutes, as does Ellington while playing as Martin's backup. Jefferson and Brewer get a year to prove they're back and ready to contribute to the team. Here's how the team would look for the next season:
1 - Rubio/Telfair/Brown
2 - Martin/Ellington
3 - Gomes/Brewer
4 - Love/Songalia/Pecherov
5 - Jefferson/Thomas/Madsen
When combined with the 1-4 draft picks next year, the Wolves could look very good in a few years.
Now, some questions:
Is Martin worth it? Do you think he is overpaid? Do you think the Wolves could get better value for their expiring contracts?
Would you do this if Rubio was staying in Europe for a year? Permanently?
How much better do you think this makes the Wolves? 30 win team? 40?