What could David Kahn conceivably do with the number two pick in the NBA Draft? It seems to me the most realistic trade partner might be the Cleveland Cavaliers and the deep pockets of Dan Gilbert. There might be a great opportunity for the Wolves to add multiple pieces that fit.
The rumor a few weeks ago was a three-team trade between the Wolves, Cavs, and Pistons involving the LeBron trade exception, the Wolves #2, Cleveland's #4, Detroit's #7 and Richard Hamilton. Other pieces could certainly be added like Jonny Flynn, the Wolves #20 and extra picks from Cleveland.
However, there might be a more efficient and reasonable way for the Cavs and Wolves to make a deal. Everyone knows the CBA is ending and there are many who believe we are heading towards a hard salary cap so some teams might be looking to cut costs.
The Sacramento Kings are probably one of the teams who would be interested in cutting costs. It's well known the Kings almost moved because of significant financial problems both on a team level and with the ownership group of the Maloof family. Based on the rumor of the Hamilton to Cavs scenario, it would suggest that Dan Gilbert might be willing to spend upwards of $20-$25 million to secure the number two pick and build his team around Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams.
So, do the Kings have any contracts they might want to move? Perhaps either Beno Udrih who has year left worth $7.2 million with a player option for $7.8 million in 2012/13 or Francisco Garcia who has salaries of $5.8 and $6.1 million the next two seasons with a team option for 2013-14.
Many rumors have the Kings looking for a point guard and specifically at Kemba Walker, Brandon Knight and possibly Jimmer Fredette. Is it possible a player like Jonny Flynn would intrigue the Kings? Maybe, maybe not but it can allow for an interesting trade structure:
Timberwolves #20 overall pick
Cavaliers #32 overall pick
Trade exception from Cavs
$3 million cash from Cavs
Timberwolves #2 overall pick
Cavaliers #4 overall pick
Sacramento #7 overall pick
This deal gives the Cavaliers two players to really build around, some would even say both players in a two player draft. I would assume they could buyout both Garcia and Darko for something close to $20 million. Garcia is owed $11.9 million over the next two years. Darko is owed close to $15.5 million over the next three seasons. Cleveland paying Garcia $10 million and paying Darko $10-$12 million to go away seems reasonable as I'm sure neither player would want to be there. Factor in the $3 million I have the Cavs sending to the Kings to basically pay Jonny Flynn's salary and your looking at a $25 million commitment from Dan Gilbert to get Derrick Williams in a Cavs uniform.
For the Kings there are mostly financial reasons to do the deal. Flynn is supposed to get paid $3.4 million in 2011-12 and by wiping away Garcia's salary and getting $3 million from the Cavs makes Flynn a free player next year. By getting the #20 and #32 picks in the trade allow the Kings to either draft young players or possibly sell both of those picks for between $2-$3 million each. The Maloofs could perhaps receive between $3-$9 million in cash before the lockout which is something they could desperately use. Factor in this trade would give the Kings some cap space in a new CBA where a few teams might have to give away a few good players to get under the number and it's a long term move for their franchise. Their fans are already upset the team might move, so moving their number seven pick in a "weak" draft probably wouldn't hurt them from a fan support standpoint.
For the Wolves this deal would do many things. Clearing Darko and Jonny would save short term and long term money. Moving from #2 and #20 to #4 and #7 would most likely allow the Wolves to draft Bismack Biyombo and Alec Burks. Filling both of these needs have been highlighted many times here on CH and I remain convinced the only way they're really going to fill these needs is in the draft.
This trade has another incarnation in involving the Charlotte Bobcats. At some point, Michael Jordan is going to realize he has a lot of toxic contracts on his books. Dasanga Diop is owed $6.9 million next year and has a player option for 2012-13 for $7.3 million. Matt Carroll is owed $3.9 million then has a player option for $3.5 million in 2012-13. Both of those players could be sent to Cleveland in this deal and probably be bought out for close to $25 million. In essence, I think selling the number nine pick in a perceived down draft for $25 million is probably something Michael Jordan could be okay with.
Timberwolves #2 overall pick
Cleveland trade exception
Cleveland #4 overall pick
Charlotte #9 overall pick
The only negative I see in this deal is it probably doesn't rid us of Darko unless Dan Gilbert truly has a man crush on Derrick Williams. We might have to throw in Jonny Flynn or the #20 but I'm guessing that wouldn't be much of an issue for the Bobcats. Again, they would essentially be selling the number nine pick in this draft for approximately $20-$25 million in worthless contracts.
It seems to me that Biyombo and Burks are close to perfect fits for two of the biggest needs the Wolves have. I highly doubt either of these trades happen but it they make sense to me. Any thoughts CH?