As I was walking down the infamous Broadway of Seattle, a thought occurred to me: If the Wolves could trade Wes Johnson for someone would they?
Why? Because the Wolves need a competent wing, Darko Milicic is of little use (tossing in Hassan Whiteside to do this deal presents me no issue's whatsoever--anyone else forget it), the Kings need to take Salmons out of the mix (or find a very new role--unlikely to happen) for a variety of reasons really.
The disadvantage of Salmons is that he can be a volume scorer as Michael Beasley can be. The advantage is that Salmons can do it more efficiently. Here are the season by season stats for Salmons career:
The trick comes in for salary on each side to make this work. One, Minnesota can't absorb significantly more salary due to their cap situation. Two, Sacramento can't take a massive decrease in salary due to being just over the salary floor.
Sometimes deals make sense, and sometimes deals don't. But there is give and take on both sides for this deal for both sides. Is it ideal? Of course not. What is? Darko Milicic has no trade value, whatever value Wes Johnson has is sinking by the day, and the real question is could David Kahn push past his ego to get a deal like this done? Would the Maloofs do it for the Kings given their situation? (I'm not sure Geoff Petrie would factor in this as much as one might hope.)
Darko plus Wes are guaranteed (starting next season) just a bit over 9.51 million combined through next season (and the waived season for Darko) and Salmons is guaranteed 16.666 million over the life of his contract (2 years after this one plus a 1 million dollar buyout for the 3rd season). A greater question would be Glen Taylor take on that extra kind of money to get a competent team, including a push towards a playoff berth with Clipnetsgeddon on the horizon, and would Adelman push for a player like Salmons who is having a down year right now?
I'm not suggesting that the Wolves should or shouldn't do a trade like this. I am suggesting that if the Wolves are to get a talented/competent wing player, and if a quality player short of trading Derrick Williams (which is another problem) is the only way you get a competent wing, there is probably no better win and better timing than now than to get a player like Salmons. I understand why you would say no from a fan perspective. The one thing Salmons does, and his defense is of high quality (especially if he is getting shots), is that he can score while creating shots for himself. There is so me level of shot selection there. He can play the SG for the Wolves (which makes more sense anyway) which is the position of most dire need.
Whatever moves the Wolves make here on out will include risks, and the chances of a veteran rediscovering his magic vs a young player making a leap that many never believe would come in the 1st place is how you can look at this trade. That, and the difference of 7 million over the life of, what I propose anyway, 3 contracts. Yay, Nay? Personally, I would rather keep Salmons as he is a talented player who suffers somewhat from a toxic situation in Sacramento. (Although Salmons isn't without fault as many will tell you.) But, at the end of the day, finding a way to improve your roster (including trading a player like Salmons who is somewhat redundant when it comes to Evans/Thornton in scoring fashion) is the name of the NBA game when you are a team like the Wolves in the situation they are in. No trade scenario exists that is perfect, and all trades are risks. Few trades offer the prospect of moving from a prospect who hasn't worked in his year plus in a Wolves uniform and a player who has no real trade value. That's really the end game when you strip all of this. It makes sense to do a deal like this for both sides for different reasons; the only question is the politics of each ownership and management get in the way? These are the questions that can never be answered until those parties actually give the answer.