A report today on Slamonline.com stated that Ricky Rubio wants Pau Gasol in Minnesota. The two are both Spanish and have a strong friendship off the court dating back to time spent on the Spanish National Team. He went on to talk about how the Los Angeles Lakers have been treating him poorly, using his skills incorrectly, and that he would be better off elsewhere...Maybe even in Minnesota?
As exciting as it would be for the Timberwolves to finally make a deal for a relevant player in this league, I don't think this is the right move. And here's three solid reasons why:
The Timberwolves are in need of a consistent two-guard. Far too often am I seeing the Wolves put two point guards on the floor, getting overpowered, and watching bigger guards score the rock and walk away. There's no way Luke Ridnour can guard Joe Johnson or Dwyane Wade consistently. And if the Wolves want to be a championship contender, they'll need someone who can guard them. Shved is a good player, but whether or not he's the Wolves long term answer remains to be seen. With or without Shved, the Wolves need more depth at the position.
If Gasol were to join the rotation right now, there's no doubt he would be in the starting lineup. But once next season comes around, he'll most likely be relegated to a role player position. With Love and Pekovic manning the frontcourt in the starting lineup, there isn't much room for Rubio's pal Gasol. And isn't the fact he isn't starting part of the reason he's so unhappy in LA?
The big reason it wont work is all in the money. Gasol is set to make a whopping 19 million dollars this season. That's six million more than the Wolves highest paid player, Kevin Love. Of course the top heavy Lakers are willing to take on these contracts, but that would put the lowly Timberwolves in quite the money bind. Of course with the Wolves biggest trade piece being Derrick Williams, losing his contract hardly even puts a dent in trying to even out the payroll with Gasol coming in. And I don't think the Wolves can justify trading the youthful 24-year-old Love for the aging 32-year-old big man Gasol.
The Timberwolves can't afford Gasol financially and strategically. As talented as he may be, it would be quite the mistake for the Wolves to make a run for him. My advice to the Wolves is to try to make a deal for a young shooting guard, and to make sure Rubio is more focused on his game than dropping hints for David Kahn. Might I suggest the Wolves go for Jordan Crawford, Marcus Thornton, or Dion Waiters?