Some of you may know my affinity for the blogger/smartass known as Sham. His blog not only focuses on the minutiae of transactions in the NBA, D-League and around the globe, but his prose is delivered with the dry, smarmy wit only a Brit can provide. He's running down the Summer's free agent signings in a two-part series (1 and 2), and here's what he had to say about the Wolves:
Minnesota re-signed Ryan Gomes to a very similar deal [five year deal, two years guaranteed] to that of [James] Jones, with the added advantage that Gomes is comfortably the better player.
Sebastian Telfair turned a season of poor shooting, mediocre defense and largely meaningless assists into a three year, $8.1 million contract. If nothing else, last year was an improvement over what went before, which doesn't say much. Aside from that, the Timberwolves also re-signed Craig Smith for the bargain price of 2 years and $4.8 million, meaning that Smith will experience unrestricted free agency at the earliest possible opportunity. One of the better backup big men in the league, and he's signed for that cheap with no real suitors? Really? Why do people keep selling Craig Smith so short? He should never have fallen to the second round, and he should never be signed for less than players such as Francisco Elson and Kwame Brown. So what gives? Who cares that he's a slightly fat 6'7? He's good. Respect this.
How does Minnesota have the 31st and 34th picks, and not come out of it with a player for next year? Strange times. (Readers note: Minnesota drafted Nikola Pekovic at 31, who may well be good, but whom we also may never see.)
An 8 player trade went down on draft night, but only three players in it mattered. Memphis and Minnesota swapped their draft picks a few hours after making them, with Kevin Love going to the Timberwolves, and O.J. Mayo going to Memphis. Also involved in the trade were Mike Miller, Antoine Walker, Greg Buckner, Marko Jaric, Brian Cardinal and Jason Collins, but of those few, only Mike Miller is a productive player. Essentially, Miller was Minnesota's asking price for swapping the two, and in exchange for Miller, Memphis made some salary swaps that gives them roughly $7 million more in cap space next offseason. For both parties, the question is, did they get the better part of the prospect swap. I'm going to cop out and say that I don't know enough about Kevin Love to judge. This is what you can do when you're an amateur blogger.
Finally, in the biggest news of the offseason, Minnesota managed to blag a first round pick off of Philadelphia for the less than arduous task of taking on the contracts of Calvin Booth and Rodney Carney. Talk about easy decisions. Carney is still a cheap prospect, even though he hasn't done anything yet, and Booth earns the minimum. Not even Minnesota says no to that.
Yes, this is just a re-post of what Sham wrote, but I like him so much that I'm willing to sacrifice my precious column-inches and yield to a superior cynic.