Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst published an extensive article yesterday on ESPN.com reporting that Corey Brewer is back on the trade market. There were reports earlier in the season that Brewer was the subject of trade talks, but in the wake of the Wolves' extensive injuries, those talks were put on hold. Brewer has been starting at shooting guard in the absence of Kevin Martin, and playing significant minutes at point guard with the injuries to Ricky Rubio and Mo Williams.
Apparently, now that Flip Saunders has acknowledged that the Wolves are rebuilding, trade talks are back on, with the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers figuring most prominently. Both of those teams are looking for depth at the wing spots, and the Rockets in particular have long been enamored of Brewer. The Cavs, meanwhile, would be able to reprise the Love-Brewer pairing that created so many easy baskets in transition last season for the Wolves.
Both teams have trade exceptions big enough to absorb Brewer's entire salary, meaning they would not have to send any salary back to the Wolves, who are also looking to get a first round pick out of the deal. At this point, the Rockets are reportedly offering the Knicks 2015 2nd rounder in exchange.
Another issue is Brewer's player option for next season, which is $5M. The Wolves would like to be off the hook for that, but so would any acquiring team. Both the Cavs and Rockets would ask Brewer to decline that option; the ESPN article suggests he would be willing to in order to join a contender. We'll see how true that is.
Brewer was brought in as a free agent in the summer of 2013 to add another veteran presence to the wing as the Wolves looked to make a playoff push. It seemed at the time to be a bit of an overpay, but Brewer earned his keep last season as he took advantage of Kevin Love's abilities to finish among the league leaders in transition points. He also appeared in 81 games last season and hasn't missed one so far this year, a valuable attribute for the Wolves.
He's a guy who is alternatively fun and incredibly frustrating to watch, as he is constant motion and frequent gambling, which leads to a lot of steals and break outs, but he is also a wild dribbler and regularly attempts things he just can't do, whether they be drives to the basket or trying to thread the needle with a pass.
He's also a guy who seems to always have a smile on his face and is one of the terrific personalities in the league, at least from my (television) vantage point. I admit a part of me would be sad to see him go, as he provides entertainment during another season of bad basketball. But I think it makes sense for the Wolves to pull the trigger, even if they can't get a first rounder out of the deal. I would do it for the Knicks 2nd rounder, with the benefit being not having to worry about his 2015-16 option.
What do you think?