Per Marc Stein at ESPN:
League sources told ESPN.com that the Nets, off to a disappointing 8-11 start and looking to retool after last season's $190 million roster filled with veterans couldn't advance beyond the second round of the playoffs, have let it be known that they are prepared to move any of those franchise cornerstones in what would likely be separate deals if they came to fruition because of the high salaries each possess.
Yet sources insist that the Nets haven't abandoned their recent "win-now mentality" and aren't merely looking to dump salary. Brooklyn's hope, sources said, is eventually to construct a deal or two that bring back sufficient talent that enables the Nets remain a playoff team.
We've already talked about needing trade off some of the nickel and dime contracts taking up space in the middle of the payroll. But here we have the possibility of a much broader, decisive move.
If the Nets are willing to deal Kevin Garnett...and want to get quality players back in return, as opposed to just going for the tank....then the Wolves have a player who matches both the money and box score qualifications: Nikola Pekovic.
Now I know this won't be a terribly popular idea. I love Pek as much as the next guy. Anyone who foregoes All Star Break on the beach to go ice fishing in Cook County earns a warm place in all our hearts. But...
The reality is he costs $12 million/year. For the next three years. And the Wolves, quite frankly, aren't going anywhere for probably the next two, at least, unless they can make a major roster upgrade. For a non-playoff club, paying a Nikola Pekovic $12mil/yr is about a 0.5 on the scale of 1 to salary cap management. Dealing out Pekovic's $12mil/3yr deal for Garnett's $12mil/expires-at-the-end-of-the-season deal would go a long, long ways towards clearing the decks for a run at a Jimmy Butler. All the better if you can append Brewer or Chase to the deal as well.
Obviously Garnett is well beyond the point of being a franchise player, and honestly is barely boarderline useful in the context of a full 48 minutes. He's not a guy who can defend the post for 30+ minutes anymore (although I'd wager he's still way ahead of anyone the Wolves currently have, even if he plays just 22 minutes) and his scoring game has been limited down to sporadic mid-range jumpers and the occasional drop-off pass/layup.
A lot of your opinion on this will probably depend on how good you think the Wolves can be when/if they are healthy (it's a big if, honestly. Pekovic is not an NBA iron man) I guess what I would say about that is this: the Wolves are currently 4-16, last place in the West. The #8 seed is probably going to have to win upwards of 50 games (the #7 seed, Dallas, is unthinkably going to win close to 60. And still be the #7 seed) So the Wolves will have to go something like 48-14 the rest of the year to have a shot at the playoffs. That's just not happening, especially with Rubio and Martin guaranteed to be out at least another month.
So if you're of the opinion that the Wolves should burn it all down, like most of our veteran readers (and an angle I strongly considered myself in my last trade bit) then this is something to strongly consider. If you can convince the Nets to play ball.
And as we've seen from Torii Hunter, Minnesotans love a good reunion story, even if it's with a guy way past his prime.