Posted at 9:01 AM on June 27, 2008
by Steve Rudolph
I was planning to write about how amazed I am by the Twins current run, but for some reason I can't stop thinking about basketball today.
When I went to sleep last night I thought the Timberwolves had added a promising and talented young player (O.J. Mayo), but put them in a position of not having enough playing time to go around and didn't address some of there most glaring weaknesses.
Still half-asleep when the news of the trade came over the radio, my first reaction was McHale blew it once again. Now that I've had some coffee and have read a little more on the trade, I think this might be one of his better deals. (Although he had set the bar quite low.)
O.J. Mayo will be a better NBA player than Kevin Love and will make an impact in the league right away. I don't think there's a lot of debate on those points. But trading Mayo to the Memphis Grizzlies makes the Wolves a better team.
It's a classic case of addition through subtraction. Marko Jaric is not an NBA point guard and his hefty contract was limiting the club's ability to make future moves. Antoine Walker was making even more money next season and had the potential to be a disruptive force.
So the Wolves got rid of two players with big salaries who didn't fit into their future plans and added a great three-point shooter in Mike Miller (something they've never had), a nice low-post player to complement Al Jefferson in Love, and a 7-footer (Jason Collins) that makes them more physical in the paint.
Am I delusional or after countless draft-day flops, did McHale finally get it right?
Well, you're right Steve, there are a lot of positive aspects to this deal. Love could be good player, Miller will help instantly, and getting someone to take Marko off our hands is a coup.
But from a PR standpoint, this just wasn't handled well. Getting Wolves fans excited for Mayo for 5 hours, only to pull the rug out from under them, is not going to sit well with a lot of people.
And given McHale's track record, it's hard to see this working out for us. Why does it feel like he waited for the rest of the brain trust to go to sleep before making this deal on his own?