Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wolves acquire Williams, Brown in trade
ESPN.com news services
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings pulled off what every NBA team always talks about during trade negotiations -- a deal that actually helps both teams.
The Timberwolves rid themselves of malcontent Rashad McCants while the Kings continued their salary cap purge with their third trade in a week.
The Wolves shipped McCants and center Calvin Booth to Sacramento for forward Shelden Williams and point guard Bobby Brown on Thursday.
NBA Insider Chad Ford first reported the deal for ESPN.com.
McCants was the 14th overall pick in 2005. He is averaging 9.1 points per game but has appeared in only six games since Jan. 1 and 34 of Minnesota's 53 games this season after falling out of favor with the coaching staff.
"He came off a year where he was very productive last season and, for whatever reason, didn't work out this year," Wolves general manager Jim Stack said. "He didn't make that next step in terms of his production. We felt this was an opportunity for him to make a fresh start in Sacramento."
The moody shooting guard from North Carolina fell out of the rotation shortly after Kevin McHale took over as coach. He hasn't played more than 15 minutes in a game since Dec. 27 and has often been seen brooding on the bench because of the decrease in playing time.
At his best, McCants is a capable scorer off the bench. He averaged 14.9 points in that role last season in his first full year back from microfracture knee surgery.
"He's got a body of work at the NBA level," Stack said. "He's shown that he's able and capable of producing. It's just a matter of him doing it at a consistent level."
Williams was the fifth overall pick in 2006 by Atlanta. He has never fulfilled the promise he showed while at Duke and is averaging just 3.7 points and 2.6 rebounds for the Kings.
The burly power forward has only reached double figures in scoring three times this season and has done it just twice in rebounding while appearing in only 30 games.
The opportunity for playing time is there in Minnesota. The Wolves lost star post player Al Jefferson for the season with a torn ACL earlier this month and had a big hole in the front court behind rookie Kevin Love.
"The future's wide open for him," Stack said. "This could be a good opportunity for him. ... We'll see what he can bring to the team. We'll be evaluating him as we move along."
Brown can also help the Wolves immediately at another thin position -- point guard. Veteran Kevin Ollie has been out since Jan. 3 with a dislocated elbow and was only cleared to begin practice on Thursday.
The deal doesn't hinder either team's quest for financial flexibility in the near future. McCants will be a restricted free agent this summer and Booth's contract also expires, giving the Kings a little more wiggle room in their rebuilding effort.
Sacramento sent Brad Miller and John Salmons to the Bulls for Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden, Michael Ruffin and Cedric Simmons. The Kings then immediately sent Ruffin to Portland for Ike Diogu and cash.
The Chicago deal cleared $13 million in cap space for next season for the NBA's worst team. The trade on Thursday with Minnesota only freed up about $740,000 committed to Brown next season because Williams will be an unrestricted free agent.
"Calvin is an experienced center and Rashad has had some terrific moments scoring the ball in the league," Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie said in a statement issued by the team. "We also want to thank Shelden and Bobby for their contributions and wish them the very best."
Brown has averaged 5.2 points and 1.9 assists as a backup point guard as an undrafted rookie out of Cal State Fullerton.
Information from ESPN.com NBA Insider Chad Ford and The Associated Press contributed to this report.