Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Wolves trying to climb draft board
ESPN.com news services
MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota's trade with the Washington Wizards was completed Wednesday, but several other proposed trades by the Timberwolves haven't had the same luck.
Memphis has refused multiple trades offers from Minnesota because the Timberwolves aren't prepared to part with both the Nos. 5 and 6 picks or toss in Kevin Love in another scenario with just the No. 6 pick, a source with knowledge of the Grizzlies' situation told ESPN.com.
The Grizzlies are, according to the source, prepared to make Connecticut's Hasheem Thabeet the No. 2 pick in the draft if they cannot get a deal for the selection.
Memphis discussed sending the No. 2 to Minnesota for the No. 5 and No. 6, but the Timberwolves have consistently said that they don't want to give away two top-10 picks. The Wolves also rejected the offer for No. 6 and Love. The Timberwolves offered either No. 5 or 6 and Craig Smith for the No. 2, but Memphis rejected that trade, too. The source said there was never any discussion involving Minnesota's No. 18 pick.
The Grizzlies aren't seriously talking with any other team about the No. 2 pick, but did have an initial discussion with Oklahoma City for the No. 3 pick and Thabo Sefolosha, although that deal was rejected by the Thunder. The Grizzlies had an initial discussion with the Sacramento Kings to move No. 2 for No. 4 and Jason Thompson but that was declined, as well. The source said New York is not pursuing the No. 2 pick, but the Knicks and the Grizzlies have talked about a straight-up trade with the Grizzlies sending Darko Milicic to New York for Quentin Richardson. Both players have expiring contracts.
Thabeet is atop the Grizzlies' draft board with Memphis' Tyreke Evans second, followed by Syracuse's Jonny Flynn and Davidson's Stephen Curry. The Grizzlies have given up trying to get Ricky Rubio and the source said they didn't want to deal with the buyout issues.
The Timberwolves and Washington on Wednesday struck a deal that gives Minnesota the No. 5 overall pick, its fourth first-round draft choice, along with Wizards forwards Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov.
The Wizards receive guards Randy Foye and Mike Miller.
The teams first agreed to the deal on Tuesday night. Minnesota now has the fifth, sixth, 18th and 28th selections in the draft.
Washington had made overtures regarding moving the No. 5 pick ever since the Wizards landed it in the draft lottery on May 19. Washington listened to offers from New York, Dallas, Phoenix and Portland but settled on a deal with Minnesota, looking for veteran perimeter help while getting rid of expiring contracts.
Andy Katz covers college and professional basketball for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.