Thursday, June 17, 2010

Logic Behind a MIN-DET Trade


The Timberwolves love Wes Johnson. It has been widely reported that DeMarcus Cousins declined to workout in Minnesota, making Johnson the likely choice at #4 unless they can move up to get Evan Turner. Whether or not the Wolves think Johnson is the best player available at #4, he doesn't provide sufficient value at that spot. Cousins is the consensus #4 prospect in the draft, and there are many teams who would love his services in spite of his well-documented red flags. The Sacramento Kings are believed to be interested in either Cousins or Georgetown's Greg Monroe at #5, while the Golden State Warriors at #6 are believed to be after Cousins, Monroe, and Wake Forest forward Al-Farouq Aminu. In any event, it seems perfectly reasonable that Johnson would be available as far down as #7, which is currently held by the Detroit Pistons, who are also believed to be interested in a center, which brings me to my next point.


Does anyone really believe that the Pistons are happy with their position at #7? In other words, do we really believe that the guy they want will be available at that spot? This is a relatively deep draft, but unless the guy they really covet is Ed Davis, it doesn't seem to be a logical sentiment. Davis is a nice player, but how many people really believe he'll be a better pro than Cousins or Monroe? If the Pistons had the ability to move up and draft a truly elite big man, they would be crazy not to do it. Minnesota has multiple needs on the perimeter, and no single player in this draft will solve all of their problems. However, Detroit could offer them a proven commodity on both ends (Tayshaun Prince) and the player they really want (Wes Johnson) for a chance to move up three spots. It would save the Pistons a little over $11 M next year, and give them a lot of roster flexibility. They could go small (Stuckey, Gordon, Hamilton with two bigs), medium (Stuckey, Gordon/Hamilton, Daye/Summers with two bigs), or large (Stuckey, Gordon/Hamilton, Jerebko with two bigs) and still be effective. They would also move up and get the big man they really covet (after Derrick Favors), while maintaining enough cap room ($13 M) to go after a big name power forward.

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