Last season, the Minnesota Timberwolves had too many point guards, and in their third consecutive season of putting the playoffs as an achievable goal, they’re looking to get rid of some of them, focusing on trading away either J.J. Barea or Luke Ridnour.
The Wolves are planning re-signing Chase Budinger, Nikola Pekovic, adding Kevin Martin, Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng, which means less minutes for two-point guard sets like we saw a lot of last season. With Rubio hopefully healthy for the long run and the young and talented Alexey Shved to back him up, the Timberwolves don’t need two more players like Barea and Ridnour, who make a combined $9 million next season.
The Dallas Mavericks seemed to have a lot of interest in point guards, but after adding Jose Calderon, Devis Harris and Gal Mekel, that option is off the table. Ridnour might be a bit easier to move because his deal expires at the end of the season ($4.32 million), but Barea is signed for two more years, making $9.2 million combined.
Barea averaged 11.3 points while shooting 41.7% from the field. Ridnour spent a lot of time at shooting guard last season, although he doesn’t specifically excel at any of the positions, averaging 11.5 points while shooting a very disappointing 31.1% from three.
The Timberwolves, with Kevin Love also back to full form (hopefully), expect to be in the mix for the playoffs, and are counting on Nikola Pekovic to continue and develop as a dominant force in the paint, while the team’s three point shooting has to improve. For that, Kevin Martin, one of the best in the NBA last season with the Thunder when it came to long-range shooting, was brought over on a four year deal, hopefully adding the balance, not to mention scoring and quality, the Timberwolves lacked, among other things, last season.