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Report: Timberwolves trying to trade J.J. Barea, Luc Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved

Aug 7, 2014, 11:13 AM EDT

The Timberwolves will get a great package if the Kevin Love trade goes through as reported.

I would have dealt Love for just Andrew Wiggins if it were allowed and all I could get, but Anthony Bennett and a future first rounder are nice assets, too. Minnesota did really well for itself, no question.

But the Timberwolves won’t unload any of their bad contracts – someone like Kevin Martin (three years and $21,255,000 remaining) – in the deal with the Cavaliers.

Flip Saunders hasn’t given up, though.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Minnesota still has a goal of freeing itself of J.J. Barea, Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexey Shved, league sources said.

Barea ($4,519,500), Mbah a Moute ($4,382,576) and Shved ($3,282,056) all have expiring contracts. So, “freeing itself” is strange wording considering Minnesota can just let all three walk next offseason.

Assuming that’s an accurate portrayal of the situation, though, I see a couple possibilities:

1. The Timberwolves know they won’t contend for a playoff berth this season, and they believe Barea, Mbah a Moute and Shved can help teams now. So, Minnesota wants to flip those three for future assets like draft picks(and maybe the expiring contract of a worse player to satisfy trade rules) while still possible.

2. The Timberwolves are so desperate to trim salary – even beyond the $4,644,503 they drop in the Love trade – they want to deal those three players now.

Quite possibly, a combination of both factors is in play. If Minnesota doesn’t believe its roster is playoff-worthy, drawing fans won’t be easy.

None of the three players has much value, though.

Shved, 25, regressed from his rookie year – a troubling sign for a low-efficiency gunner. It seemed he’d settle into NBA play, but he’s just getting further from the target.

Barea has trended downward since helping the Mavericks win the 2011 NBA Finals. The undersized point guard just doesn’t finish at the rim like he used to. That might be due to a lack of burst as he’s passed the wrong side of 30, but there’s at least a little hope he could thrive again in the right system.

Mbah a Moute seems to have slipped from his defensive peak, though he’s still pretty good in isolation. He still can’t shoot or serve as a playmaker, bigger issues when his defense isn’t as stout.

Minnesota has a chance to move any of the three if it finds a team with very specific needs, but none of the three will generate much buzz league-wide.

If they’re are really desperate to unload the trio, the Timberwolves could always offer draft picks as sweeteners. Or maybe they can attach one to Bennett in a Thaddeus Young trade. The 76ers have the cap room to absorb a bad contract (or three) if it nets a positive asset.

  1. loubearkane - Aug 7, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Shved is actually pretty interesting. Indiana wouldn’t be a bad spot for him unless they are in TANK mode.

    • duhwighthoward - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      I thought Shved looked pretty good in the Olympics. I’d rather have him than Nash or Kobe at this point. Hook it up Mitch Kupchak! Sneak Kevin Love in there too!

      • tved12 - Aug 7, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        Dude, you should have seen Shved last year. I had high hopes for him after the olympics as well, but he’s bad.

        And lou, Shved would be a perfect piece if the Pacers are in Tank mode. Shot 32% last year, 29% from 3.

  2. 00maltliquor - Aug 7, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    How is Kevin Martin’s contract bad?? He’s still useful and at roughly $7m per he seems like a value contract. If I were the LeBronaliers I’d take that happily to add to the roster.

    • spursareold - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      He’s a one trick pony who can’t defend, and since they changed the rule so that you can’t jump sideways into defenders, he doesn’t even get to the line any more. He also doesn’t create or rebound. Bench scorers of low efficiency can be had for less.

    • duhwighthoward - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      You know, that’s an interesting point. Considering the size of contracts that have been signed this offseason, it doesn’t seem bad.

      I wonder if he could play small forward for the Clippers instead of Matt Barnes and Jared Dudley. Doc Rivers, I hope you’re reading!

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 7, 2014 at 1:45 PM


        Kevin Martin was 5th per game in free throw attempts per game for shooting guards last season.

        but his attempts per game has fallen off so you’re right it’s gone down. but it hasn’t gone down to “doesn’t get to the line anymore” status unless you think averaging the 5th most free throw attempts per game for all shooting guards is nothing.

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 7, 2014 at 1:42 PM


      Martin is still a good value. He has two tricks now, not just one.

      trick #1. he’s a good, above average 3 pt shooter. (.387 last yr and .385 for his career and for reference, Mr. Larry “Legend” Bird’s career 3 pt shooting was .376% – not that Martin is anywhere close to Larry Legend as a player of course, just providing some perspective is all)

      trick #2 he’s still efficient at scoring, true shooting percentage etc… (he’s way up there all time – he has the 28th HIGHEST true shooting percentage of all time – but he is getting older and slowing down – but he’s still well above league average with his true shooting percentage).

      One last thing about Martin’s shooting. Last season Kevin Martin averaged 1.27 points per shot he took (3’s, 2’s and free throw attempts combined divided by points scored).

      Jamal Crawford averaged 1.27 points per shot last season.

      Lance Stephenson averaged 1.24 points per shot last season.

      Monta Ellis (good yr with the Mavs) averaged 1.22 points per shot last season.

      One Klay Thompson averaged 1.18 points per shot last season.

      Bradley Beal averaged 1.09 points per shot last season.

      Martin is still efficient at scoring. He doesn’t need tons of shots to score a few points. Good from 3 pt range.

      He averaged more points per shot than many others like Vince Carter, Victor Oladipo, Joe Johnson, Dion Waiters and others.

      • 00maltliquor - Aug 7, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        THANK YOU sportsfan18!!

        I don’t have the patience to explain nor do I want my efforts be in vain when they get blocked. Some of these guys have no clue what they are talking about. One dude above me said he doesnt get to the free throw line because you cant jump into the defender anymore! How ignorant is that. Not to mention the majority of his free throw attempts come from him driving to the lane! Smh

    • esotericmindguy - Aug 7, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      Terrible defender is the word. I don’t watch Timberwolves basketball for obvious reasons, but he can definitely shoot the ball and dudes like Gordon Hayward get 15M a year.

  3. doughlow805 - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Philadelphia could try to absorb Mbah A Moute for his relationship with Embiid

    • duhwighthoward - Aug 7, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      They had relations? What kind are we talking about?

  4. hurley711 - Aug 7, 2014 at 10:21 PM

    In an offseason where Heyward and Parsons got max deals and Avery Bradley got $8 mil per over 4 yrs how is Martin’s deal a bad one?

    • bkbell3 - Aug 7, 2014 at 11:42 PM

      I think martin’s contract is fair but you can’t compare it to deals like parson’s and hayward because teams were either trying to steal or keep theirs or other teams free agents which were restricted and throw in a small market team like utah into the mix. Bradly is a head scratcher because who was bidding on him, but boston has money to spend to get to the floor and are not looking to contend this year..

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