UPDATE 6:05 pm: It’s that time of year, when rumored deals get leaked and die almost as fast. Just like this one.
Apparently everybody in Minnesota and Memphis sobered up and realized this was a bad idea. Here is the official reasoning from Chad Ford:
unwilling to part with their picks as part of a deal. Minn thinks they
can do better
Translated: Memphis doesn’t want to pay $29 million the next two years for Jefferson and Minnesota realized they were about to trade for Zach Randolph.
Personally, I think sobering up just explains it better.
5: 28 pm: Minnesota is going to get Derrick Favors at No. 4 in the NBA Draft tomorrow — another young big man, potentially the best they will have although quite raw right now.
But that means creating some room on the front line, so David Kahn has been calling everywhere looking for a trade — including trying to move the No. 4 pick — and may have found a deal he likes.
Al Jefferson and the No. 16 to Memphis for Zach Randolph and the No. 12 pick. Chad Ford at ESPN had it and DraftExpress’s Jonathon Givony is hearing the same thing.
Minnesota saves a ton of money with this — they pay $4.3 million more this year to escape the $29 million owed Jefferson the next two years. They don’t, however, solve the logjam up front, they just rotate big bodies. At some Minnesota has to get Kevin Love some more burn at the four. Which could mean sitting Randolph or paying him to sit and try to move him at the trade deadline as an expiring deal.
The idea of Memphis taking on a lot more salary makes me question if this goes down, but they are getting the better player in the deal. Is he really $29 million better? That is the question. (And the answer is basically no.)
Jefferson’s game means a more rounded big man to put next to Marc Gasol on the front line. Jefferson can put up some good offensive numbers and play more consistent defense than Randolph (not that it is all that hard to play more consistent defense than Randolph).
Give whatever credence to this you want, but this is the hot rumor out there.