We have told you before that Minnesota was shopping around Derrick Williams, looking for a team that wanted to take a chance on his potential and was willing to give up a steadier veteran in return.
Hello Sacramento Kings.
The Timberwolves and Kings have agreed in principle to a trade that would send Williams to Sacramento in exchange for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, according to multiple reports. This story was reported Marc Stein of ESPN. Those two can be traded for each other straight up, although it is possible other players or picks could end up part of the final package.
The only thing holding this up is Mbah a Moute passing a physical (he has knee issues), reports Marc Spears at Yahoo.
This trade has some logic for both sides, and not just reuniting UCLA teammates Kevin Love and Mbah a Moute.
Minnesota is in a win now mode and while statistically they have a Top 10 defense it has shown cracks in the past week. Mbah a Moute is still a strong man-on-man defender, someone the Timberwolves could lean on to get stops with the second unit and in specific matchups when they need him. He’s not going to bring much offense (although he seems to be back to his career averages after a rough last season). Mbah a Moute would have a much more defined role in Minnesota, which likely benefits him.
Williams, the former No. 2 pick, is an athletic tweener that put up decent numbers last season when Kevin Love was out (7.5 points and 8.1 rebounds a game), but now Love is back and there is no real fit for him. Williams is not a defender, doesn’t create good shots for himself and is not an efficient scorer in the Minnesota offense. With the Kings he could get a real chance, what he does with that remains to be seen.
The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?
Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:
If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.
The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.
It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.
Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?
The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.
There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.
Gordon Hayward is going to have surgery on his ankle and leg, which should not be a surprise to anyone who saw the gruesome injury to his leg just 5:15 into his Celtics career. There is no timetable for his return yet, maybe he makes it back for the playoffs, but the Celtics are not going to rush him and he may well miss the entire season.
What next for Boston?
In this PBT Extra I cover the three things to watch for from Boston, which in the short term could mean the Kyrie Irving show. Longer term, not much changes.
Gordon Hayward broke his leg early in his Celtics debut – a devastating injury. He’s preparing for surgery tonight, per Jeff Goodman of ESPN:
First – after a perfect introduction from Marcus Smart – Hayward addressed the Boston crowd from his hospital bed before tonight’s game against the Bucks.
What’s up everybody? Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has sent me your thoughts and prayers. I’m going to be alright. It’s hurting me that I can’t be there for the home opener. I want nothing more just to be with my teammates and walk out onto that floor tonight. But I’ll be supporting you guys from here and wishing you the best of luck. Kill it tonight. Thanks, guys.
At least this nice moment (and an outpouring of support) came out of such a gruesome injury.
And if Smart keeps setting up his teammates so well, maybe the Celtics’ offense will keep humming.