When Kevin Martin went down injured, the Minnesota Timberwolves quickly squelched their Corey Brewer trade talks with teams like the Rockets and Cavaliers. The Timberwolves needed him in the rotation with Martin and Ricky Rubio injured.
However, as the last month wore on Minnesota coach/GM Flip Saunders realized that with or without Brewer the 5-19 Timberwolves are terrible, so they might as well get something for him. There was still demand.
The Timberwolves have re-opened trade talks and invited the Los Angeles Clippers to the table also, reports Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have put veteran swingman Corey Brewer back on the trading block, according to league sources…
The Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers, sources said, remain the most interested suitors for Brewer, but have also been joined by the Los Angeles Clippers….
Houston and Cleveland remain the best positioned to make a deal because both teams possess an active trade exception large enough to absorb Brewer’s $4.7 million salary. But sources say that the Wolves are seeking a future first-round pick in exchange for Brewer, something the Cavaliers are reluctant to surrender. The Rockets, sources say, hope to sell Minnesota on going through with the swap in exchange for a 2015 second-rounder via New York that the Rockets possess. It’s a pick with the potential to be attractive come June given the Knicks’ ongoing struggles.
The Cavaliers news conflicts with other recent reports that the Rockets were active but the Cavaliers had faded from the picture. (Two different reports suggest two different leakers, one that wants it to sound like the Cavaliers are in it and one that wants them to sound out of it. It’s easy to subscribe a lot of motivations to those leakers.)
The Clippers are new to the party, and it will be much harder for them to make a deal. When they used their mid-level exception on Spencer Hawes this summer they triggered a hard cap on themselves at just more than $80 million, and right now they are close to that line (ESPN has the Clippers at $800,000 away, while BasketballInsiders.com says they are $1.7 million away). Corey Brewer is making $4.7 million this season and the Clippers would have to send back salary the Timberwolves do not want in the deal. Finding a third team makes things very complex.
Both the Rockets and Cavaliers are looking for upgrades on the wing, where Brewer is solid but not spectacular. What he does well is leak out and get long passes for easy buckets (he and Kevin Love have a great history from Minnesota on that), and he gets a lot of his shots (46 percent) near the rim where he finishes well. However, once you get beyond three feet and into his jumper both his shot selection and percentage of makes drops off fast. Defensively he’s okay but likes to gamble.
Expect to see a deal, maybe sooner rather than later, although Saunders can milk this for a while and see if he can get more by playing one team off another.