For a guy that the owner doesn’t sound like he wants to trade there are certainly a lot of teams asking about getting O.J. Mayo out of Memphis.
The latest rumor is that the Minnesota Timberwolves are going to push to get Mayo, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports.com. The Wolves actually drafted Mayo but moved him in a draft-night trade that brought Kevin Love to Minnesota.
The Wolves envision Mayo playing in the backcourt next season alongside (Ricky) Rubio, who according to a person familiar with the situation has given team officials his word that he will join the Wolves next season. The buyout that Minnesota must pay FC Barcelona is down to $1 million, but it’s not clear how Rubio’s decision could be affected by a lockout. Even if Rubio comes to Minnesota, there’s no guarantee he’ll thrive immediately.
Sources say the Wolves also are targeting Anthony Randolph, who is languishing on the Knicks’ bench after being acquired from Golden State as part of the sign-and-trade arrangement that landed David Lee in the Bay Area.
Rubio is not likely to come to the NBA next season. The lockout is part of it (Rubio would have to opt out of his Barcelona contract in the summer, when things with a new CBA very likely still will be unresolved). Another issue is that while the buyout is “only” $1 million the Wolves can only pay half of that, the rest has to come from Rubio. Finally, if Rubio waits until 2012 to come to the NBA he will be three years removed from the draft and no longer have to play under a pure rookie scale contract. So, 2012 is more likely. Much more likely.
Still, if the Wolves could acquire Mayo and take a flyer on Randolph, those would both be good moves. But pardon us if we’re not convinced it would be that simple.