Last season rumors were swirling that the Wolves were making a hard push to acquire Pau Gasol from the Lakers. It has been clear for a while that Kahn seems to covet the 7 footer. To do so they would need to give up their second overall pick from 2011, Derrick Williams. Well the rumors continue. It was reported that during the NBA draft this week the Wolves were trying to swing a deal that would send Derrick Williams to the Bobcats, the Bobcat’s 2nd overall pick to the Lakers and Gasol to the Wolves. The deal however didn’t gain any steam but something tells me these rumors are not over.
It is heavily debated whether or not this is the right move for the Wolves. Williams is still only 21 years old and coming off a lockout shortened rookie season. He showed flashes of brilliance last season and could improve drastically after a full offseason and training camp, but he could also take a couple years to develop into the type of player they need to make an impact. He also would need to play more at the SF position to get more playing time as Love takes up most the minutes at PF. Considering Rubio and Love are untouchable, Williams is their only valuable trade chip. Do they want to use that to get Gasol or hold off and try to acquire their bigger need, an athletic impact shooting guard?
Acquiring Gasol would be a short term move but would give the Wolves a great chance at making a return to the playoffs next season. He would be added to a core of big men including Kevin Love and the Wolves most improved player, center Nikola Pekovic. He would also re-unite with fellow Spaniard Ricky Rubio when Ricky returns from his ACL injury. Gasol however is 31 years old and brings along with him a massive 2 year $38M contract which will affect the Wolves ability to sign free agents. Personally I don’t think the Wolves should give up on Williams so soon, but my gut tells me that Kahn and the Wolves are determined to be a winner and continue their drive for the playoffs that this deal will somehow get done sooner or later. It also doesn’t hurt that the Lakers are desperately trying to move Gasol’s massive contract from their books to avoid luxury tax penalties.