NBA Rumors: Could The Minnesota Timberwolves Hone In On Brandon Rush?
The Minnesota Timberwolves lost out on their pursuit of restricted free agent swingman Nicolas Batum, as the Portland Trailblazers ultimately matched the offer sheet they signed with him. Early in the free agent process, Brandon Rush was mentioned as a possible alternative for whichever of the two teams did not get Batum, and now that is obviously the Timberwolves as they look to potentially add another perimeter player.
Rush was a first round pick (13th overall) by the Trailblazers in 2008 and was traded to the Indiana Pacers on draft night after a solid college career at the University of Kansas, and he spent the 2011-2012 season with the Golden State Warriors after being traded there just prior to the start of the season. He averaged a career-best 9.8 points per game for the Warriors as he primarily came off the bench, starting just one of the 65 games he played. Rush started a career-high 64 games with the Pacers in 2009-2010, as he played all 82 games, and perhaps not coincidentally he also averaged a career-high 30.4 minutes a game that season.
With a career three-point percentage of 41.3, Rush would add perimeter shooting the Wolves need as well as fit their need for a capable perimeter defender. Free agent signee Brandon Roy is unlikely to be able to play extended minutes due to his past knee issues, so Rush can provide value in the minutes Roy is on the bench with little risk of a drop-off in production if Roy is able to return to somewhere near his previous All-Star form.
Roy is a restricted free agent and the Warriors have said they will match any offer he receives, so Minnesota may be leery of going through a similar situation after losing Batum. But Roy will not require the same type of financial commitment. Other teams, like the Los Angeles Lakers, have shown some interest in him as well, but the Timberwolves should be able to make a more lucrative financial offer and put the Warriors in a difficult position.