The Minnesota Timberwolves may still not be done making moves this offseason, as president of basketball operations David Kahn has suggested the team may still sign another big man, despite only being able to offer the veteran’s minimum to any available free agent. It appears he now wants to stockpile frontcourt size in the same way he stockpiled point guards early in his tenure.
But the more interesting rumor that has surfaced involves the Timberwolves sending forward Derrick Williams and point guard Luke Ridnour to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for forward Anderson Varejao. A Timberwolves’ team executive has reportedly said there is nothing to it, but it’s unlikely anyone in a position of power on either side would confirm such a rumor.
Varejao would fit Minnesota’s perceived need for added size at 6’10″ tall, as he could play center and also allow Kevin Love to reduce his workload some by taking some minutes at power forward. He played just 25 games last season due to a wrist issue, but he did set career-highs in points per game (10.8) and rebounds per game (11.5). Injuries have limited him to just 56 games over the past two seasons, and over eight NBA seasons he has averaged 7.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game over 444 games (128 starts). The Cavaliers have reportedly been shopping Varejao during the offseason, most likely in an attempt to shed his salary as he is due to make over $17 million over the next two seasons. Suffice to say, that is an exorbitant amount of money for a player that is as ordinary as Varejao.
It’s fair to say Varejao is not an upgrade over Williams, as Williams is still developing and has a much higher ceiling any way. The Timberwolves need to keep Ridnour to maintain some point guard depth with Ricky Rubio working his way back from a torn ACL in his left knee, so there actually does appear to be no teeth to the rumor that surfaced. But it is interesting to consider that the Timberwolves may still be looking to trade Williams even at this late stage of the offseason.