Melo blockbuster lands Timberwolves young, athletic Anthony Randolph

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The New York Knicks finally got their guy.

Late Tuesday night the Denver Post reported that the Knicks acquired superstar forward Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets in a blockbuster three-team trade.

The Knicks receive a package based around Anthony, but also includes veteran point guard Chauncey Billups.

For the Nuggets, their package is based around emerging point guard Raymond Felton, up-and-coming wing Wilson Chandler, and Italian wing and budding star Danilo Gallinari.

The third team involved in this deal is the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Everyone is talking about the impact this trade has on the Knicks and the Nuggets, but for me I focus my attention towards the Timberwolves.

At 11:00 P.M. CST the Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t confirming their part in the deal, but the Denver Post is reporting that young forward Anthony Randolph and oversized big man Eddy Curry will be sent to Minnesota.

In exchange, FoxSports reports that Corey Brewer will be shipped out of Minneapolis to The Big Apple.

It is my belief that the Wolves will turn around and buyout Curry’s contract as they have more than enough money to do so. While Kahn has been big on trying to revitalize draft busts’ careers (see Webster, Martell. Beasley, Michael, and Milicic, Darko), don’t expect him to do so with Curry’s 295 pounds of deadweight.

(Unfortunately Eddy won't be able to experience the fine cuisines that Minneapolis has to offer.)

For the Wolves this centers on Randolph.

Many will be ask “why bring Randolph to this already young and struggling Wolves team?”

Apparently assistant general manager Tom Ronzone has always been very high on Randolph.

While his 2.1 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in 7 minutes a night won’t turn anyone’s head, remember he did average 7.9 points per game in Golden State as a rookie in 2008-09 and 11.6 points per game in 2009-2010. Given minutes he has succeeded.

Solid numbers, but also numbers that came in the wide-open Golden State offense.

Personally I am not fully sold on the possibility of Randolph coming anywhere near his potential, but it is a very low-risk gamble.

The Wolves have essentially no need for Corey Brewer. Wes Johnson continues to grow, Wayne Ellington is becoming a viable option off the bench, and Martell Webster brings instant offense off the bench. Add in the desire to move Brewer before he hits free agency, and needless to say he had become expendable.

Randolph, 21, will be another project for head coach Kurt Rambis’ staff, but his lanky 6’11” frame and tremendous athleticism could grow into an excellent bench option for the Wolves into the future.

Randolph will definitely have struggles adjusting to the triangle offense that the Wolves run as he is much more effective in an open floor system.

But what Randolph needs more than anything is playing time. And playing time he will definitely see coming off the bench for the 13-43 Timberwolves.

I imagine Randolph will sub in early in games for Milicic, which will move Love to the 5, and allow the Wolves to take advantage of their now even more prevalent athleticism.

The Knicks are the instant winners in the Melo blockbuster, while the Nuggets will benefit the most down the road as a result of the trade. But where does this deal leave the Timberwolves?

While neither Brewer nor Randolph are going to be playing in an all-star game any time soon, this deal shows that the Wolves are still far from being a playoff contender.

They freed up even more cap space, but eventually David Kahn will have to do something his cap space. If not, the Wolves will continue to have a high percentage of winning the NBA draft lottery for many years to come.

-Brett Cloutier

Brett is a co-host of The Backdoor Cut, a Minneapolis based sports radio show, which is also podcasted. He is the Minnesota Timberwolves beat writer for The Sports Bank. You can follow him on Twitter @brettcloutier.

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  1. I agree they’ll just buy out Curry’s contract. I don’t see them having any legit interest in him at all

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