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OJ Mayo for Kevin Love: Looking at the New Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies Rosters

As the draft kicks off trade season in the NBA, the single biggest trade of draft night has to be the Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies swapping rookies and veterans.

Minnesota got rid of Marko (“I date Adriana Lima”) Jaric, Antione Walker, Greg Buckner and dated & dumped OJ Mayo. Memphis got rid of Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, Jason Collins and dated & dumped Kevin Love.

Yeah, there’s some bad contracts swapped, but what does it mean for the line-ups?

Theoretically, here’s what the depth chart looks like for the T-Wolves:

PG: Sebastion Telfair*/Randy Foye
SG: Randy Foye/ Rashard McCants/ Kirk Snyder
SF: Mike Miller / Corey Brewer / Ryan Gomes
PF: Al Jefferson / Ryan Gomes* / Craig Smith / Mark Madsen / Brian Cardinal
C: Kevin Love / Jason Collins/ Mark Madsen / Michael Doleac

The back court, particularly at the point, is young and could flop around a little bit. However, if Kevin Love is what he’s billed as, that’s a pretty good front court. It would seem that Kevin McHale took a look at Kevin Love and saw himself. McHale did a good job teaching Kevin Garnett. Love has solid fundamentals. While he’s perhaps a bit small for a center, if McHale can polish him, you’ve got a solid 3-4-5 starting line-up. Gomes and Collins are decent back-ups. You just need the guards to mature a little and it looks like the T-Wolves are heading in the right direction. The catch? They’re eating Brian Cardinal’s contract and they need to see progress from their guards.

As for Grizzlies:

PG: Mike Conley / Marko Jaric / Javaris Crittenton / Kyle Lowry
SG: OJ Mayo / Rudy Gay /Greg Buckner
SF: Rudy Gay / Antione Walker / Greg Buckner
PF: Hakim Warrick / Antione Walker
C: Darko Milicic / Marc Gasol (?)

You knew they were trading one of the Conley/Crittenton/Lowry point guard rotation. Jaric’s got a big contract, so you figure he’s sticking around, but they need to move a couple young points for some front court help. How much does Antione Walker have left in the tank? Is Pao Gasol’s little brother Marc really coming over and how good is he? How does Adriana Lima feel about Beale Street?

The Grizz have a potentially explosive 1-2-3 with Conley/Mayo/Gay, but they don’t have great size, overall. Clearly there’s a trade or two that haven’t been made yet and a free agents to be signed, but this franchise is treading water until the ownership situation stabilizes.

Is there a winner here? Probably Minnesota, but Memphis has been trying to dump Miller (great shooter) and Cardinal (great contract – for his accountant) for awhile, so they might consider it a victory. Clearing salary can make for uneven trades. Ask any Western Conference GM about that, and then duck.

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