Luke Ridnour Being Shopped?
I hopped on to trusty old ESPN today and read a little rumor about the Wolves shopping Cool Hand Luke around. According to ESPN, the Jazz, Celtics and Mavericks may be interested in our steady Point Guard. As much as I like Ridnour, I concluded that it would be smart to analyze a few trade scenarios in order to find potential ways of improving our team as a whole.
Luke’s contract: 2 years with roughly $4,000,000 per year
There are three players that could realistically work (I wish Hayward, but no way); Randy Foye (1 yr $2,500,000), Raja Bell (1 yr $3,480,000), and Alec Burks (3 yrs and $6,330,000).
The only player that would work straight up is Bell; the others would take a little extra…maybe some cash considerations. I would not be overly excited for any of these three, but I would think Foye is the best of them. He has become a better player since we last saw him in a Wolves uniform and he would bring a 3 point shooter we desperately need. Bell is more known for his defensive services, which is never a bad thing, but we need more than defense. Similarly, Bell and Foye are under the final year of their contract, which is nice to free up cap space for re-signing Pek, which I believe that we should! I have not gotten the opportunity to see Burks play much since being a lottery pick a few years ago, but his shooting this season has been less than adequate. However, he has turned things on this month and has seen his percentages grow incrementally. He has not had many minutes until this month, so appears likely that he is being showcased to the rest of the teams of the NBA.
Overall, my choice for a trade, need it be with Utah, would be Randy Foye. He is a scorer who knows how to play, can handle the ball, and only has one year left on his deal providing the Wolves with more flexibility.
The Celtics are trickier; I would say the Wolves most likely target player is Jason Terry (3 yrs $5,000,000/yr)
The trade would work out financially while bringing the Wolves a compatible player for our offense. However, his lack of size, relatively large salary and aging body worry me. I have long been a big fan of his offensive skill set as he has proven the ability to hit the 3-ball time and time again. However, he appears to be in steady decline as his 3PT% currently sits at .357%, which is his worst 3PT% since his last season with the Hawks back in ‘03-‘04. His contract is an issue, as it takes up more cap space for a longer period then Ridnour, and while Terry can man the 2-guard position (which is by far our greatest need), he is 35 and only stands at 6’2”.
If it were my decision, I would pull the trigger on Terry if he were to become available. We would need to run with undersized lineups more frequently, but the presence of the veteran Terry could bring a refreshing change to our backcourt. It could also allow Shved to start with Rubio and we would have two scoring threats in the backcourt off of the bench.
As I examine the Mavericks roster, I notice only two players that a trade for Ridnour would financially work for, O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter. Since I have no belief that the Mavs would trade Mayo for Ridnour, I will not even bother to speculate. Carter (2 yrs $3,090,000/yr) is the scoring SG/SF we need who has even improved his defense over the past few seasons while possessing veteran accumen. Carter is currently 36 years of age, but fills multiple needs and is even cheaper than Ridnour.
I would be very enthusiastic should the Wolves somehow land one of Mark Cuban’s favorite veterans. Carter has everything we need (minus the age) and is not a huge expense. It will bring almost another million to the table come summer and he still can throw it down when Rubio sends a lob his way.
If the Wolves were to trade Ridnour (who I would hate to see go), I would be most excited towards acquiring one of Foye, Terry or Carter. It is never fun to see a player like Ridnour depart, but his leaving may bring the necessary depth at SG or SF we desperately lack in order to effectively compete in the Western Conference.