NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn has been trying to land Anthony Randolph for nearly a year. He finally got him thanks to what he calls “a favor” he did for the Knicks and Nuggets in the blockbuster Carmelo Anthony trade.
Kahn said he has coveted the lanky, athletic Randolph since April or May and called Knicks president Donnie Walsh on several occasions this season looking to acquire him. But he was rebuffed each time, until the last few weeks when Walsh needed some help to get the ‘Melo deal done.
“He said, ‘If you really want this guy, this is how you have to play ball with us,’” Kahn said on a conference call Tuesday night.
Kahn was willing to have the Timberwolves become the third team in the deal, and take on Eddy Curry’s expiring contract, to facilitate the trade that sent Anthony to New York. The Wolves received Randolph, a second-round pick and the necessary cash to buy Curry out of his contract. They sent swingman Corey Brewer to the Knicks and center Kosta Koufos to Denver.
Kahn said the Wolves will likely either buy out Curry or waive him because he doubted he could trade his bloated salary to another team before the deadline on Thursday.
The Timberwolves are intrigued by the 6-foot-11 Randolph’s size and athleticism, even though he averaged just 2.1 points in 17 games for the Knicks this season.
“We had a very clear target,” Kahn said. “Anthony Randolph is a young player in our league who kind of fits the description of what we’ve been trying to add to our team.”
Brewer was the longest-tenured Timberwolves player, the No. 7 overall draft pick in 2007. His energy and nightly effort earned him a regular spot in the starting five for the struggling Wolves, who fell to 13-44 after a 94-88 loss at Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
Brewer and his agent asked the Timberwolves to trade him if he wasn’t figuring in their long-term plans, but he said he was still sorry to be leaving the only team he has played for in the NBA.
“I’ll miss minny,” Brewer tweeted, “thanks for all the support wolves fans one last time go wolves.”
Even though Kahn was in advanced talks with the Knicks on Monday, Brewer accompanied the team to Milwaukee for the game against the Bucks. When word of the trade spread late Monday night, coach Kurt Rambis excused him from the morning shootaround on Tuesday, and he returned to Minnesota.
“It’s something that’s weighed on his mind for a while now, and you can just see it,” Rambis said at shootaround before the trade was official. “It’s awful. But that’s what happens to guys in this league. Again, that’s just part of the business side of it.”
The deal helped the Wolves alleviate a logjam on the wing, freeing up more playing time for Wes Johnson, Martell Webster and Wayne Ellington. And in sending Koufos, the team’s third-string center, to Denver, Kahn also made more minutes available in the frontcourt for Darko Milicic, Nikola Pekovic and Randolph.
Brewer, who was the Wolves’ best perimeter defender, is averaging 8.6 points and 1.6 steals per game. But even though he has improved his shooting under Rambis, he’s still making just 38.6 percent of his shots.
“Corey definitely provides energy and electricity from time to time,” Kahn said. “He is prone to make a very big play from time to time. However, it’s very hard in this league to have a prominent role when your shot and your ball-handling are not at an elite level.”
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