GH And Petey's Timberwolves Blog

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Wolves Trade Cassell


It took almost all summer, but the Wolves finally made a move, trading Sam Cassell and a conditional first-round draft pick to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night for guards Marko Jaric and Lionel Chalmers. Cassell was pretty much finished with the team, so I think pretty much any trade would be good here.

The ESPN article was entitled "Sam I Am to bring playoff experience to Clippers". I've thought for years that effects of playoff experience are overrated. In general, playoff experience helps the most because you're evolving as a player and as a team. Sure, young teams might get playoff jitters, but those effects are largely exaggerated. Teams with playoff experience are generally better because their players have had another full year to get better.

In Sam's case, I'm not sure exactly how much his playoff experience will help the Clippers, especially since it seems likely that the Clippers will miss the playoffs once again. What they get is a veteran who might be able to help mold their players and has a contract that expires at the end of the season. After that, I doubt we will see Sam being signed for anything other than the veteran's minimum.

My guess here is that the Clippers weren't willing to commit to Jaric long-term, so they dumped him and a young point guard who they believed to have little upside for an expiring contract and first-round pick. It seems to me that they've already given up on the season--months before it even started--and have decided to rebuild yet again. Either that, or they vastly overrated Sam's skills.

The move for the Wolves seems to be pretty good. The worst part of it seems to be that we had to give up a draft pick, but based on what we did with our pick this year, shouldn't be too much of a loss.

They got Jaric as part of a sign and trade deal, so they have him locked up for six years. He's pretty big for a guard and a solid defender, so he'll be able to D up against pretty much anybody who's under 6-10. It's something that will be very nice to have for the Wolves, and not something we've really had. He's got about 3 inches on Freddy, and is a much better defender than Wally. He can also run the point and shoot threes, so he can fit into pretty much whatever role we want.

I don't know too much about Chalmers, but that's probably because he was a rookie last year who only averaged 12 minutes, 3 points and 1.5 assists per game. I would have liked to have seen what Flip could have done with him, because as a former point guard, I think he could have really molded him well. I'm not sure exactly what Dwane Casey has in store for him. For that matter, I'm not sure exactly what Casey has in store for anyone. He's never been a head coach in the NBA, so I have no idea what to expect of him.

The best news in all of this is that the Wolves are going young. Last year they looked old and stagnant for most of the season. Now, they've gotten rid of the two veterans who were at the center of that, and have replaced them will young blood.

Speaking of Spree, I wonder what he's up to these days?