A Minor, But Smart, Move By The Wolves

Calvin Booth (center) – StewMac/flickr.com

In a deal that is almost certain to become official when the NBA trade moratorium is lifted tomorrow, the Wolves will take on center Calvin Booth and swingman Rodney Carney from the Philadelphia 76ers, plus receive a first-round pick that is likely the one the Sixers got from Utah in the Kyle Korver trade. As of now, no one is reporting what Minnesota is likely to yield in return–and it really doesn’t matter. This is a salary cap deal, and–unless the compensation turns out to be Rashad McCants or something–a shrewd one for Minnesota. [Update: Various sources are reporting that the compensation will simply be one of our bushel of second-round picks and the trade exception that was part of the Blount/Davis deal, a trade that apparently keeps on giving.]

The Sixers are trying to clear up as much cap space in the immediate future to go after this year’s crop of free agents (reportedly targeting power forwards Elton Brand or Josh Smith) with everything they have. Carney and Booth make about $2.8 million combined. I’ve been told by a good authority within the Wolves organization that Philadelphia is likely paying Glen Taylor all but $500,000 of that. Since both players can come off the books the year after this one (Carney has a team option; Booth’s deal will expire), the Wolves bought Utah’s first round pick next year for a half million bucks (and whatever the teams agree on for Minnesota’s end of the bargain).

Will Booth still be around when the season starts, or is this another Beno Udrih deal, a pass-through? (And without going too far off on a tangent, wouldn’t Udrih look good in a Wolves uni right now?) Booth is probably toast. Carney, from what I can remember, is most dangerous to Kirk Snyder’s chances of being resigned (which were already dealt a blow when the Wolves acquired Mike Miller on draft night).

Anyway, the usual cavaets apply here: Nothing official has been announced, and this could all be speculation run amok, although when specific players and picks and motivations are all posted at nba.com, you get the impression it is pretty legit. Finally, we don’t know what the compensation will be and when it will have to be delivered. [Update: If it is indeed the $2.8 trade exemption, then there is nothing left to deliver.] Perhaps some capologists or other insiders can enlighten us on those accounts.