Found December 06, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS When the Timberwolves traded Wayne Ellington to Memphis for Dante Cunningham on July 24, it made sense. The Grizzlies needed guards; the Timberwolves had a surplus. The Timberwolves needed forwards; the Grizzlies had one to deal. The two seemed to have levels of output, made similar money, and between the day of the trade and training camp, the deal took on about as much significance as the color of David Kahns socks. Little did the Timberwolves president of basketball operations know what he was getting in Cunningham, whos averaging a career-high 8.1 points off the bench. Coach Rick Adelman admitted as much, calling him a pleasant surprise not only for the stats hes put up but for the intangibles: the energy, the defense, the persistence. In Memphis, Cunningham averaged a full five minutes per game less than the 22 hes averaging in Minnesota this season, and hes making the most of that opportunity, coming off one of the better benches in the league. He was exactly what the Timberwolves needed with Kevin Love out early in the season, and since the star power forwards return, Cunningham has segued into the reserve role that the team needs him to fill without a hitch. No knock on Ellington, but it seems that the Timberwolves got the better end of that deal, or at least that Cunningham did. In Minnesota, he found an environment in need of his skills and an opportunity from Loves injury that no one saw coming. He found all that, and he made the most what might have otherwise been an insignificant trade. When players are traded or sign with different teams, its not always that the previous team doesnt want them. Obviously. There are salary concerns, which came into play with everything from the James Harden megadeal to the Timberwolves opportunity to sign backup center Greg Stiemsma. There are chemistry issues, personnel logjams, or cases like the Ellington-Cunningham swap, where teams just need a different kind of role player. But of course theres a negative connotation to moving around. Why didnt anyone want him? Why did the last team want him? Why does no one seem to want him? With the exception of the leagues stars -- this offseasons Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum (pre-Bowling-gate) and even Andre Iguodala -- to move is to prove oneself, to be presented with a challenge. A month into the 2012-13 season, its time for a look at the players who have made the most of the changes theyve been dealt (or those theyve chosen). The old men SG Ray Allen (Boston to Miami, signed): This move paid off almost immediately; Kevin Garnetts blatant snub on opening night made the whole thing worth it, even if the guard had gone on to have the worst year of his life in Miami. I could watch that clip on a loop for at least 10 minutes. High five, high five, hug, hug, GLARE. But aside from that, Allen is also in the perfect situation for his 37-year-old body. Hes coming off the bench, averaging 13.2 points through Wednesday (all stats in this story are through Dec. 5 games), and his 0.48 points-per-minute average is better than his mark in Boston last year (0.42 per minute). In addition, hes shooting better from the field and from long-range (50 percent from both) with the Heat than he did last season. SG Jerry Stackhouse (Atlanta to Brooklyn, signed): After averaging 3.6 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.5 assists last year in Atlanta, Stackhouse is back with a 38-year-olds vengeance. Hes logged 7.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in 11 contests this season and been the delight of announcers anytime he does anything. Jerry Stackhouse! Hes 38! And still playing! And better than last year! Major factors F Ryan Anderson (Orlando to New Orleans, sign-and-trade): Anderson is putting up the best numbers of his career in New Orleans, averaging 18.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Part of that has to be separation from the cancer that was Howard in Orlando, and Anderson is doing all this for a losing team, but still. Hes stepped in with Anthony Davis out and could figure into the Hornets cross-species transformation or he could be a valuable trade piece going forward. C Omer Asik (Chicago to Houston, signed): Asik found himself a starting job in Houston and then received the gift of James Harden, and hes made the most of both. His 10.9 points per game are a career high and more than three times what he averaged last year, and hes already just 144 rebounds away from hitting last years total in 66 games. G Jamal Crawford (Portland to L.A. Clippers, signed): Hes a likely candidate for the old man group, but at 32, Crawford is not quite old enough and still contributing just a bit too much for such a designation. His 17.8 points per game for the surprisingly talented but streaky Clippers mark his best scoring since 2009-10 in Atlanta and the fourth-best average of his 13-year career. SG James Harden (Oklahoma City to Houston, traded then signed): Yeah, he might have to watch as his former teammates finally get their championship this year, but Harden got his max deal and finally his glory once he emerged from the shadows of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Even if he doesnt go on to win the scoring title he seemed on pace for early, James Harden got the best for James Harden in the late-October surprise trade. C Robin Lopez (Phoenix to New Orleans, sign-and-trade): Another Hornet makes the list, this one a former reserve back in a starting role he lost two years prior. The lesser-known Lopez is averaging a career-high 12.0 points in New Orleans, and even if it is on a bad team, its arguably a better situation than with Phoenix, his former team. SG O.J. Mayo (Memphis to Dallas, signed): Mayo lost his starting job in Memphis after two seasons, but hes back in the starting lineup in Dallas this season, averaging a career-high 19.7 points and shooting the most accurately he has in his five-year career. A year ago, Mayo looked to be en route to something approaching a bust but not quite, definitely a player drafted too highly. Now, hes pleading a solid case that maybe, it was just going to take some time and the right environment (basically one that doesnt include Tony Allen). Role players C Andray Blatche (Washington to Brooklyn, signed): Blatche recently told the New York Daily News that hed like to sign with the Nets when hes a free agent this summer but that he couldnt commit to anything so early in the season and will thus have to wait until after Brooklyn wins its championship this June. And for that, Andray Blatche, you are a winner. Oh, plus the fact that hes averaging 10.6 points off the bench playing for a good team for the first time in his career. PG Raymond Felton (Portland to New York, sign-and-trade): Most of this has to do with the fact that Felton at some point decided to aspire to have the body of an NBA player rather than a chubby rec league coach, but still, his move to the Knicks has been nothing but good. In a system that seems much more to his liking, hes averaging 15.2 points, a career high, and hes on pace to log about 207 rebounds as a starter for the Knicks, who look like real contenders. SG ETwaun Moore (Boston to Houston to Orlando, traded, waived, signed): Moore has played in 18 games for the Magic this season, starting seven. Last year as a rookie in Boston, he played in just 38 games and did not start. Yes, he ended up with an Orlando team thats rebuilding, but for a young player, to get the kind of minutes hes getting is a huge opportunity. Plus, hes averaging 9.6 points and 3.1 assists, which isnt bad for a second-round pick who spend his first season as the most limited of reserves. PG Jeremy Pargo (Memphis to Cleveland, traded): The second-year point guard is averaging 11.5 points this season, up from 2.9 last year, and though thats in part a result of more minutes and a worse team, hes still far more productive than he was in Memphis. Plus, now the most productive Pargo in the league has a name found in the average baby book. (See: Jannero.) Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.

Wolves Friday: Roy returning to Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS Brandon Roy will be present at the Timberwolves' Sunday practice after spending the majority of his time on the West Coast since his Nov. 19 knee surgery.Roy underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his ailing right knee, which the team deemed "a success." Due to the vagueness surrounding the procedure, it's uncertain where Roy stands in his recovery...

Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio Very Happy in Minnesota

Ricky Rubio has not had much time to bond with his teammates on the court.  He has had a lot of time to bond with them on the bench.  Rubio has played one shortened season since leaving his Spanish team to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves.  He blew out his knee toward the end of last season and is still rehabbing from the injury.  Despite all this, Rubio is pretty happy in...

Wolves' Love returns to form in solid win

MINNEAPOLIS Kevin Love sat. The lead was 19, the clock was ticking down, and the power forward had his 36 points, his 13 rebounds, as much as he could have asked for. And so they clapped as Love settled into his chair, maybe a bit sweatier than he would have been last year, maybe a bit more relieved, but so far from ready to admit that this could be the norm. Oh, was he ready...

Ricky Rubio Targeting December 15 Return Date

Ricky Rubio is the final stage of his ACL rehabilitation program since being cleared for full contact practice November 28.  According to KSTP-TV Sports Director, Joe Schmit, Rubio is targeting the home game on December 15 vs. Dallas as his return since the injury happened on March 9. We’ve got video of Ricky Rubio workout today at 6.Source tells me he wants 1st game to be at...

Wolves' Kahn quashes Lakers trade rumors

MINNEAPOLIS Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn made a rare speaking appearance at shootaround Friday morning, his intent being to quash trade rumors involving a reported deal that would send Nikola Pekovic and Derrick Williams to the Los Angeles Lakers for Pau Gasol. Reports of the deal, Kahn said, are completely false.Since almost the moment that Mike D...

Nikola Pekovic Likes To Eat Meat

Now you know.

Wolves Wednesday: A Saints connection?

MINNEAPOLIS So you've read my story about SportVU cameras in the NBA that posted today, right? RIGHT? Well, assuming you have, which you should, here's some more information about the platform the Timberwolves use along with the camera data. When Matt Bollero, the basketball operations assistant who pitched the idea of SportVU to the Timberwolves, initially began talking...

Video: Love, Timberwolves release funny holiday commercial

Minnesota Timberwolves' Kevin Love and his teammates released one epic and hilarious video just in time for the holidays. Love is once again having a coat drive for the Minnesota area and to get fans into the giving spirit, Love and a few of his teammates made a cheesy video to inspire the masses. With J.J. Barea looking longingly into the camera, and blowing kisses to Love...

Unceasing trade rumors can take a toll

MINNEAPOLIS We live in an age of league sources, of team sources and just plain old sources. Its as vague as vague can be. There are human mouthpieces and long-standing relationships all hiding behind a shroud of anonymity, and information filters through at will. Couple that with Twitter and blogs and the big bad Internet, and really, there isnt a trade rumor these days that doesnt...

Box Score: Timberwolves 91 Cavs 73

The Cavs fell behind on a Kevin Love jump hook in the first minute and never could quite catch up to the Timberwolves on Friday night. Scoring continues to be the Cavaliers’ glaring weekness, which is the worst weakness to have in a game where you try to outscore your opponent. The Wine and Gold shot just 34.5% from the field and scored a season low 73 points.   Alonzo Gee led...

No Love: Celtics top Timberwolves 104-94

Maybe my title is a little bit of an exaggeration; Kevin Love scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. But Timberwolves puns are hard, so sue me.This game was both closer and not as close as the final score indicated. The Wolves led by four at halftime and trailed by just seven at the end of the third quarter. But the Celtics’ defense locked down in the 4th, stopping Minnesota...

Timberwolves 91, Cavaliers 73

MINNEAPOLIS -- Both teams were without key players -- Minnesota without Ricky Rubio, Cleveland without their starting backcourt. Together, Friday at Target Center, the Timberwolves and Cavaliers spent most of their 48 minutes together struggling to find a rhythm on offense. In the end, the Wolves finally figured it out. Especially Kevin Love, who shot better than 50 percent for...

Game Preview: Minnesota Timberwolves at Boston Celtics

Minnesota Timberwolves (8-8, 4-5 Road) @ Boston Celtics (9-8, 5-4 Home) TD Garden, 7:30 pm on CSNNE/WEEI Officials: Michael Smith, Courtney Kirkland, Tre Maddox Line: Boston by 6 After dropping 5 in a row, the Timberwolves have won 3 of their last 4, including an impressive  105-88 victory in Philadelphia last night.  The Celtics look to [...]

Cavaliers-Timberwolves Preview Q&A

Jim Mone, Associated Press Tonight the Cleveland Cavaliers (4-15, 13th in the East) travel to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves (8-9, 11th in the West). Once again this is another battle of two teams without their starting PGs. This is getting to be a theme for this season with the Cavaliers recently playing Memphis without Mike Conley and Chicago without Derrick Rose. Tonight...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.