Wolves All-Star forward Kevin Love
Marlin Levison, Star Tribune
Rand: Love, Rubio and more; trades well-played
- January 9, 2012 - 6:35 AM
The trade history among Minnesota pro sports teams has not always been stellar. That said, we also think it's easier to fixate on deals gone bad than to remember the deals that ended up swinging in favor of the home teams.
As such, we're here to tell you that for every Johan Santana, Marko Jaric and Herschel Walker trade -- er, OK, maybe not that last one -- there is an equal and opposite trade that should make you smile instead of cringe if you root for Minnesota teams. Here are five from the past 10 years, the memory of two of which having been sparked by watching the Timberwolves on Sunday:
KEVIN LOVE BECOMES A WOLF
The Wolves acquiring Kevin Love and Mike Miller (as well as other spare parts) for O.J. Mayo (as well as other spare parts) in the 2008 NBA draft scrum. Love has elevated his all-around game to the point where there is little doubt he is among the top 15 players in the NBA. His defensive effort has noticeably increased, his rebounding is as tenacious as always and his three-point shooting is devastating. Mayo's scoring average, meanwhile, has dipped from 18.5 ppg as a rookie to less than half that in this, his fourth year (9.1). As starved as Wolves fans might be for a shooting guard, Love wins this head-to-head by an absurd margin.
HOW THE WOLVES GOT RUBIO
Miller never panned out here, but he had at least enough relative value to another team to be part of Trade 2 on this list: Minnesota dealing Miller and Randy Foye to Washington in 2009 for the No. 5 overall pick in the draft (and other spare parts). That pick, of course, became Ricky Rubio. On Sunday, Rubio had 13 points, 14 assists and six rebounds as the Wolves dismantled the hapless and winless Wizards. He was an absurd plus-29 in 30 minutes of action. Miller and Foye played one season each in Washington, helping the Wizards to a 26-56 record. They're long gone, the Wizards honestly look like one of the worst teams we've ever seen, and Rubio is just getting started.
AN OLDIE BUT GOODIE
The Twins deal that sent A.J. Pierzynski to the Giants for Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano and Boof Bonser. It helped that the Twins could replace A.J. with a future three-time batting champ and MVP. But that haul was a huge part of a long run of regular-season success.
ALLEN COMES TO TWIN CITIES
The Vikings' trade for Jared Allen. It came at a steep price in terms of both contracts and draft picks -- two of which the Chiefs turned into Brandon Albert (60 starts in four seasons on the offensive line) and RB Jamaal Charles (1,500 yards in 2010 before going out with a knee injury early in 2011). But it's hard to argue with Allen's impact. He has 62 sacks in four seasons, including a team-record 22 in 2011, and has started every game.
WHALEN COMES HOME
The trade that brought Lindsay Whalen to the Lynx in 2010. The payoff wasn't immediate that year in terms of wins and losses, but a year later the home state hero helped lead the Lynx to the WNBA title.
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