That three-way Carmelo Anthony trade involving the Timberwolves isn't official yet as I write this late Monday night, but it soon will be.

Expect the necessary trade calls with the league to come Tuesday morning, after which the Wolves will announce they have traded Corey Brewer to the Knicks for forward Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry's expiring contract and $3 million cash.

There's no -- I repeat NO -- first-round pick included by the Wolves in this deal, which David Kahn made clear when he called that ESPN from a couple weeks ago (Brewer and a No. 1 for Randolph) "overstated."

And Curry's presence is meaningless.

In fact, you can bet he'll never arrive in Minnesota.

The Wolves will waive him asap and use that $3 million -- plus the swap on Brewer's contract for Randolph's -- and come out even after paying off the rest Curry's contract.

So the deal here is Brewer for Randolph.


Size and length, once again.

I'm sure Kent Youngblood -- he's covering Tuesday's game at Milwaukee for me -- will ask Kurt Rambis about this, but whether Rambis says so or not, I'm guessing Rambis sees a good bit of Lamar Odom in Randolph.

Both are skilled 6-10 players who can handle and pass the ball.

There's no question Randolph is skilled, freakishly athletic and thrives in an open-court game.

He's also got a 7-foot-3 wingspan.

But two teams that run and play no defense -- the Warriors and Knicks -- now have both given up on him before his 22nd birthday, which doesn't come until July.

So there's questions about his motor and, even though he has the instincts and physical gifts to be a fine shot blocker, questions about his defense.

He fits one of what the Wolves' brass feels are their needs: A long, athletic player to come off the bench when Darko comes out of the game.

By giving up Brewer and not one of the Wolves' extra first-round draft picks, the Wolves say goodbye to a player they likely concluded will never shoot or handle the ball well enough to be an impact player out on the wing, where you win with skilled players.

They also almost certainly concluded he's not as good a defensive player as most Wolves fans think he is, particularly in dependability (gambles too much) and off the ball.

He is headed toward restricted free agency this summer, too, after the team chose not to negotiate a contract extension with him last fall.

I asked Anthony Tolliver after practice today: Who is skinnier, Randolph or Brewer and he chose Brewer in a landslide.

Tolliver also wondered how Randolph -- the two were teammates at Golden State, although Randolph was injured while Tolliver was there -- will fit the triangle offense and said he's more suited for an open-court game.

Here's one of the many YouTube mixes featuring Randolph in the NBA.

In those highlights, he looks like a guy who can run the floor and oop Ricky Rubio's alleys, if Rubio ever arrives here.

This deal also has nothing to do with salary-cap maneuvering or saving money. They had the salary cap space to absorb Curry's contract and did so at no cost to them.

This trade now also gives the Wolves three lefties: Mike Beasley, Darko and now Randolph.

Kent should have more here on the blog Tuesday after the Wolves officially announce the deal.

The trade comes a few days before Thursday's trade deadline and it repeats history a bit: Remember, the Wolves dealt with the Knicks at last season's trade deadline for a player (Darko) also buried on their bench like Randolph has been.

The Wolves continued to work late Monday night to get a bit more out of the deal. We'll see Tuesday if they were able to get another piece out of the trade.

Also....about Tuesday's game:

* Beasley says his ankle is better after resting it over All-Star weekend and he plans to play against the Bucks.

* Don't expect Flynn (sore groin) to play either Tuesday at Milwaukee or Wednesday at home.

* Webster is questionable for Tuesday because his back is still sore.



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