(photo from Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune)
Okay, I'll admit it. I'm stumped by what the Woofies did yesterday. They drafted the talented but potentially troublesome O.J. Mayo, then shipped him off to Memphis in the middle of the night. In return they received Kevin Love, the talented but shortish UCLA center. There were others involved in the deal and the most significant part of the trade was getting rid of the useless and expensive Marko Jaric.
Still, I really wonder. Love is clearly a talented guy, but he's not quite 6-8. He'll probably play center for the Wolves, which will allow Al Jefferson to move to power forward. That much makes sense. But I really wonder if Love is big enough to play the position. The last guy who was Love's size to be a successful center in the NBA was Wes Unseld. But that was a long time ago.
Every time the Wolves make one of these draft day deals, it seems to blow up on them. The Wolves had Ray Allen and traded him away. The Wolves had Brandon Roy and traded him away. Now it's Mayo. Maybe this time things will be different. But there's reason to doubt it. My guess is that Love will be a perfectly good player. But I also suspect Mayo will be a big star. And since he's in Memphis, he'll have a chance to remind the Wolves of their mistake several times a season.
I do like what my beloved Bucks did, though. Richard Jefferson is a very nice player and Joe Alexander should be a very good NBA player, too. And getting rid of Bobby Simmons was long overdue. While trading away Yi Jianlian might turn out to be a mistake, it's worth remembering that he didn't really want to be in Milwaukee. Alexander does. That matters. Jefferson and Michael Redd should be a pretty dynamic duo for the Bucks. Things should get better in Milwaukee soon.