NBA: Timberwolves acquire Adreian Payne from Atlanta
By Andy GrederSt. Paul Pioneer Press MINNEAPOLIS -- The Timberwolves acquired a piece to their rebuilding plan on Tuesday, sending a protected first-round draft pick to Atlanta for the Hawks' 2014 first-round draft pick, forward Adreian Payne. "A...
By Andy Greder
St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS - The Timberwolves acquired a piece to their rebuilding plan on Tuesday, sending a protected first-round draft pick to Atlanta for the Hawks’ 2014 first-round draft pick, forward Adreian Payne.
“Adreian fits the mold of a young, athletic and talented player who we believe will fit in well with our young and talented core,” Wolves coach and president of basketball operation Flip Saunders said in a statement.
The Wolves announced the move shortly after completing a deal with Charlotte that sent guards Mo Williams and Troy Daniels to the Bobcats for Gary Neal and a 2019 second-round pick.
Both Williams ($3.5 million) and Neal ($3.25 million) have expiring contracts. Williams, 32, has averaged 12.2 points and 6.4 assists for the Wolves, including a franchise-best, 52-point outing against Indiana.
Neal, a fifth-year shooting guard, has averaged 9.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 43 games this season. His $3.25 million contract will expire at the end of the season
“In moving Mo, we felt it was important to get a proven scorer and three-point shooter like Gary,” Saunders said. “Gary was a solid rotation player with San Antonio for three years and an important contributor in the Spurs’ playoff runs.”
Tuesday’s trades were unconnected, although adding Daniels - acquired from Houston for Corey Brewer in December - opened a roster spot for Payne, who appears to have been Saunders’ real target.
The Wolves debated drafting forward-center out of Michigan State last summer but instead drafted UCLA guard Zach LaVine 13th overall. The Hawks selected Payne two picks later.
“We’ve liked him for a while and look forward to seeing him grow with us in a Wolves uniform,” Saunders said.
Payne has played in 17 games this season in the NBA Development League, averaging 12.9 points and 8.5 rebounds in 27 minutes a game.
Daniels averaged 2.8 points in 19 games for the Wolves. His two-year contract will pay him $900,000 next season.
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