LA Lakers Rumors: J.J. Barea Trade Deal Option As Team Wants Point Guard? Timberwolves Need Cap Space For Kevin Martin With Knicks, Mavericks, Warriors Interested

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Jul 09, 2013 11:41 AM EDT
Minnesota Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea
Minnesota Timberwolves guard J.J. Barea (11) drives against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Thabo Sefolosha (R) during the first half of their NBA basketball game in the Target Center in Minneapolis, March 29.(Photo : Reuters) "

The Minnesota Timberwolves have high expectations of the upcoming season after dealing with injuries to two of their major players in Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio last season and they have already improved by adding Kevin Martin and now appear to have free agent Nikola Pekovic back in the fold.

According to the Star Tribune, the Timberwolves have made an offer to Pekovic to bring him back next season and to get the salary cap in order, they cut both Greg Stiemsma and Mickael Gelabale. The report says that the team needs to make more moves to get the salary cap right before Wednesday to officially sign Kevin Martin and Chase Budinger as well as Pekovic and they have been looking at potential trades for either J.J. Barea or Luke Ridnour or both. Barea could be on the move to a number of places, including the Lakers, Knicks, Mavericks and Warriors who all need point guard help.

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The Timberwolves can match any offer to Pekovic from another team, but so far no team has done that and it appears that they will have him back if they can get the salary cap issues right. The team needed to waive Stiemsma or fully guarantee his $2.7 million contract by July 17 and now have made the move to work on getting Pekovic back in the fold, as he said he wanted to return next season. Stiemsma being waived does not mean he can't return, as his agent said that it was a business move and that there is a chance he could come back with the team later on after the moratorium period is over on Wednesday.

Martin was one of the top free agents on the market this past season and he reached a verbal agreement with the Wolves on a four-year deal worth around $30 million. Martin was happy to reunite with his former coach Rick Adelman from when he played in Sacramento and while he would have liked to stay with the Thunder, the team had salary cap limitations.

The team needed a player at his position and now with him in the fold there is a good chance the team will try to trade Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea to clear the space. On top of that deal, the Wolves also agreed to bring back Chase Budinger on a three-year, $16 million deal that also has a player option according to sources. Martin will be looking to get back into swing of things with Adelman after averaging 14.0 points and shot 42.6 percent on 3s last year with the Thunder and he also played with the coach in Houston.

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