By Jerry Zgoda
Five hours after a Target Center draft-party crowd heartily cheered the selection of O.J. Mayo with the third overall pick in the NBA draft Thursday and long after the draft itself had ended, the Wolves delivered a midnight blockbuster deal with Memphis that reshapes the team.
Don’t hold that Mayo. He and his draft rights are gone before the USC freshman guard ever stepped foot in Minnesota for the first time. So, too, are the burdensome contracts of Antoine Walker, Marko Jaric and (to a much lesser extent) Greg Buckner.
In return, they get Kevin Love, Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal’s contract that the Grizzles have desperately wanted to dump and Jason Collins.
Jaric’s contract — three years remaining, $21 million total — is gone and the Wolves got Cardinal’s two-year, $13 million contract back. Also gone is an unhappy Walker, who didn’t play a minute after mid February last season.
The Wolves now have two players they intend will stretch the defense and give Al Jefferson freedom inside.
Several hours ago, I asked what would spell draft-night disaster and somebody responded that disaster would be spelled L-O-V-E.
Rant away, sports fans.