The first major draft-impacting trade was made Tuesday evening with Minnesota adding a second pick in the top six. The Timberwolves, who already own the sixth-overall pick, acquired the No. 5 pick in Thursday's 2009 NBA Draft, Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila and Oleksiy Pecherov from the Wizards in exchange for Randy Foye and Mike Miller.
Since the Wiz lost out on the lottery and ended up with the fifth pick, there have been rumors about Washington wanting to deal the pick to land a veteran or two because management feels they are a true Eastern Conference title contender when healthy. In my opinion, this trade doesn't equate to the Wizards competing with the upper-tier of the East, but should help get them back into the postseason (assuming they can stay healthy.)
Foye never settled into the point guard role in Minnesota and should be better served playing the two in the District alongside Gilbert Arenas. Shots will be hard to come by for Foye who will likely be the fourth option behind Agent Zero, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, but he should help them become a very dangerous offense. Mike Miller had an abysmal year with the T-Wolves last season, but if he can bounce back, he could be a nice acquisition. If not, he is the final year of his contract and will come off the books next summer.
Why this makes sense for Minnesota:
The T-Wolves now hold two of the top six picks in the draft and four first-rounders (Nos. 5, 6, 18 and 28.) Thomas is in the final year of his deal while Pecherov has a team option and Songaila a player option for next season, meaning the salary cap situation will probably be a wash. The three players should add some temporary, but needed depth up front to back up Al Jefferson and Kevin Love.
Why this really makes sense is because of what it could lead to for the T-Wolves...
How this affects the 2009 NBA Draft:
I have to believe that despite an ESPN report, Minnesota will try to package either No. 5 or 6 with one or two of their other picks to move up to No. 2 (currently owned by Memphis) so they can select Ricky Rubio. If Rubio isn't taken at No. 2, then Oklahoma City's pick at No. 3 should be the target. This should change the top of the 2009 NBA Draft quite a bit. The Wolves now have a huge hole in their backcourt and have to find two starters out of their top two picks. If they stick at Nos. 5 and 6, expect them to target Tyreke Evans, and either Jonny Flynn or Stephen Curry.