The Wolves just traded Corey Brewer and Ronny Turiaf to the Rockets. Here are five thoughts on the deal:
1) We applaud Flip Saunders’ commitment to a full rebuild. Brewer isn’t a great player, but he’s a useful player. That said, this season was going to be a struggle already, and injuries to top players only hastened the Wolves’ demise. Might as well trade Brewer and free up more playing time for younger players, with Shabazz Muhammad presumably at the top of that list.
2) Getting to include Turiaf in the deal is nice, too. The Wolves weren’t going to get anything out of him this year. This is an amicable parting to a nice guy who wasn’t healthy.
3) The Wolves received guard Troy Daniels and two second-round picks in the trade. The two second-rounders probably won’t amount to much, but they are still assets. Daniels can flat-out shoot. He’s only 13 for 43 this season from three-point range (30 percent), but last season between the regular season and playoffs he was 20 for 40 (50 percent) from long distance. The Wolves have a decided lack of shooters. If he can fill a role — and cheaply at that, under contract for this year and next at less than $1 million a season — he could be a valuable steal.
4) The downside to this is losing Brewer. He’s a player with value, he’s a good human being and there is something to be said for young players having someone like Brewer around for stability.
5) Overall, though, we like this trade. Saunders the GM knows that in the short-term it will make life harder on Saunders the coach, but that’s a hit he’s willing to take for long-term development.
Anthony Barr’s season rookie season officially ended Thursday night when he was told he needs what coach Mike Zimmer described as a “very minor procedure” to repair a knee injury that has sidelined him the past two games.
Zimmer wouldn’t reveal the exact nature of the injury, saying only that, “it’s very similar to a slight meniscus tear.
“It should be nothing. It really should be nothing. He’ll be getting going again. He’s a great kid. I don’t think it will be an issue at all.”
Barr said he hurt the knee before the Bears game on Oct. 16. He left that game because of the injury, but doesn’t think he suffered any further damage by trying to play on it.
“I’ve been trying each week to go out that, but it hasn’t been right,” Barr said. “So it’s time to fix it up. … Nothing is torn.”
Asked to assess his rookie season, the ninth overall draft pick said, “I thought it was decent. I would say it was a B, B-minus. Something like that.”
Asked what improvements he’ll be focusing on after he recovers, Barr said, “We could sit here and talk about that all day. It’s a long list. I just want to get better as a player, as a leader and hopefully make strides for next week.
“I don’t think [surgery] is going to slow me down [for next year]. My season just ended a little earlier than everybody else’s. Just got to continue to improve and I have the whole offseason to do that. I’m looking forward to getting back on the field.”
Zimmer said Barr will have the surgery soon. He’ll continue to sit in on meetings, as he has the past two weeks.
“He’s going to be so much further ahead of where he was when the rookies got here,” Zimmer said. “So I think really the sky is the limit for him.”
Barr was leading the team in tackles with 99 at the time of the injury. He also had four sacks, four tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits, three passes defensed, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries, including one that he forced and returned for a touchdown to beat the Buccaneers in overtime.
“He played great,” Zimmer said. “He’s a good football player. He’s a good kid who studies hard and does everything right. He’s very conscientious, hard-working, can’t wait, he’s already excited about getting this fixed and getting back to playing.”
Zimmer said the Vikings will decide next week whether to put Barr on injured reserve and use his roster spot to acquire another player for the season finale against the Bears.
What did we learn at practice a few moments ago? That Audie Cole appears to know how to long snap well enough to get the ball to punter Jeff Locke without drawing too much attention.
Regular long-snapper Cullen Loeffler wasn’t at practice because, like the rest of Minnesota, he’s apparently sick. Presumably, he’ll play on Sunday, but we’ll get the official injury report after practice today.
Meanwhile, Chad Greenway also wasn’t at practice for the portion open to reporters. He hasn’t been on the injury report this week, so we’ll wait until after practice for the reason.
Linebacker Anthony Barr, who has missed the past two games because of a knee injury, wasn’t at practice. Look for him to miss a third straight game.
Left guard Charlie Johnson was at practice, but wasn’t participating.
Two players who hadn’t oracticed all week — tight end Kyle Rudolph and strong safety Robert Blanton — were practicing today.