THURSDAY, 6:20pm: The Rockets are involved in trade talks with the Wolves regarding Brewer and hope to have an agreement in place by Friday, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle reports.
WEDNESDAY, 8:25pm: The Timberwolves have placed veteran swingman Corey Brewer back on the trade block, Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein of ESPN.com report. Minnesota, which has been hit hard by injuries and is dead last in the Western Conference with a record of 5-19, are again engaging contending teams in discussions for Brewer. The Rockets, Cavaliers, and Clippers are the franchises most interested in acquiring Brewer, Windhorst and Stein note. The Heat have also been mentioned as being interested in the swingman’s services.
Minnesota had made Brewer available in trade talks back in November, but then pulled hm off of the trade market, with team president Flip Saunders saying that the 28-year-old defensive whiz was “too valuable to trade.” This was due in part to the loss of Kevin Martin to a broken wrist, and Ricky Rubio to an ankle injury, which left Minnesota rather thin in its backcourt, note the ESPN scribes. Saunders had acknowledged last week that the Wolves had switched their focus from retooling to rebuilding in light of the rash of injuries and their poor record, which explains why Brewer is suddenly being made available again.
Houston and Cleveland remain in the best position to make a deal because both teams possess an active trade exception large enough to absorb Brewer’s $4.7MM salary, note Stein and Windhorst. But their sources say that the Wolves are seeking a future first-round pick in exchange for Brewer, something that the Cavaliers are reluctant to surrender. Both the Rockets and the Cavs could certainly benefit from Brewer’s strong perimeter defense and versatility.
As for the Rockets, Houston hopes to sell Minnesota on trading Brewer for the Knicks’ 2015 second-rounder that the Rockets hold the rights to, which is a pick with the potential to be attractive come June given the Knicks’ ongoing struggles, Stein and Windhorst add.
For his part, Brewer would likely welcome a trade since he admitted last week that he wasn’t too keen on going through another rebuild with the Wolves. “It’s tough for me, I’m not going to lie,” Brewer said. “When I came back here, I wasn’t expecting this, to rebuild again. It comes with the territory. It’s business. It’s basketball. It’s what I love to do. So I wake up every day and I come to work.”
For the season, Brewer has appeared in 24 games for Minnesota, including 16 as a starter. He is averaging 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals in 28.3 minutes of action per contest.