It might not be the biggest marquee trade, but in Timberwolves country, you gotta take em when you can get em. According to 1500ESPN.com the T-Wolves traded underachieving 2-Guard Wayne Ellington to the Grizzlies straight up for combo forward Dante Cunningham.
When I heard tell of the Grizzlies interest, I was all for unloading Ellington and getting some new blood in the joint.
So how do they compare? Clearly they’re different positions. So let’s take a look at the advanced stats (via Basketball Reference), shall we?
and Wayne Ellington:
Now it’s interesting that though their averages are similar, Cunningham’s True Shooting Percentage seems to be on an upswing, whereas Ellington’s has decreased steadily. And if you buy into John Hollinger’s Player Efficiency Rating (which for the purposes of this argument, I do) Cunningham certainly seems to be a better off the bench tool than Ellington (granted Cunningham’s PER last season was .1 below average, but still).
I’m a little irrationally nervous that there might be something about Cunningham we don’t know. But I’m choosing to be optimistic.
So is this a case of us wanting a versatile bench forward and wanting to unload a salary from an increasingly guard heavy roster? Or us making roster moves so we keep Kevin Love happy?