29 Jun 2003 10:23:14
Wolves ready to deal again


"This definitely is just a beginning,'' team owner Glen Taylor said
Friday, hours after Minnesota traded Joe Smith and Anthony Peeler to
Milwaukee for Sam Cassell and Ervin Johnson. "We've got a lot more
work to do.''

"I think we just want to know where we sit with Rasho," Taylor said,
noting that if Nesterovic leaves, Alonzo Mourning has put the Wolves
on a list of teams he's willing to talk to. "But Rasho's our No. 1, so
that's what we prefer to do.''

Wolves vice president Kevin McHale also has been negotiating a trade
involving injured point guard Terrell Brandon, who won't play again
but whose contract will give a team luxury tax relief once he retires.
However, the player the Wolves have been seeking in those deals has
not been a top-notch center. If Nesterovic signs elsewhere, that might
have to change.

Another priority for the Wolves, Taylor said, is to acquire a
defensive-minded swingman who can be interchangeable with Wally

Taylor said the team has three such players in mind who could be
obtained for Brandon. He wouldn't name names, but the Indiana Pacers
have shown interest in Brandon; the Miami Heat were involved in talks
with the Wolves involving Eddie Jones and Brandon last February; and
Minnesota signed Cavaliers swingman Ricky Davis to an offer sheet last
summer, only to have Cleveland match the deal. Now that Cleveland has
drafted LeBron James, Davis might be available.

Taylor expects a Brandon deal to get done, eventually.

"We've got a deal that we can do,'' Taylor said. "We're just seeing if
we can get it better, or if there are a couple of other deals that
might be better. We've got a couple of other teams that have asked us
to wait and see.

"Each deal gives us about three players, but we want a starter, and
(with) the other two we're just helping the other team out. So they've
got to be good bench guys for us. I think we've got to be patient on
the Terrell thing.''

"We're trying, we've got some stuff in the works,'' McHale said.