MINNEAPOLIS — Luke Ridnour is headed back to Milwaukee, Corey Brewer returning to the Twin Cities, and the Timberwolves now should be able to welcome Kevin Martin into the fold.
According to multiple media reports, Brewer and Minnesota have agreed upon a three-year, $15 million deal. In order to clear the necessary cap space, the Timberwolves plan to send Luke Ridnour to Milwaukee and execute a sign-and-trade deal that brings Martin to Minnesota from Oklahoma City.
ESPN’s Marc Stein first reported the scenario that moves Ridnour, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune later confirmed it. Milwaukee inherits Ridnour’s $4.3 million salary for next year, while Minnesota won’t incur any salaries in exchange for him.
The Thunder, meanwhile, will receive a $7 million trade exception as part of their agreement to sign and trade Martin, the Star-Tribune report says.
Martin and the Timberwolves agreed last week to a four-year, $28 million contract and were scheduled to hold a press conference announcing his signing Wednesday morning. But the nine-year veteran shooting guard agreed to delay his introduction while the Minnesota front office tried to fill its final offseason need: a wing that can play defense.
That turned out to be Brewer, who spent the first 3 1/2 seasons of his career in Minneapolis before being traded away. He spent the past two years in Denver providing a solid two-way spark off the bench.
In 2012-13, Brewer averaged 12.1 points per game — his best scoring output since leaving the Timberwolves.
The trickle-down effect from his return creates another reunion, this one in Milwaukee.
A free-agent signee by Minnesota in 2010, Ridnour spent the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons with the Bucks. In each of his three seasons with the Timberwolves, Ridnour averaged more than 11 points and at least 3.8 assists per game.
Ridnour is a coach Rick Adelman favorite and a tough veteran to say goodbye to, but Minnesota now can use the money it would’ve owed him next year on Brewer. The franchise apparently felt comfortable with its scoring arsenal after agreeing to terms with Chase Budinger and Martin and drafting small forward Shabazz Muhammad, but those transactions put a premium on the perimeter defense Brewer’s hoped to provide.
Once the Timberwolves lock up Martin and Brewer, they’ll be allowed to exceed the league’s $58.7 million cap to sign Budinger and restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic. Minnesota has Larry Bird rights, which allows a team to exceed the salary cap to certian players, to both.