Reports: Wolves have interest in Nets G MarShon Brooks

MINNEAPOLIS — If Flip Saunders used yesterday’s pre-draft press conference to mislead any general managers or media out there, there’s only half a bluff to call.

And that’s assuming Tuesday’s reports of the Timberwolves’ interest in trading for Brooklyn Nets shooting guard MarShon Brooks have any substance.

According to the New York Daily News, Minnesota and Brooklyn have pondered the idea of a trade that’d send Brooks to Minneapolis, possibly for a draft pick — likely No. 26 or a second-rounder — and/or one of the Timberwolves’ reserve point guards.

There’s conflicting evidence as to the transaction’s seriousness, but sources floating the idea at least back up Saunders’ statement Monday that the Timberwolves are shopping around for potential deals.

“There’s been offers. Nothing’s intrigued me enough to get excited about,” said Saunders, Minnesota’s president of basketball  operations. “Every call you make is potentially a trade call, and we’re talking to everybody every day.”

That first bit’s changed in the past 24 hours if the Brooks rumors have any validity. Unless Saunders meant to downplay his interest in the first place.

Most pre-draft trade talk’s centered on the upper part of the first round, where Minnesota’s been rumored to try and trade its No. 9 pick in hopes of moving into the top five.

Saunders has downplayed that idea more and more as the draft gets closer, however, saying teams ahead of the Timberwolves are falling “more and more in love” with their potential first overall picks.

But that leaves the door open for other trade possibilities, even some that don’t involve the draft. Minnesota’s logjam at point guard is no secret, to the point where there aren’t any on the front office’s first-round draft board.

So maybe the Timberwolves give up J.J. Barea or Luke Ridnour in exchange for Brooks and a project-type reserve. Or maybe they throw the 26th selection in there somewhere, giving the Nets — who pick 22nd in Thursday’s draft — two non-lottery, first-round selections.

A first-round pick by the Boston Celtics in the 2011 draft and immediately traded to New Jersey (now Brooklyn), Brooks showed promise as a rookie, scoring 12.6 points per game and earning NBA second-team all-rookie honors. He’s expressed displeasure at going from the Nets’ sixth man to a mop-up man averaging 13 minutes per game this past season.

If the shooting guard-deprived Timberwolves trade for one before the draft, that means they’re likely going after a big man or simply the best available player in the first round.

But they just as easily could decide a two-guard like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or C.J. McCollum’s a better asset and draft him with the ninth pick, favoring rookie upside over what Brooks has exhibited so far.

Maybe this, possibly that. What’s certain after Tuesday is the Timberwolves are indeed looking at trade options, meaning there’s a chance someone new joins the roster before they even make their first pick Thursday.