Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-US PRESSWIRE
The Orlando Magic have engaged the Minnesota Timberwolves in trade discussions regarding Orlando swingman Jason Richardson, Jarrod Rudolph of RealGM reported Tuesday. Though it's not known which players the Magic could obtain from Minnesota in return for Richardson, Orlando had reportedly expressed an interest in combo forward Michael Beasley, the second overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, recently.
Richardson, 31, re-signed with the Magic prior to the start of the season, guaranteeing him $24 million over four seasons, according to ShamSports' salary database. The former Michigan State Spartan is averaging 12.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, and two assists per game and is shooting 38.9 percent from three-point range. However, the consistent production from J.J. Redick off Orlando's bench might make Richardson expendable.
Richardson sprained his left ankle in Thursday's win against the Chicago Bulls, but that injury alone would not necessarily rule out trading him; Minnesota could elect to waive the customary pre-trade physical examination in order to bring Richardson aboard.
The Timberwolves boast one of the NBA's best frontcourts, with All-Star power forward Kevin Love flanking emerging second-year center Nikola Pekovic and rookie combo forward Derrick Williams. And in rookie point guard Ricky Rubio--out for the season due to a torn ACL--they're set at arguably the league's most important position for years to come. All they lack is a productive wing player, having relied on the likes of Martell Webster, Wesley Johnson, and Wayne Ellington.
It's not known how serious discussions between Orlando and Minnesota regarding Richardson have gotten. The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 3 PM Eastern.