Minnesota Timberwolves general manager David Kahn recently offered forward Al Jefferson(notes) to the Indiana Pacers for forward Danny Granger(notes), but was immediately rebuffed, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
While Pacers president Larry Bird remains determined to build around Granger, sources say Kahn has become increasingly dubious on making Jefferson a cornerstone for the Timberwolves.
So far, Kahn has tried to undo almost everything from the Kevin McHale regime, and trading Jefferson would be another significant step in that direction.
After rehabbing from a knee injury he suffered in February, Jefferson is still trying to work himself back to the elite form he showed last season when he had averaged 23.1 points and 11 rebounds. This season, he's averaging 17.7 points and 9.1 rebounds.
Jefferson, 25, has three years and $42 million left on his contract after this season. Any proposed deal would've needed another player or two involved to make the salaries match, but the Pacers had no interest in such a discussion, sources said.
The Pacers, who are tied for the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, could be dealers before the trade deadline, but league executives believe Indiana has all but ruled out any moves that would include Granger or center Roy Hibbert(notes). After missing a month with a foot injury, Granger returned to the Pacers' lineup on Friday. He has become one of the league's best young scorers, averaging 24 points a game.
The Cleveland Cavaliers would like to acquire a power forward who can shoot, and the Pacers' Troy Murphy(notes) is near the top of their wish list, perhaps trailing only the Washington Wizards' Antawn Jamison(notes). The Cavs' front office is still trying to gauge the seriousness of Wizards GM Ernie Grunfeld about eventually agreeing to a Jamison deal. While waiting for the Wizards on a move Grunfeld may never make, Cleveland doesn't want to miss out on Murphy.
Sources close to Jamison and Murphy say both players would welcome a trade to the contending Cavs.
The Cavs likely are willing to part with young forward J.J. Hickson(notes) in a trade for Jamison, but perhaps less apt to do so for Murphy. So far, the Pacers want more than the expiring contract of center Zydrunas Ilgauskas(notes) to make a deal for Murphy, and likely would also require Hickson.
- David Kahn