Clippers Trade Richardson to Wolves
Richardson finished the 2008-09 season with the Knicks but was sent to the Grizzlies last month in a draft-day deal for Darko Milicic. Before he could unpack, he was soon re-routed to the Clippers in a trade for Zach Randolph that was finally consummated last week.
And finally today, word broke that Richardson will be sent to Minnesota in exchange for Craig Smith, Sebastian Telfair and Mark Madsen.
Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski originally broke the story, which Mark Madsen soon confirmed via Twitter:
The move likely wasn't a complete surprise -- Madsen revealed in a blog post dated July 9 that he spoke with Timberwolves GM David Kahn, who told Madsen that his expiring contract made it possible he'd be dealt.
Even so, this wasn't a pure salary dump: every player included in the deal has an expiring contract with the exception of Telfair, who holds a $2.8 million player option for 2010-11.
In fact, while Richardson is the highest-paid and most accomplished player in this transaction, Telfair was likely the centerpiece to the trade from L.A.'s perspective. His presence was redundant in Minnesota thanks to the arrival of Jonny Flynn (and, perhaps someday, Ricky Rubio), whereas the Clippers have been searching for a capable backup for the oft-injured Baron Davis.
After five years in the league it's clear that Telfair will likely never meet the expectations placed upon him as a high school player, but he's a pass-first point guard who's a better fit alongside young building blocks like Eric Gordon, Al Thornton and Blake Griffin than a shoot-first veteran like Allen Iverson, whom the Clippers had been talking with last week. Objectively speaking, it seems unlikely the Clippers will continue to show interest, not that it ever made all that much sense in the first place.