The Minnesota Timberwolves tonight acquired the draft rights to 6-10 forward Kevin Love, the fifth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, and 6-8 guard/forward Mike Miller in an eight-player trade that sent the draft rights to O.J. Mayo, the third overall draft pick, to Memphis. As part of the deal, the Wolves also acquired forward Brian Cardinal and center Jason Collins from the Grizzlies, with Memphis receiving guards Marko Jaric and Greg Buckner, and forward Antoine Walker.
Love, the Pac-10 Player of the Year, led his team in scoring (17.5 ppg) and rebounding (10.6 rpg) this season while leading UCLA to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. The consensus First Team All-American was a finalist for both the Naismith and Wooden Awards and was also named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and was an Honorable Mention selection for the league's All-Defensive Team. Love topped the 20-point mark in 11 games and posted 23 double-doubles on the season while setting school freshman single-season records for points scored (681) and rebounds (415).
Miller, the fifth overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, holds averages of 14.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game over his eight NBA seasons with a career mark of 40.3 percent from behind the arc. During the 2007-08 NBA season, Miller increased those averages to 16.4 points and 6.7 rebounds while shooting 43.2 percent from three, his fourth consecutive season with a three-point percentage over 40. Miller was the NBA's Rookie of the Year in 2001 and the Sixth Man of the Year in 2006. The Florida alum was also a member of the gold-medal-winning U.S. Team at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, helping the U.S. clinch a spot at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Cardinal, a 6-8 forward and eight-year NBA veteran out of Purdue, owns career averages of 6.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 263 games with Detroit, Washington, Golden State and Memphis. Jason Collins, a 7-0 center from Stanford, holds career averages of 4.3 points and 4.4 rebounds in seven seasons split between New Jersey and Memphis.
Jaric was acquired by Minnesota prior to the 2005-06 season and played in 220 games for the Wolves. He holds career averages of 7.8 points and 3.9 assists in his six seasons with the L.A. Clippers and Minnesota. Buckner, acquired from Dallas on Sept. 28, 2007, played one season with the Wolves, appearing in 31 games and averaging 4.0 points and 2.1 rebounds per contest. Walker averaged 8.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in his lone season with the Wolves, missing the final 30 games while on the Inactive List.