Time to trade Cassell, Spree?

Updated: January 4, 2005, 2:27 PM ET
By Chad Ford | ESPN Insider
Moves made in desperation rarely turn into something good.

Last year in Minnesota, VP of basketball operations Kevin McHale's extreme makeover of the Timberwolves almost proved to be the exception.

When McHale added four talented players known more for their off-court behavior than what they do on the court – Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell, Troy Hudson and Michael Olowokandi – the conventional wisdom read something like this:

If they start winning early, they're as dangerous as any team in the NBA. If they stumble out of the gate, call in the riot squad.

The 2003-04 Timberwolves started off hot and went on to record the best mark in the Western Conference last season. The team ended a seven-year streak of getting ousted in the first round of the playoffs, and the newcomers took the Timberwolves within two games of the NBA Finals.

This year, things couldn't be more different. The 16-12 Timberwolves have lost six of their last nine games, including head-scratchers to the Raptors and Bulls.

Now, just one year after the glorious honeymoon, everyone involved is looking for the divorce court.

Chad Ford

ESPN Senior Writer