Daniels, pick to Wolves

Updated: September 10, 2009, 9:44 AM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

The New Orleans Hornets improved their depth Wednesday by completing a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves that sends guard Antonio Daniels to the Wolves for forward Darius Songaila and guard Bobby Brown.

The trade also sends a 2014 second-round pick to Minnesota.

"Darius brings toughness and experience to bolster our frontcourt," Hornets general manager Jeff Bower said. "[And] we know Bobby pretty well from when he played on our summer-league team and are excited to add his speed and scoring ability."

Minnesota acquired Songaila as part of the draft-week deal with the Washington Wizards that netted the No. 5 overall pick, which the Wolves used on Spanish guard Ricky Rubio. With Rubio deciding to spend at least the next two seasons in his native country with perennial Spanish club power Barcelona, Daniels is the latest veteran targeted by the Wolves to help fill the Rubio void.

"Antonio has the ability to play both guard positions and will provide a veteran presence and added flexibility to our backcourt," said David Kahn, the Timberwolves' president of basketball operations. "This trade also provides increased flexibility for personnel moves beginning next summer."

The Wolves are also still expecting to land restricted free agent Ramon Sessions, who signed a four-year offer sheet worth $16.4 million last week that the Milwaukee Bucks are not expected to match.

The financial components of the deal favor Minnesota, with the Wolves shedding their $4.8 million salary obligation to Songaila in 2010-11 to create an estimated $13 million in salary-cap space for the summer of 2010.

New Orleans has lowered its payroll for the coming season by $1.3 million to move within $2.3 million of the $69.9 million luxury-tax line -- down from $3.6 million -- but had to take on the extra year of Songaila's contract to do so.

Songaila should nonetheless be a useful addition to the Hornets' new-look frontcourt rotation entering his seventh season out of Wake Forest, where he played before the arrival of Hornets guard Chris Paul. He averaged 7.4 points and 2.9 rebounds off the bench for the Wizards last season.

In previous moves to revamp its front line this offseason, New Orleans traded Tyson Chandler to Charlotte for Emeka Okafor and signed Ike Diogu as a free agent.

Brown is entering the second season of a contract he earned from the Sacramento Kings based largely on his breakout play with the Hornets' summer-league team in 2008. The Cal State Fullerton product was dealt from the Kings to the Wolves in February as part of the Rashard McCants deal and averaged 5.3 points and 1.7 assists in 68 games.

Marc Stein is a senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Marc Stein | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com
• Senior NBA writer for ESPN.com
• Began covering the NBA in 1993-94
• Also covered soccer, tennis and the Olympics