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Updated: July 24th, 2012 5:13pm
Wolves finalize deal to acquire forward Dante Cunningham from Memphis

Wolves finalize deal to acquire forward Dante Cunningham from Memphis

by Judd Zulgad
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It's official.

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced Tuesday that they have acquired forward Dante Cunningham from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for guard Wayne Ellington. 1500 ESPN first reported the deal last week.

"We thank Wayne for his three seasons with the Wolves. He was the consummate professional and we wish him the best in Memphis, " David Kahn, the Wolves' president of basketball operations, said in a statement. "In Dante Cunningham we are getting a versatile forward who brings a defensive presence and an efficient offensive game to our team. Also, the addition of Dante helps balance our roster."

The Portland Trail Blazers selected the 6-foot-8 Cunningham in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2009 NBA draft. He has averaged 5.2 points and 3.3 rebounds in 205 games over three seasons.

Cunningham, 25, who has started only 25 games, averaged 3.9 points and 2.5 rebounds in 63 games as a rookie. He started the 2010-11 season with Portland but was traded, along with two players and two future first-round picks, on Feb. 24, 2011 to the Charlotte Bobcats for Gerald Wallace.

Cunningham signed with the Grizzlies on Dec. 20, 2011, and averaged 5.2 points, while shooting a career-high 51.6 percent from the field this past season. He also had a career-best 3.8 rebounds per game, including 14 against the Wolves on March 27, 2012.

Ellington was a first-round pick of the Wolves (28th overall) in 2009 and averaged 6.5 points and 1.9 rebounds in 189 games (13 starts) over three seasons.

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Wayne Ellington