As has been widely reported in this space and others, the Timberwolves are not sold on keeping the second overall pick at all, and would love to trade it for two lower picks. What they really need is a shooting guard, and sources close to the situation say they covet Alec Burks. The Colorado sophomore is regarded as the best shooting guard in the 2011 draft class, but the Timberwolves wouldn't need a top ten pick to land him. They also really like Enes Kanter, so don't be surprised if they deal the number two pick to drop down a bit. Ideally, they'd like to acquire two lower picks and possibly grab both Kanter and Burks.Bill Ingram at Hoopsworld
It should surprise no one that Minnesota is entertaining offers for this pick. Williams is considered by most teams (including Minnesota) to be the best player available after Irving, but it's hardly a fantastic fit. Michael Beasley has a similar skill set, and forward Kevin Love and swingman Wesley Johnson don't appear to be going anywhere. One source says the Wolves have considered moving down a spot or two to take Enes Kanter while getting additional assets in a trade. From Sam Amick at SI.com - NBA Mock Draft 2.0
With all the prospects dropping out of the draft recently, this Texas trio is set to reverse course and take advantage. The 20th pick just got more valuable, and honestly, more marginal guys should take advantage of a weak draft class and snag the guaranteed money.
Minnesota Timberwolves Even with all the high draft picks and some free-agent acquisitions, the Wolves have holes at every position except whatever spot Kevin Love plays. Though they still own the rights to Ricky Rubio and sit on a very disappointing -- but talented -- Jonny Flynn, the Wolves clearly will have to consider taking Kyrie Irving, of course. But pairing up your best player with a complementary one makes sense, and if the Wolves decide to go that route, they'll have to consider Bismack Biyombo. If you think he's too raw a talent to go No. 1, you're wrong. Think of it like this: He averages 6 and 5 with more than two blocks a game while playing in Spain's top division, which is the second-best basketball league in the world after the NBA. And he does that while playing less than half the game. It's a league far more rugged than college. How would Irving fare over there in 17 minutes? Biyombo pairs up perfectly with Love, as his above-the-rim game and high intensity matches up with Love's solid positional defense and calm demeanor. BB would give the Wolves a constant threat in the paint to dunk anything he touched while allowing Love to float outside for his great jumper. And they would form one of the top rebounding tandems in the league. His energy alone would help Love and every other player on the team. Flynn, Wes Johnson and Love all want lots of touches and shots, and BB could excel just playing off their misses. The two players he's always compared to are Ben Wallace and Kevin Garnett.
The Wolves, sources say, have called Phoenix as much as anyone, despite that they're well aware Nash has only one year left on his contract after this season and have to presume he'd have little interest in a long-term stay in Minnesota. That they couldn't count on having Nash for more than one season, as we've noted, is why the Wolves can't afford to build an offer for Nash around Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio. For all of his struggles with Barcelona this season, Rubio remains too prized a commodity for the Wolves to give him up for Nash and then watch Nash walk away a season later. Have to applaud Minnesota for its ambition, though. I've likewise heard, despite all the factors listed here that make us question why the Wolves would even bother chasing Nash, they have not offered Rubio to the Suns for a different reason. In the Wolves' Nash fantasy, I'm told, they dream of constructing a multi-team deal that brings Nash to Sota as a mentor for Rubio. At least one prominent member of the organization thinks we're going to start hearing more about Rubio, who turns 21 years old in October and has the Wolves convinced that his playmaking wizardry will play much better in the NBA than it has in the Spanish League once he's surrounded by elite athletes and operating in an environment that isn't as rigid. "One big factor in our future is Ricky Rubio," Wolves newly minted All-Star forward Kevin Love wrote in a recent entry to his regular blog for GQ. "He's either going to come play for us and have a real impact on our team, or he's going to have a lot of [trade] value around the league. One way or another, he's a vital piece hanging out there. And for us to move 100 percent forward, something needs to happen with him soon."
Wherever Love goes, he won't come cheap. The five-year, $60 million extensions signed by Joakim Noah and Al Horford last year will likely be Love's starting point in negotiations. And his deal could be bigger. When asked what kind of contract Love could be in line for this summer, one league executive's answer was succinct: Max. Then there is this: Love told SI.com that during last summer's World Championship in Turkey that he had conversations with USA Basketball teammates Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (who played with Love at UCLA) and Chicago's Derrick Rose about the possibility of someday teaming up in the NBA. "We all talk about playing together," Love said. "It's fun to talk about. When the time comes, we'll assess the situation and figure it out.Chris Mannix from SI.com
David Aldridge of NBA.com reported in his Monday Morning Tip column that the Grizzlies have made center Hasheem Thabeet "eminently available." Alrdridge added he is "getting shopped hard" by the team, as it thinks Marc Gasol is their center of the future. ... The Timberwolves have had a recent history of acquiring high draft picks who have a reputation of not living up to their potential -- they signed Darko Milicic and traded for Michael Beasley during the summer...The Grizzlies just cut backup PG Acie Law. Sebastian Telfair is on an expiring contract in Minnesota and will move to the third PG on the depth chart once Jonny Flynn returns. A swap of Telfair for Thabeet would work salarywise.ESPN NBA Rumors
"No squad can top Minnesota in terms of pure entertainment from the hardwood to the Internet and back, quite a feat for a bottom-rung team. It’s easy for an elite unit to pique our interest, but for a team to do so while turning the ball over excessively, falling asleep defensively, and clanging jumpers? It may not be an admirable existence, but it’s commendable nonetheless that Minnesota entertains on the court while being a punchline for the best of reasons off of it."
John Hollinger's Playoff Odds were released today here at ESPN.com. The newly released playoff odds place Rick Kamla's Wolves in esteemed company. (Side rant, why does Rick Kamla get to claim...
"It’s not that I have anything against Kevin Love – I think he has a lot of potential, I like the way he plays, his focus on rebounding and ability to throw the outlet pass. But I also remember how +/- indicated early in Kevin Durant’s career that his team struggled with him on the court, at both ends of the court, despite his seeming offensive brilliance. Just as Durant’s scoring ability overshadowed some faults in his game (defense, offensive continuity – both of which are streets ahead now), Love’s prolific rebounding seems to be preventing people from noticing that maybe his coach is not just being a curmudgeon, that is a valid and reasonable explanation for it. I didn’t have to look far in my numbers to see it."
Sam Amick writes a good piece on Fanhouse where David Kahn justifies the Darko Signing. "As most people know, the fourth year is only partially guaranteed. When you examine his deal against other -- forget about starting centers -- but backup centers, it's not that out of line. For example, if Darko were to become a 15- to 18- minute backup center and become a defensive presence, yeah it's probably a little rich, but not to the point where you'd say, 'Oh my God.' He took a near 50 percent pay cut from last season to come back (Milicic made approximately $7.5 million last season)."
(Cousins) also hasn’t forgotten that the Washington Wizards, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Minnesota Timberwolves passed on him – he plans to make them all pay. "I believe everything happens for a reason," Cousins said. "But I can’t wait to play them because I’m going at their necks, especially the big that got picked before me."Marc Spears - Yahoo
Givony has tweeted, Kawakami has rumor mongered, Sheridan has speculated, and multiple threads have been created. The rumor seems to be coming around to a Kevin Love for Anthony Randolph straight...
First, a source says that less than a week before the June 24 Draft, the Sixers have tentatively scheduled a workout in Philly that will feature Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins and Georgia Tech forward Derrick Favors, the top two big man prospects in the Draft. There would be no reason to schedule such a workout -- and certainly no reason for either Cousins or Favors to attend -- if there wasn't some kind of indication sent by the Sixers that they're seriously considering one or the other with the second pick.David Aldridge at NBA.com
The title of this post is filled with hyberbole. Ultimately, I wanted to look at a few factors that I think point to Evan Turner's risks versus Wesley Johnson's risks as Johnson is likely the...
Athletic Measurements are now trickling in. I will update the post with a link once the full list is published; however, information is available for certain players. ESPN Insider Measurements D...
Usage rate versus Offensive Rating comparing this year's bigs to those of the past 2 drafts. Interesting stuff.
Hello DBB's, its MFEbomb coming over from Canishoopus with a trade proposal that I thought presented value for all parties. Please vote whether you would accept a partciular incarnation of this...
After the lottery, I wrote a fanpost about how we should be happy Philadelphia got #2, because of the strong likelihood Andre Iguodala would now be on the market. He has one of the best assist...
If Minnesota takes Derrick Favors or DeMarcus Cousins in the draft, they will likely need to trade either Kevin Love or Al Jefferson. Jefferson has a tough contract to move, but Kevin Love is...
Another year crushing defeat in the Lottery and Kahn's comments about trading the house to draft a potential franchise player has many of us playing the trade machine with the Sixers to try and get...
Potential wing free agent with good per-minute numbers exercises his option and will no longer be available to the Wolves this summer unless its via trade. Harrumph.
So what does Minnesota want for Al Jefferson. GM David Kahn made it pretty clear in postseason comments Jefferson is not a go to star since Kahn said the team needs one. He also said the team learned Jefferson and Kevin Love do not complement one another, and the talk is coach Kurt Rambis prefers Love for his triangle system. It also seems like the team will take a shot with Darko Milicic. "I think we've all learned it doesn't work with them playing heavy minutes together," Kahn told local reporters. "We've learned, even though it doesn't show in wins and losses, how helpful it is to have a 7-footer with Darko's skill set, particularly how he can block shots. That now is locked. We'll have to have something like that." It’s why the Timberwolves earlier this season were said to have sought Joakim Noah for Jefferson. Obviously, that won’t happen, though Kahn has denied such rumors. Minnesota has cap space, but no one expects any major free agent to go there. So they’d likely look to trade for players with their space. Michael Beasley? Luol Deng? David Lee? Monta Ellis? You figure the Timberwolves will be quite active again.
Is DeMarcus Cousins the best big man prospect since Shaq? That’s the question I started asking myself after watching him play and physically dominate the competition he faced this year at...
The T-Wolves drafted Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn at the No. 4 and 5 spots last year. Flynn has been OK this year and looks to be at least good enough as a scoring point to get 15 to 25 minutes a game in the second unit. Or he could improve enough to earn the full-time starting position. However, he'll have to battle Rubio, who has been terrific at quarterbacking Barcelona, his team in Spain, to a final-eight appearance in the Euroleague. (That series is about to start.) In the ACB, Barcelona is in first place with a 25-2 mark. In all, Rubio is 39-3 as the starting point guard in the two best leagues in the world after the NBA. And he's 19. Sure, the Wolves could draft Wall, play Flynn behind him, trade Ramon Sessions (whom they signed as a free agent last summer) and move Rubio, too. Maybe those deals would work out well. Or they could draft Turner, who's a perfect fit at the 2 next to Flynn and Corey Brewer, their lottery pick three years ago who is currently playing out of position at the 2. Turner's passing skills fit perfectly in the triangle offense, and help complement Flynn's nose for scoring. He and Brewer could be excellent wingmates for Rubio as wellESPN - David Thorpe
I reached out this week to four NBA scouts for their opinions on the elite players in this year's draft. They agreed on two points: That this will be a weak draft, and that three players at the top have separated themselves from the pack. Based on their analysis, I am now viewing this as a three-player draft, with a big drop-off thereafter.Ian Thomsen at SI.com
With the right roster, the right coaching staff, and the right attitude, a pairing involving Kevin Love and Al Jefferson could work. There would be defensive limitations, to be sure, but that's why we throw in the "roster" caveat. At point guard, 1994-era Gary Payton. At small forward, 1994-era Scottie Pippen. At shooting guard ... you get the idea.Balls Don't Lie
There also were some rumbles in Boise that the Timberwolves are prepared to start exploring the trade market for Al Jefferson amid questions about Jefferson's compatability with Kevin Love and how he fits in Minnesota's more free-flowing triangle offense under new coach Kurt Rambis. A case can be made that either Jefferson or Love -- undeniably good players individually who are still both developing -- would be helped greatly by playing next to a more athletic sidekick no matter what the system. When we checked it out, though, one source with knowledge of the Wolves' thinking insisted any such rumblings about the centerpiece of Minnesota's Kevin Garnett trade with Boston in July 2007 are off target and Big Al is staying put. The consistent message out of 'Sota has been that any significant changes are on hold until after this season at the earliest, when the Wolves will rely on a possible $13 million in salary-cap space to console themselves following a painful first season for Rambis and new team president David Kahn.Marc Stein at ESPN.com
Go Oleksiy Pecherov! Eurobasket 2009 Oleksiy Pecherov turned in his best performance in a Ukraine shirt and in the process carried the national team to victory over Hungary on Friday. With just...
Dear Wolves fans, I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to be the head coach of the Timberwolves. I want to thank Glen Taylor and David Kahn for giving me this opportunity. As dedicated Wolves fans, you have been through some tough seasons recently. Nobody likes losing, especially me. But when I look at the players on this team now and how we are positioned for the upcoming seasons, I am truly optimistic that we have a bright future. There is some outstanding young talent on our team — talent that we can develop and nurture. I look forward to building this young team into a playoff contender. I enjoy getting out on the floor with young players, instructing them and doing whatever it takes to help them improve. I’ve always been a big believer that extra time put in now will pay off in the future. So my coaching staff and myself will put in whatever time is necessary to make our players better. In my many years as a player, I had to work hard and give an all-out effort to be effective. I will ask the same of my players. We will be an aggressive, hard-working, entertaining team. I believe we can develop an exciting brand of basketball that you will enjoy watching at Target Center. I know it’s a new situation here with new faces on the roster and probably more changes to come. I look forward to providing an atmosphere where our players can thrive — an atmosphere where our core players can grow and new players feel welcome as they are blended into our system. And I hope to create, with your help, an energized atmosphere inside Target Center that will truly make it a fun place to be. My family and I are excited about this new challenge and looking forward to settling in the Twin Cities. I hope to get a chance to meet and talk to many of you in the coming months. Go Wolves, Kurt Rambis
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