Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
Former Timberwolves head coach has re-joined the Lakers organization in the same role he held for a number of years in L.A.: assistant coach.
This time, however he'll be an assistant for Mike D'Antoni (instead of the 'Zen Master' Phil Jackson).
Kurt Rambis was hired by David Kahn in his first year as President of Basketball Operations. Rambis took over for Kevin McHale (who is now the head coach in Houston).
From 2009-2011 Kurt led the Wolves to a 27-102 record. Granted the record is absolutely terrible, the roster was pretty terrible too.
Also joining D'Antoni's staff in L.A. will be another former NBA coach: Johnny Davis.
That's all for now, thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
Minnesota's President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders will be traveling to New York next week (as early as Monday) to meet with Nikola Peković's agent (Jeff Schwartz) and try to resolve Pek's contract.
The Timberwolves have already made a 4-year, $50million offer, which would pay Nikola an average of $12.5million annually. In my opinion that's an incredibly good offer and with no other team able to offer anything else very close (excluding the frontcourt-heavy Milwaukee Bucks).
Considering Nikola has openly stated that he wants to be in Minnesota and his agent has been adamant that he wants Minnesota's front office to deal only with him and not contact his agent (Pek); this seems more like his agent trying to get a bit more money to line his own pockets. That's pure speculation and it could very well be 100% false, but it's a possibility.
The Wolves made their offer and Jeff Schwartz made a counteroffer. According to Owner Glen Taylor (in a recent interview), the offer Minnesota made was not a negotiating offer as they feel it's a very good offer (as do I).
The one 'chip' Peković's agent hold is the threat of Nikola taking his $6.1million qualifying offer and then become an unrestricted free agent in 2014. Ultimately, I (and nearly everyone else) believes Peković will be back in Minnesota for 2013-14 with a brand-new contract, finalizing a busy offseason for the Minnesota Timberwolves that saw Luke Ridnour traded to Milwaukee, signing free agents Kevin Martin, Corey Brewer & Ronny Turiaf, re-signing Chase Budinger, drafting Shabazz Muhammad & Gorgui Dieng, while trading Malcolm Lee to Phoenix and waiving Brandon Roy, Greg Stiemsma & Mickaël Gelabale.
That's all for now, stay tuned for updates on Peković early next week. Thanks for reading!
Minnesota Timberwolves superstar Kevin Love announced on Wednesday during an impromptu press conference, that he would be returning to play for the United States in the summer of 2014.
His announcement was made along with Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant. Both Kevin's were members of the 2010 team that won the gold in the World Championships and of course a year ago at the London Olympics.
The press conference also featured head coach Mike Krzyzewski and team managing director Jerry Colangelo.
I'm finally back in the States and as such, the coverage on HOWL should now improve. Here's a quick round-up of some TWolves news, rumors & updates that have happened since my last post...
That's all for now, thanks for reading and GO WOLVES!
As you may or may not know, I'm currently in Germany for two weeks and as such, I'm not always able to access the internet. That's usually not a problem for me, but with the NBA Free Agency period going on, it was a tough couple of days. I spent the past two days helping my sister move and was without internet for two days. As such, I missed the Wolves trading Luke Ridnour, agreeing to terms with Corey Brewer and officially signing Kevin Martin & Ronny Turiaf.
The Wolves secured veteran shooting guard Kevin Martin by sending away Luke Ridnour to the Milwaukee Bucks. Minnesota acquired Martin via sign-and-trade with the Thunder on Thursday night. Ridnour was sent to the Bucks along with a second-round pick from Minnesota. The Thunder got the draft rights to Szymon Szewczyk from the Bucks and OKC also send an undisclosed amount of cash to both Minnesota & Milwaukee.
By trading away Ridnour, the Wolves gained financial flexibility and were able to strike a three-year, $15million deal with swingman Corey Brewer. They also were able to make Chase Budinger's 3-year, $16million deal official.
Andrei Kirilenko also found a new home during my time away. He agreed to a two-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets. The first year of the deal is worth about $3.1million and the second year is a player option--AK certainly didn't secure the long-term deal he sought, but he has a chance to play for a contender, while being the primary backup to Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett.
The Wolves then signed journeyman big Ronny Turiaf to a two-year deal worth an estimated $3.2million. He'll provide backup at power forward and center. Most importantly, he gives the Timberwolves a veteran presence and leadership and the experience of playing for a number of winning ball clubs--last season with the Clippers and a member of the 2012 Champion Miami Heat.
The Wolves also upped their offer to center Nikola Peković. It now stands at 4-years and $50million with many expecting Pek to take the offer and remain in Minnesota.
Minnesota's assumed roster when the offseason comes to a close...
Point Guard: Ricky Rubio, J.J. Barea
Shooting Guard: Kevin Martin, Alexey Shved
Small Forward: Corey Brewer, Chase Budinger, Shabazz Muhammad
Power Forward: Kevin Love, Derrick Williams, Dante Cunningham
Center: Nikola Peković, Gorgui Dieng, Ronny Turiaf
That gives Minnesota 13 players and it's likely that they could add one or two more to make the maximum 15 players on the roster.
I really like how the roster is shaping up. A starting lineup of Rubio, Martin, Brewer, Love & Peković is an offensive juggernaut and luckily with Brewer in the fold, the Wolves may not be as bad defensively (as initially thought--with Chase as the starting three).
In other TWolves related news: Greg Stiemsma signed a one-year, $2.7million contract with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Wolves waived him earlier this week and there was some talk of him returning to Minnesota on a smaller deal once some of these larger transactions went through. I'm beyond elated that, that didn't happen. I am slightly upset that Kirilenko won't be back, but I'm pretty excited to see what this team can do. I was thrilled about the way last year's team was built and I truly believe this one is EVEN better.
A healthy TWolves team means the end to the decade-long playoff drought in the Twin Cities!
I'm off to Paris for the weekend and won't be back until Sunday night, so I assume I'll miss plenty more. My apologies in advance. I'm back stateside a week from today and regular and timely posts should be back to normal then! Thanks for reading!
How would you feel about former TWolf Corey Brewer back in Minnesota?
According to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, the Wolves are currently engaged in sign-and-trade talks to bring Brewer back to the team that drafted him--back in 2007 as the 7th overall selection. Zgoda says the Wolves 'would love' to obtain Brewer.
Minnesota is in dire need of a defensive small forward and Brew definitely fits the bill. Corey is über-athletic and can also add some to the scoring column. In 82 games (just 2 starts) with the Denver Nuggets last season, Corey averaged 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 24.4 minutes a game.
With Minnesota's current roster, Brewer would compete with Chase Budinger for the starting small forward spot and thanks to his defensive capabilities, Adelman may decide to start him at the 3. That gives Rick the ability to bring Bud off the bench and with it a nice scoring punch.
The Wolves only have the $2.6million cap room exception to offer Brewer, which likely wouldn't be enough to get it done. That's why the Wolves are exploring sign-and-trade possibilities.
Brewer was sent to the New York Knicks in 2011 in the trade that also landed Carmelo Anthony in Broadway. The Wolves also sent Kosta Koufos to the Nuggets and received Anthony Randolph from New York. The Knicks waived Brewer and he signed on with the Dallas Mavericks. He had a minimal role with the Mavs, but Dallas did win the Championship that year. The following season he signed on with the Denver Nuggets and carved himself out a nice role off the bench for a very talented Denver team.
Zgoda said the source that has the Wolves engaged in these sign-and-trade talks also said that if Minnesota can re-sign Peković (they do have a 4-year, $12million offer on the table) and they get Brewer they're a potential Top 4 team in the Western Conference (assuming they can stay healthy).
Should be more in the coming days, Stay Tuned.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have finally announced their Summer League roster and it includes three of the Timberwolves' draft picks from the 2013 NBA Draft, their lone selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, a player who was on the Wolves' roster a year ago as well as some players with some interesting story lines heading into this Las Vegas Summer League.
Without any further ado, here's the roster...
The most notable on that list are the Wolves' two first-round draft picks: center Gorgui Dieng (21st overall in 2013 Draft) and guard-forward Shabazz Muhammad (14th overall in 2013 Draft). Another selection in the 2013 NBA Draft for the Wolves will be on the team: Lorenzo Brown (52nd overall). Minnesota's 2012 NBA Draft lone selection Robbie Hummel (58th overall) will also play for the Wolves. He spent 2012-13 playing overseas in Spain, with the Wolves desperate for long-range shooting it's possible he could make the roster--but remains to be quite a longshot.
Chris Johnson played for Minnesota's Summer League last season and he'll do that again this year. The difference? Last summer he didn't have a guaranteed contract worth just under $1million for 2013-14. He could make the roster as a third-string center behind Peković and rookie Dieng.
Marqus Blakely, Othyus Jeffers and Solomon Jones have played for various NBA D-League teams as well as brief stints with various NBA teams.
Minnesota's lone rookie last season, Alexey Shved, will not play for the Wolves' Summer League squad. Shved is playing for the Russian National Team later this summer
Mychel Thompson is the son of former NBA-er Mychal Thompson and the brother of Golden State's Klay Thompson. Luke Sikma played for Minnesota's Summer League in 2012 and he is the son of Wolves assistant coach Jack Sikma.
The Wolves' first game is on July 13th vs. the NBDL Select Team. However, the first televised game (on NBATV) will be on July 16th vs. Miami.
It was announced earlier today that the Minnesota Timberwolves had extended restricted free agent center Nikola Peković a contract offer in the vicinity of 4-years, $48million--paying Pek an average of $12million a year.
Next to Andrew Bynum, Nikola is one of the best centers still left on the market and this news today was some of the first we've heard since free agency started one week ago.
The Wolves waived center Greg Stiemsma and swingman Mickaël Gelabale yesterday evening as both were on non-guaranteed deals. That gives the Wolves a bit more cap space--despite the fact that they could go over the cap to re-sign Peković.
No other team has made Pek any offers so it remains to be seen if this was a smart strategy by new President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders--or a dumb move.
It's a smart move if Nikola outright accepts the offer and returns to the Wolves on the above deal. Also seeing the Wolves simply offering him a deal and not waiting for another team to make a big offer that they'd have to decide to match--might be a sign of respect to the much improved big man. It's a dumb move if no other team makes an offer and the Wolves inflated his price for no reason--as they could have signed him cheaper (ie: 4-years, $40million; $10million a year average).
The Wolves don't really have a backup plan if Nikola goes elsewhere as the only other centers on the roster are rookie Gorgui Dieng and journeyman Chris Johnson. Re-signing Pek will be a big priority going forward. Stay tuned for more.
As expected, the Minnesota Timberwolves announced today that they've waived center Greg Stiemsma and swingman Mickaël Gelabale.
I'm currently in Germany for a couple weeks so it's pretty late here, but it happened around 4-5pmCT in the States.
It was an expected move as it clears some cap space and eliminates some players we all know weren't going to see much/any time in 2013-14 for Minnesota.
With the Wolves drafting Gorgui Dieng with the 21st overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft that was a pretty clear sign that Stiemer's tenure in Minnesota was coming to an end. In Dieng, the Wolves have a younger, more athletic big man who is roughly the same size, but may be a bit more physical and also a good shot-blocker/rim protector.
For those who read HOWL, you know I wasn't a big fan of Greg Stiemsma as a player and had no problem voicing that displeasure this past year. I am glad that he's no longer on the team, but I don't hate him as a person, because with all the off-court events and the way the Wolves PR staff talked highly of him, you know he was a good person. I sincerely wish him nothing but the best in the future and hope he can jump on with another NBA team this summer.
With the Wolves drafting Shabazz Muhammad (14th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft), re-signing Chase Budinger, signing Kevin Martin and already having Derrick Williams and Alexey Shved on the roster, it was also pretty clear that Gelabale's tenure in Minnesota was also drawing to a close.
Mickaël was brought in, in January as the Wolves were desperate for healthy bodies. He ended up playing 36 games for the Wolves (as well as 13 starts). His role diminished as the season drew to a close and the Wolves got more players back (ie: Andrei Kirilenko & Chase Budinger).
With those two gone, the Wolves now have the following players under contract: Ricky Rubio, J.J. Barea, Luke Ridnour, Alexey Shved, Kevin Love, Derrick Williams, Dante Cunningham and Chris Johnson. Once the moratorium period ends, the Wolves can finalize the agreement deals with Chase Budinger and Kevin Martin. The Wolves also have yet to sign their two first-round picks: Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng (which is simply a formality and will happen). That gives Minnesota twelve players on guaranteed deals. Nikola Peković is still expected to be back on a new deal. Some rumors have the Wolves trading J.J. Barea or Luke Ridnour to further relieve the logjam at point guard--they could look to acquire a defensive-minded wing player like Milwaukee's Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (one name I've heard more than once in reference to this).
Despite a flurry of activity: AK declining his player option, agreements with K-Mart & Bud, drafting Shabazz & Gorgui, waiving Roy, Stiemsma & Gelabale; this summer, the Timberwolves aren't likely done making moves and with a potential trade to ship a point guard out of town, it's not just fine tuning that remains to be done (depending on your definition of fine tuning).
Stay tuned for plenty more!
The Minnesota Timberwolves have had a busy Tuesday night. It was announced around 5pmCT that the Wolves had re-signed Chase Budinger with a three-year/$16million contract.
About an hour later the Clippers landed J.J. Redick in a sign-and-trade, three-team deal. J.J. was reportedly offered a four-year deal by Minnesota that would've netted him roughly $3million more over the life of the deal. Taking J.J. off the Wolves' target list, their main targets then became either Mayo or Martin.
K-Mart then became Minnesota's main target and they obviously moved quickly because it was then announced just before 7pmCT that the Wolves had then come to an agreement with the free agent shooting guard...
The deal will pay him an average of $7million a year. Martin is 30-years old and this obviously means he's signed until he's 34.
This is a bit much to pay for an older shooting guard whose skills have begun to decline slightly. That being said, I'm still a big fan of this acquisition. The Wolves FINALLY have a competent shooting guard and by re-signing Budinger and grabbing K-Mart, Flip has done what he set out to do this offseason--surround Ricky Rubio with guys who can knock down threes and open shots.
Martin averaged 14 points on 45% FG for the Oklahoma City Thunder last season after being traded in the preseason in the deal that landed James Harden in Houston.
Martin will again join Rick Adelman. He was coached by him in Sacramento. Then Adelman left Sac-Town and a year later landed the Houston Rockets coaching job. The Rockets then swung a deal that nabbed them Martin. Now, K-Mart will join Adelman once again.
The Wolves' offseason isn't over yet, but they've had a great start. They added Shabazz Muhammad & Gorgui Dieng in the Draft, two players that should be part of the rotation in 2013-14. Today, they've re-signed Budinger and nabbed shooter Kevin Martin.
So, what's left to do? The Wolves will likely trade either Luke Ridnour or J.J. Barea. They'll either trade one of them for a defensive wing or for picks. If it's for picks, they could look at someone like Matt Barnes, Francisco Garcia or Al-Faroq Aminu in free agency. And lastly and MOST IMPORTANTLY re-signing center Nikola Peković.
This could go down as one of Minnesota's best offseasons in franchise history.
One unfortunate aspect of this offseason and by signing Martin is that the Timberwolves won't be able to re-sign Andrei Kirilenko.
With a starting lineup of Rubio, Martin, Budinger, Love & Peković the Wolves aren't very good defensively, but they will be a high-powered offensive team and if they can stay healthy, they could nab a low seed in the Playoffs and make some noise.
That's all for now, stay tuned for news on Nikola Peković and potential trades for Ridnour or Barea.
A TWolves fan, bringing you the daily updates.