Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves will have their 23-year-old arena restored. It will update the exterior of the building, improved amenities in the arena and make things nicer for the players behind the scenes.
The plan will be voted on by the City Council (for approval) on November 12th. The Wolves will play $43million, the city of Minneapolis will contribute $48.5million and the building manager (AEG) will pay $5.5million. It also extends the Timberwolves' lease in the arena through 2032. Looks as though the Timberwolves are here to stay.
TWolves Owner Glen Taylor said he'd have liked a new arena, but he understands that this was the best approach and made the most (common) sense. Understandable considering the Minnesota Golden Gophers Football team got a new stadium (TCF Bank Field) and the Minnesota Vikings will be getting a new football stadium adjacent to the Metrodome.
The initial plan was a renovation that would've cost $150million. That proposal was back in February of 2011. That number came down by over $50million, but it sounds as though the deal will go through and the much needed renovations should come to fruition.
The design work should begin this winter with construction (tentatively) scheduled for spring. Both the Timberwolves and the Lynx will continue to play in the building while construction gets underway.
The players will benefit the most from this overhaul. According to reports, the Target Center has some of the smallest locker rooms in the League, an incredibly small weight room and only one practice court. The Wolves are also looking at adding a practice facility and office space in a mostly empty lot across the street (known as Block E).
That's all for now, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
It was announced Saturday afternoon that the Minnesota Timberwolves had released center Chris Johnson. Johnson did have a guaranteed salary of roughly $916,000 for the upcoming season that he will still receive.
That now trims Minnesota's roster to 15 players with Robbie Hummel and A.J. Price making the team. Adelman says that both of them have done enough and played well enough to earn jobs. Depending heavily on the small forward rotation, but if Corey Brewer starts at the three, Hummel could be his primary backup, with Derrick Williams seeing time there as well. However, it's unlikely that Robbie will have a huge role on the team unless (knock on wood) we go through another painful (literally) injury-plagued season. Price will be a third-string point guard behind starter Rubio & sixth man J.J. Barea.
I was a little surprised that Jeffers didn't make the roster, but I think they made the right choice keeping these two guys. There's no doubt that Hummel is better than Johnson (granted they play different positions--but he also has more upside) and if you remember last season when Will Conroy made the team--A.J. Price is a MUCH better player that Will.
Chris Johnson will make just under $1million this season and he won't even have to play. That being said, I assume he'll still find a job somewhere, be it in the D-League, overseas or latching on with a big man-starved NBA team at some point this season.
Johnson was fun to watch last season with his incredible athleticism and wicked slam dunks, but the Wolves have much better depth at center this season. Instead of Stiemsma and Johnson behind Pek it's veteran Ronny Turiaf and talented defensive rookie Gorgui Dieng. CJ saw less than 10 minutes in the entire 7-game preseason, so it's really no surprise that he didn't make the cut...but rather was cut!
The Wolves could seemingly still cut Hummel or Price, but from the sounds of things, they'll be on the roster when the Wolves open up the season on Wednesday vs. the Magic at the Target Center. That's all for now, the season is just a few days away, GO WOLVES!
Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune tweeted this out just a few minutes ago...
After the first week of games, I thought for sure Othyus Jeffers would make the team and still felt that way up until Zgoda also added that Adelman had said that Robbie Hummel "just fits" with this team, be it the second unit or with the starters.
It seems pretty clear that Hummel will make the roster which leaves the last roster spot to either point guard A.J. Price or big man Chris Johnson. Although Johnson has the guaranteed money, I don't see how they could keep him. There's no playing time behind all the other big men on the roster, he saw less than 10 minutes all of preseason and the Wolves need another guard in their backcourt.
Assuming that Hummel & Price make the final roster, the depth chart would look like this...
PG: Ricky Rubio, J.J. Barea, A.J. Price
SG: Kevin Martin, Alexey Shved
SF: Corey Brewer, Robbie Hummel, Shabazz Muhammad, Chase Budinger
PF: Kevin Love, Derrick Williams, Dante Cunningham
C: Nikola Peković, Ronny Turiaf, Gorgui Dieng
Both Jeffers and Brown could play for the Wolves' D-League affiliate (the Iowa Energy). I know Jeffers is a free agent, however I don't know if Brown could technically sign with another team or if the Wolves still own his rights. I would assume since they waived him he's a free agent, but I honestly have no idea.
The Wolves' roster currently stands at 16 and the final 15-man maximum regular season roster is due by Monday (Oct. 28) by 4pmCT. Will have more on this before then, stay tuned!
The annual GM survey was featured on NBA.com today and for the first time in a while the Wolves were featured a bit more prominently throughout. The survey is taken by all 30 NBA general managers on their opinions & predictions for the upcoming season.
The survey began with the usual questions: Who will with the 2014 Finals? Eastern Conference Champs? Western Conference? MVP?
Champions? Miami Heat, 75.9%
East Champs? Miami Heat, 86.2%
West Champs? San Antonio Spurs, 40%
MVP? LeBron James, Miami; 69%
Today we're looking at what categories feature the Timberwolves, the players and the coaches...
Which Player is Most Likely to Have a Breakout Season in 2013-14?
1.) Anthony Davis, Pelicans; 27.6%
OTHERS: Kevin Love, TWolves
Who is the Best Power Forward in the NBA?
1.) Tim Duncan, Spurs; 31%
2.) Kevin Love, TWolves; 27.6%
Which Team will be Most Improved in 2013-14?
1.) Detroit Pistons; 16.7%
T-2.) Brooklyn, Cleveland, Houston, Minnesota, New Orleans & Wizards; 13.3%
Which International Player is Most Likely to Have a Breakout Season?
1.) Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto; 39.3%
2.) Ricky Rubio, TWolves; 17.9%
OTHERS: Nikola Pekovic, TWolves & Alexey Shved, TWolves
Which Head Coach Makes the Best In-Game Adjustments?
1.) Gregg Popovich, Spurs; 27.6%
2.) Rick Carlisle, Mavericks; 24.1%
3.) Doc Rivers, Clippers; 13.8%
T-4.) Rick Adelman, TWolves & Tom Thibodeau, Bulls; 13.8%
Which Head Coach Runs the Best Offense?
1.) Gregg Popovich, Spurs; 37.9%
2.) Rick Adelman, TWolves; 20.7%
Which Player is Best Moving Without the Ball?
1.) Ray Allen, Heat; 36.7%
OTHERS: Kevin Martin, TWolves
Best Offensive Rebounder?
1.) Kevin Love, TWolves; 41.4%
1.) Chris Paul, Clippers; 46.7%
T-2.) Rajon Rondo, Celtics & Ricky Rubio, TWolves; 16.7%
Makes the Most of Limited Natural Ability? (Unofficial White Guy Award)
1.) Kevin Love, TWolves; 24.1%
5.) J.J. Barea, TWolves; 6.9%
OTHERS: Nikola Peković, TWolves
You can find the full results from the GM Survery on NBA.com here.
I would also suggest checking out Kevin Love's twitter feed to get his feelings on winning the Unofficial White Guy Award for the second-straight season...
That's all for now, thank you for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
The Minnesota Timberwolves have picked up the 2014-15 team option on forward Derrick Williams. That means Minnesota will pay him $6,331,404 next season. However, that doesn't mean that Derrick is definitively part of the future in Minny.
If anything else it gives the Wolves options going forward. There's no doubt that as he continues to prove he can't play small forward and a healthy Kevin Love plays 40 a night at the four, he'll be dangled in trade talk all season long. If the Wolves want to get value out of him and if Williams wants to have an NBA career and reach his full potential, they'll trade him sooner rather than later.
I'm being blunt, I think it's mostly because I just watched the Vikings get pummeled by the previously winless Giants. I'm sure many of you saw that and know how grotesque it was.
I do think Derrick Williams can be a good player in this League, but I don't think it can happen here. The Wolves are in need of another wing player with Chase Budinger out for an extended stretch, why not shop a player in a position that you have a logjam at?
I don't think the Wolves will do anything until the February trade deadline...and they probably won't do anything there either.
The easiest solution would seem to have him play small forward. But with his current skill set that's like trying to fit a square block in a triangle hole...any two-year-old can tell you that doesn't work.
I think the Wolves had to pick up his option, but I'll be curious to see where we go from here and whether he'll still be on the team by season's end. Time will tell.
ESPN is nearing the end of their third-annual #NBARank and for the last time this year we're taking a look at where our final Minnesota Timberwolf player lands.
That final player and the superstar on the roster is two-time All-Star and former Most Improved Player of the Year: Kevin Love.
This is a very important season for Kevin Love, after breaking his hand not once but twice last season and then having surgery on his knee to effectively end his season, Love is fully healthy for the first time in a long time and in incredible shape.
From the small sample size we've seen from Love in the preseason has been a good sign and all signs point to him returning to an elite level.
It's sounding as though Rick Adelman is helping him round out his game and in addition to his stellar scoring and rebounding, Rick is also looking to have him be more of a playmaker and better defensively.
Love has more help than he ever has had at the NBA-level. He no longer has to score 30 points a night for the Wolves to have a chance to win. Kevin Martin and Nikola Peković will take a bit of the burden off of his shoulders, but don't think we won't see some incredible offensive performances from Mr. Love this season!
That concludes #NBARank for the Minnesota Timberwolves, let's get this season started! GO WOLVES!
This is simply a list of some former Minnesota Timberwolves that show up on #NBARank, included will be guys who were on the squad last year: Luke Ridnour, Greg Stiemsma, Malcolm Lee, Lou Amundson, etc. As well as any player that's ever worn a TWolves uniform. If I miss any, let me know! It will be updated daily as #NBARank continues...
With Chase Budinger out until at least late-November, the Minnesota Timberwolves are currently looking to sign another wing to back up starter Corey Brewer at the small forward.
The Wolves have Shabazz Muhammad behind Brewer as well as power forwards Derrick Williams and Dante Cunningham--who can play limited minutes there. It's obvious that Williams can't play small forward and Muhammad is going to spend quite a bit of his rookie season in the D-League.
As such, Flip & Adelman have been looking for veteran wing players who will play behind Brewer on the depth chart. Some options include...
Richard Hamilton. Rip spent the last two seasons in Chicago as the starting shooting guard, but he was inconsistent and injury-prone during that time. If he was to sign in Minnesota, a bit less would be asked of him. He has ties to Saunders during Flip's tenure in Detroit as the head coach.
Evan Turner. As far as a trade for a wing player goes, Philly's Turner is the most viable candidate. The Sixers are in full-tank mode and they're definitely willing to move him, likely for some combination of draft picks or young potential players.
Jerry Stackhouse, Marquis Daniels, Damien Wilkins, Mickael Pietrus, Donte Greene, DaJuan Summers & Sam Young. All players that remain free agents who are seasoned vets that could step in and contribute in one way or another.
Corey Maggette. Maggette spent last year in Detroit and these past couple weeks with the Spurs training camp. He was released a few days ago and he said if he didn't make the final cut in San Antonio, he would retire. I think he will, but I don't know that he'd be able to contribute much in Minnesota.
Hedo Turkoglu. Turk is stuck in limbo in Orlando's rebuilding project. He's owed over $11million this season (the last of his contract) and he's been working on a buyout, though nothing ahs gone through and they told him to stay away from the team. Similar to the Raja Bell situation in Utah last year. This is a player that the Wolves have discussed externally, however.
Josh Howard. Josh spent time with the Wolves last year and did really well in Minnesota before tearing his ACL and ending his season before the New Year. He's getting healthy and he's someone that Adelman liked last year and played for Saunders during his time in Washington.
Mickael Gelabale. Gelly played with the Wolves last season. He signed successive 10-day contracts in January and then to a rest-of-the-season deal in late-January. He contributed and was solid defensively. I think he'd be a ways down their list of players they want, but he's still an option.
If the Wolves do decide to sign someone, it will likely be before the beginning of the regular season (Oct. 30), so we should have more news on this VERY soon. Stay tuned!
The Timberwolves have played through four preseason games and one of the storylines as we head into the regular season, is who (if anyone) will be the 15th man on the roster?
The Timberwolves have fourteen fully-guaranteed contracts and four non-guaranteed training camp invitees who are battling for the fifteenth and final roster spot.
Those battling for #15: point guard A.J. Price, guard Lorenzo Brown, swingman Othyus Jeffers and forward Robbie Hummel.
Price is a former Wizard who has ties with new Timberwolves general manager Milt Newton. Lorenzo Brown was a second-round selection for the Wolves this summer, in the 2013 NBA Draft. Othyus Jeffers also has ties to the Wizards organization, with both Newton and Flip Saunders--who was his coach. And lastly, Robbie Hummel, Hummel was a second-round selection for the Wolves in the 2012 NBA Draft, by former President of Basketball Operations David Kahn.
All four of these players have seen some action in the preseason, below are their preseason stats through the first four games...
vs. CSKA: 14pts, 1reb, 2ast, 1fl, 5-7 FG, 0-1 3PT, 4-5 FT in 19 bench min.
@Toronto: DNP-Coach's Decision
vs. Milwaukee: 10pts, 1reb, 3ast, 2stls, 3tos, 1fl, 4-10 FG, 1-3 3PT, 1-1 FT in 21 bench min.
vs. Toronto: 5pts, 1ast, 1to, 1fl, 1-2 FG, 1-1 3PT, 2-2 FT in 6 bench min.
AVERAGES: 9.7ppg, 0.7rpg, 2apg, 0.7spg, 1topg, 1pfpg, 53% FG, 40% 3PT, 88% FT in 15.3mpg
vs. CSKA: DNP-Coach's Decision
@Toronto: 2ast, 2fls, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3PT in 17 bench min.
vs. Milwaukee: 6pts, 1reb, 1ast, 2-8 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-3 FT in 13 bench min.
vs. Toronto: DNP-Coach's Decision
AVERAGES: 3ppg, 0.5rpg, 1.5apg, 1pfpg, 20% FG, 0% 3PT, 67% FT in 15mpg
vs. CSKA: 6pts, 5reb, 3fls, 3-7 FG in 20 bench min.
@Toronto: 1reb, 1fl in 4 bench min.
vs. Milwaukee: 13pts, 6reb, 1stl, 3tos, 2fls, 5-9 FG, 3-5 FT in 25 bench min.
vs. Toronto: 1pt, 1reb, 2stls, 1to, 1fl, 0-3 FG, 1-2 FT in 20 bench min.
AVERAGES: 5ppg, 3.3rpg, 0.8spg, 1topg, 1.8pfpg, 42% FG, 57% FT in 17.3mpg
vs. CSKA: 5pts, 1fl, 2-3 FG, 1-2 3PT in 6 bench min.
@Toronto: DNP-Coach's Decision
vs. Milwaukee: 10pts, 4reb, 1to, 3fls, 3-10 FG, 1-2 3PT, 3-3 FT in 22 bench min.
vs. Toronto: DNP-Coach's Decision
AVERAGES: 7.5ppg, 2rpg, 0.5topg, 2pfpg, 38% FG, 50% 3PT, 100% FT in 14mpg
As of right now, I think it's coming down to A.J. Price and Othyus Jeffers for that final roster spot. Although, it is hard to gauge because Rick Adelman himself has had nice/good things to say about each and every one of these guys.
If I had to definitively eliminate at least one of these guys from contention, I would go with Lorenzo Brown. Brown hasn't played too much and although he's a decent perimeter defender, his offensive game is pretty terrible. I don't know where he'll go (overseas or D-League), but he Wolves will retain his rights and hope that he finds his shot.
Robbie Hummel has played well in the short time we've seen him on the court. He provides another very viable three-point option, however Minnesota's biggest need is another backup guard. With Budinger out the Wolves could use Hummel as a reserve at the small forward spot, but Jeffers provides the Wolves with a backup guard/forward who can do a little bit of everything, specializing in perimeter defense, energy, hustle and the ability to leave it all on the court.
One very likely option is that the Wolves waive center Chris Johnson and (potentially) sign two of these four guys. With that as a very likely scenario, the storyline becomes the Battle for 14th & 15th.
Chris Johnson signed a rest-of-the-season deal in 2013 and unbeknownst to most, David Kahn also threw in a fully-guaranteed 2013-14 salary of just under $1million. It's clear that he's not in the future plans as Rick Adelman has yet to put him out on the court, through these first four games. All the while, these four un-guaranteed players and the two new rookies (Muhammad & Dieng) have seen decent playing time.
Just because Johnson will likely be waived, doesn't mean the Wolves will sign two more players. It's a very difficult situation to read, however Rick Adelman said today that by the end of this week, he should have a pretty firm grasp on who will be on the roster opening day and also who will be major parts of the rotation. The Wolves have a full week of practice before they face the Boston Celtics on Sunday (Oct. 20) evening in Montreal.
That's all for now, stay tuned for more, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
ESPN is in the midst of their third-annual #NBARank and for the next few weeks while they unveil all 500 players ranked, we'll be taking a look at where our Minnesota Timberwolves players land.
Ricky Rubio landed at #49 this season with an average score of 6.82. That's down two spots (#47) a season ago.
This season we may actually get to have a full season of Ricky Rubio. We have yet to see him hit his full potential. He was playing very well when he blew out his ACL his rookie season, then last year he had to sit out for half the year as he still recovered from ACL surgery. He didn't return until mid-December and really didn't look like the Ricky Rubio of old until the last couple months of the season.
Now, he's had a full offseason where he's been able to play and work on his game (not having to rehab an injury) and he'll have a healthy cast around him as well. It's going to be a lot easier for him, when he's assisting to Kevin Love, Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger, Corey Brewer and Nikola Peković as opposed to Luke Ridnour, Andrei Kirilenko and Derrick Williams.
I'm really looking forward to tracking Rubio's progression this season and I REALLY hope he stays healthy all year. If these first few preseason games have shown anything from Rubio, it really hasn't been a lot of playmaking, but instead, he's shown of that he DOES indeed have a 15-17-foot jumpshot as well as a wicked new pump fake.
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