Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
NBA teams are now allowed to talk with the media about their teams, players etc. Teams such as the Houston Rockets, New Jersey Nets & the Philadelphia 76ers have already talked with the media today (Nov. 30th).
According to Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, Adelman & Kahn won't be available to make their post-lockout comments until sometime next week. However, Zgoda later stated (via Twitter) that Kahn will be meeting with the media on Thursday afternoon at the Target Center.
As noted in a previous post, all 30 practice facilities around the League will be open for all players (even free agents) on Thursday. As of right now, it's looking as though no players will be at the Target Center tomorrow, though the Timberwolves players will be meeting sometime next week for a few days before training camp begins (Dec. 9th). Of course, until then, the players and coaches (head & assistants) won't be able to work together, though strength & conditioning coaches can work with the players right away.
That's all for now, thanks for reading and remember to check back daily for all your TWolves news, information & updates all year round. GO WOLVES!
Before the '09 Draft
Every NBA team will be playing two games in the shortened preseason schedule.
To make it easier, as expected, the NBA set it up so that teams will be paired up with another team--geographically. As such, the two games for the Wolves will be versus the Milwaukee Bucks.
Other teams that have paired up include: Nets & Knicks, Kings & Warriors, Clippers & Lakers etc.
As such, Ricky Rubio's first taste of the NBA will come against another former European guard: Brandon Jennings who, instead of going to college decided to head overseas for a year.
That's all for now, thanks for reading and remember to check back daily for all your TWolves news, information & updates all year round. GO WOLVES!
The 2011 NBA training camps will be beginning league-wide on December 9th. However, like most teams, the Minnesota Timberwolves players will be meeting next week for a few pre-camp sessions.
Timberwolves forward and union player representative Anthony Tolliver has said that he expects him and his teammates to be gathered at the Target Center for at least a few days of their own workouts before training camps.
Team facilities of all 30 NBA teams will open next week which allow all players (even free agents) to workout. Strength and conditioning coaches of NBA teams can work with players, however, head coaches and assistant coaches aren't supposed to have contact with any players (we'll see if that happens though).
That's all for now, thanks for reading and remember to check back daily for all your TWolves news, information and updates all year round. GO WOLVES!
The NBA training camps open on December 9th and on Christmas Day the 2011-2012 season will officially begin. As such we're starting to look at the Timberwolves Season Preview. Starting today, with the potential starting lineups.
At point guard, the Timberwolves ultimately have two options. The first, is of course, their 2010-11 starting point guard: Luke Ridnour. Ridnour was initially signed as a veteran backup guard to Jonny Flynn. However, Flynn was out of the lineup for the first half of the season and Ridnour became an everyday starter. He was 'okay', but he's certainly not a top-10-20-or-30 point guard in this League. In fact, in ESPN's #NBARank he's ranked #182 overall and #37 among point guards (with a 4.51 rank). Ridnour isn't the answer at the point, but there's a good chance he could be the TWolves starting point guard on the Wolves' opening day. That of course, leaves Ricky Rubio as a potential starter. Rubio was originally drafted in 2009 with the 5th overall pick, however the 2011-12 season will be his rookie season. Rubio is the ideal point guard--a great playmaker that loves to get his teammates involved--which is a big reason he'll be a team favorite. However, like Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics, Ricky Rubio isn't known as a great shooter, which will cause defenders to sag off of him and force him to make shots. The good news is, during the lockout, for little under a month Rubio played and worked out in Los Angeles with the likes of Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett. He's reportedly worked diligently on his jumper, so, I won't be so quick to dismiss his abilities. My thoughts on the point guard position for Minnesota: Luke Ridnour will begin the season as the starting point guard, however, by seasons end, Ricky Rubio will be the full-time floor general.
At the shooting guard, the Timberwolves are definitely in need of a great shooting guard. Wesley Johnson was the starting shooting guard for the majority of last season, excluding when Kurt Rambis subbed in Corey Brewer as the starter at the two, moving Wes to the bench. Brewer, was of course traded to the Knicks in the Carmelo deal that landed Minnesota Anthony Randolph (Brewer was waived--then picked up by the Mavs) and Johnson was moved back into the starting lineup. At the shooting guard, the Timberwolves--right now, have two options: Wesley Johnson or Wayne Ellington. That is, if David Kahn doesn't end up signing anyone in free agency. Martell Webster could potentially start at the 2, but there are a number of critics who believe that Webster doesn't have the ability to defend quicker shooting guards. Hopefully Adelman can mold Wesley into a solid shooting guard as he's ultimately the Wolves' only option right now.
At the small forward, is where the Timberwolves have the biggest logjam. On the current roster there are currently six guys who can play the small forward: Michael Beasley, Derrick Williams, Martell Webster, Lazar Hayward, Anthony Randolph & Wesley Johnson. It ultimately comes down to two potential small forward starters: Beasley & Williams. Michael Beasley, was, of course, the Timberwolves' everyday starter last season. He's a great versatile scorer, who struggles on defense, but is a very young player with a lot of potential. Derrick Williams, was the Wolves' #2 overall pick in last year's draft. Williams is also a versatile scorer, who blossomed into a star in college. Though, like Beasley he needs to develop his position in the NBA. Both Beasley and Williams are below-average defenders, are versatile forwards, scorers, who can't rebound very well (though with K-Love it really doesn't matter). Ultimately, they'll both (hopefully) see plenty of floor time, but, at least on opening day, Michael Beasley will be starting.
At the power forward...well...come on...is there any doubt who will be starting at the 4 for the Minnesota Timberwolves? Yeah...it's Kevin Love, by seasons end it'll be Kevin Love and hopefully for the franchise, he'll be around for years to come. Double-double machine, rebounding master and according to Chris Mannix who talked to Love's personal trainer, Kevin's in the best shape he's EVER seen him.
At the center, like the shooting guard, the Timberwolves have a real problem with this position. The Wolves currently have three centers on the roster: Darko Milicic, Brad Miller & Nikola Pekovic. Darko was the everyday starter last season. He's in the second season of his 4-year $20M deal. Some fans are clamoring for Darko to be cut by the TWolves under the new amnesty clause, however, there's almost a zero-percent chance. If they cut Darko, who'll be at the 5? Despite is offensive inefficiencies, he's a solid defender and shot blocker. With Miller's ties to Adelman during his time in Sacramento & Houston, could potentially get some time as the Wolves' starting center. The last option is Anthony Randolph (yeah, Pekovic isn't really an option--at this time). Randolph has reportedly packed on at least 20 pounds of muscle since last season and at 6-11 he's an insanely athletic forward, with great shot blocking and low post attributes. I hope, Randolph gets a chance to play some center, whether he's the starting center or not. Ultimately, I expect Darko to be the man in the middle come opening day.
The Minnesota Timberwolves originally drafted Brandon Roy in 2006 with the 6th overall pick, however Minnesota's team doctors we 'wary' of his knees--and they were, of course: correct. They traded away Roy for Randy Foye, who was highly regarded as a potential superstar in this League, that of course, didn't/hasn't happened (Foye was drafted 7th overall by the Celtics who immediately traded him to Portland--before being traded to Minnesota) . Brandon Roy went on to become a big star in Portland and Randy Foye spent three years with the Timberwolves averaging 10.1ppg, 13.1ppg, 16.3ppg. He was then traded along with Mike Miller to the Washington Wizards for the 5th overall pick in the 2009 draft (who became Ricky Rubio).
Through five seasons with the Portland Trailblazers Roy has averaged 19ppg, 4.3rpg & 4.7apg. He's also accumulated some awards: the 2007 Rookie of the Year, NBA All-Rookie First Team (2007), three-time NBA All-Star (2008, 2009, 2010), All-NBA Second Team (2009), All-NBA Third Team (2010).
Brandon Roy is still, of course, in the midst of a heft 5-year contract he signed with Portland (now with just 2 years and over $30M). Under the rules of the new labor deal, every team can cut at least one player on their roster between now and the next labor agreement (2018). On two bad knees and a 'boat-load' of money, Blazers owner Paul Allen has already stated that Roy is as good as gone.
New Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman is reportedly very interested in Roy as the Timberwolves are in dire need of a ball-handling shooting guard to run alongside Rubio & the rest of the Young Pups. However, Roy is most likely interested in signing with a contender: Chicago, Oklahoma City, Boston, Orlando, Dallas etc.
Roy does have connections to the Timberwolves as new assistant coach Bill Bayno (formerly of the Trailblazers) has seen every game Roy has played since coming to the NBA.
The Timberwolves are definitely going to take a shot at landing Roy and it's definitely a gamble to take a chance on Roy, but--definitely something we'll be keeping an eye on. Thanks for reading and remember to check back daily for Timberwolves news, information & updates all year round. GO WOLVES!
The NBA is just a month away, with a triple-header beginning on Christmas day. That is of course--as long as the players and owners secure a majority vote. The owners need 15 out of 29 to okay the deal (the NBA still owns the New Orleans Hornets) and out of 430-some players, 266(ish) players need to okay it.
As such, the Minnesota Timberwolves have some work to do since training camps begin on December 9th. Most importantly, David Kahn needs to finish rounding out the roster:
GUARDS: Luke Ridnour, Ricky Rubio, Malcolm Lee, Wesley Johnson & Wayne Ellington
FORWARDS: Michael Beasley, Derrick Williams, Martell Webster, Lazar Hayward, Kevin Love, Anthony Randolph, Anthony Tolliver
CENTERS: Darko Milicic, Brad Miller & Nikola Pekovic
It's clearly evident the two clear needs for Minnesota is a solid shooting guard and an athletic young center. They also need players committed to playing defense. As David Kahn stated early in the summer--before the Lockout began, he was looking for young athletic players to run with the Wolves' new franchise point guard: Ricky Rubio. Training camps begin on December 9th and so does the free agency period.
Out of the 75-80 free agents currently out there, there;s certainly a handful that stand out as very possible additions for Minnesota.
--Jamal Crawford: Jamal is a veteran combo guard that's a great scorer, whose perimeter defense is certainly below-average. Because the Hawks decided not to offer him an extensions there's little chance he'll be back in Atlanta for '11-'12. There are a number of teams that have registered interest in Crawford's "services": the Hawks, Trailblazers, Heat & Bulls.
--Nick Young: Young is a great young shooting guard with an incredible knack for scoring the basketball. After the Wizards traded Gilbert Arenas to the Magic for Rashard Lewis, Nick became an everyday starter for Washington. Young's a restricted free agent and the Wizards are likely to match any offer for him. He's not what the Wolves need as he's a great scorer who doesn't play defense.
--Shannon Brown: Brown has a player option to return to the Lakers this season, but there's a good chance he'll opt out and hit the free agency 'waters'. Brown is an extremely athletic young shooting guard who has backed up Kobe Bryant for the past few seasons and has proven he's got what it takes to be an everyday starter in this League. No doubt, some team out there will give him that chance. The Timberwolves may be that team, if he could improve his defense slightly he'd be a welcome addition to the young Timberwolves. The Lakers and Bulls are teams who may be looking to sign Brown.
--Marc Gasol: The younger-tougher Gasol is a restricted free agent and there's almost no doubt that the Memphis Grizzlies will match any offers that come, no matter what. The New York Knicks are also interested in Gasol, however, there's absolutely no way the Knicks can afford him (if they intend on acquiring Chris Paul).
--Nene: Nene had an early termination option on his contract and has decided to exercise that option. Contenders Miami Heat & New York Knicks are expected to make an offer, though both teams aren't going to have the cap space that he'll be demanding. The Rockets or the Warriors are the most likely teams for him to land with--and of course the Nuggets. The Warriors would have to amnesty Andris Biedrens.
--Tyson Chandler: Chandler is a great defensive presence at 7-1 he's the glue guy--and he's the reason that on Christmas day, the Dallas Mavericks will receive their championship rings before they play...the...Miami Heat :) Chandler is already 30 years old, so there's no doubt that whoever signs him to a multi-year deal is going to regret it eventually--because they'll willingly overspend. Kahn is just that type of guy. However, if the Mavericks have someway of resigning him, that's the first and only place he'll be looking.
--Samuel Dalembert: Dalembert is veteran defensive big man, who's getting on in years, but can still ball. There's almost no doubt that he'll end up with one of these contenders: Miami, New York or Boston. If the Wolves could sign him to a one or two year deal, he'd be a huge addition.
--DeAndre Jordan: he's certainly one of the more exciting big men on the market. But of course, he's a restricted free agent and the Clippers like the Blake Griffin & Jordan frontcourt duo. So long as the offer(s) he receives aren't too outrageous, he'll be in a Clippers uniform this season. If not, the Timberwolves are definitely interested as are the Warriors, Rockets, Celtics, Heat, Knicks etc. etc. etc.
--Chuck Hayes: The 6-foot-6 center could easily follow Rick Adelman from Houston. Though that's a possibility, Hayes is happy in Houston and if they'll have him, he'll be back.
--Greg Oden: Oden is a restricted free agent and there will be a number of teams who may take a chance on him and if the contract is too outrageous, the Blazers will let him go. The Celtics were once rumored to be interested as have the Warriors and Rockets. He's not really worth the risk when you look at his injury history, so I would expect him to garner any "4-year, $40M" contract offers.
On December 9th, training camps will begin and the Minnesota Timberwolves players will finally get to meet Kurt Rambis' replacement: Rick Adelman. Rick Adelman is going into his 21st year as a head coach and he's certainly got the most difficult task yet. However, unlike Kurt Rambis' coaching approach which was attempting to force his players to conform to the triangle offense that makes zero-sense for any team without a Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, Rick Adelman creates a system around the talent he has, hence the reason his teams are always so successful. The Timberwolves will have roughly two or three weeks to implement a system and form an identity as a team.
For the first time in years the Timberwolves fans have a reason to be optimistic and excited for 2011-12. With new additions: Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams, Malcolm Lee & Rick Adelman and a full season of Anthony Randolph the Timberwolves are going to be one of the most exciting teams to watch this season. We'll be here for every game and every story all season long. Thanks for reading and remember to check back daily for all your Timberwolves news, information & updates all year round. GO WOLVES!
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