Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves have brought former Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Lazar Hayward, back to Minnesota.
Lazar was originally drafted by the Wizards in the 2010 draft (30th overall) and traded to the Wolves on draft night. He played 42 games for the Wolves in 2010-11 with averages of 3.8ppg, 1.7rpg, 0.7apg, 0.2bpg, 0.3spg in 10.0mpg.
He was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder prior to the start of last season for two second round draft picks and Robert Vaden (who was waived shortly thereafter).
He played 26 games for the Western Conference Champion Thunder last season with averages of 1.4ppg, 0.6rpg, 0.2apg, 0.0bpg, 0.1spg in 5.4mpg.
For the second-straight offseason, he was again traded--this time to the Houston Rockets in the James Harden deal. Unfortunately due to all the forwards on the Rocket roster already, Hayward was expendable and was waived shortly after being traded.
He hasn't played at all this season, he did recently sign with the D-League D-Fenders, but didn't play any games.
The Wolves announced his signing on Monday afternoon. Hayward's contract with the Wolves is a non-guaranteed deal. All NBA deals become guaranteed on January 10th, which means he could very well be here for just a few days before being waived. Which begs the question...what's the point?! I have serious reservations that he'll see much court time, Adelman won't play him if it doesn't help the team.
The Wolves do play five games up until that January 10th deadline, which start on January 2nd (Wed.) vs. the Jazz in Utah.
I wouldn't expect Lazar to play much or be on this Wolves squad for very long.
That's all for now, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
The need for a defensive-minded swingman has become even more prudent with Brandon Roy's recent setback. Had he been able to come back and play on Saturday vs. the Suns and be available, he would have at least partially (or for the time being) filled that need for another swingman/guard off the bench.
Unfortunately Roy has been ruled out for the next 3-4 weeks and no one is very optimistic that he'll be coming back and be a contributing member on this team.
As such, the TWolves will definitely need to sign someone to fill that backup small forward spot, who can also defend some of the better players in this League. Someone like...Josh Howard...
I've talked about the Wolves' interest in Mickael Gelabale, though I've heard he doesn't have an opt-out clause in his contract until January 30th. That may have changed or can be worked around/through. According to Darren Wolfson today via Twitter, Gelabale is interested in coming to Minnesota, but only if the Wolves are willing to give him a 20-day guarantee.
It's rumored that the Wolves are waiting until January 5th, when teams can begin signing player to 10-day contracts. There is also a deadline for contracts to become fully guaranteed, which is January 10th. I have serious doubts that the Wolves would sign someone to a 10-day contract. The type of player that is going to play on a 10-day contract isn't someone that can contribute very much to this squad. And Adelman has already said that the Wolves won't just sign someone to sign someone--and if they do, he won't see much court time.
Clearly there is a gaping hole in the depth chart at small forward behind Andrei Kirilenko and the need for someone became very clear in Saturday's game vs. the Suns, when the Wolves had a lineup of J.J. Barea, Derrick Williams, Dante Cunningham, Kevin Love & Nikola Pekovic on the floor together with D-Will playing shooting guard.
One player that the Wolves brought in for a workout--James Anderson, signed a deal with the Houston Rockets on Sunday afternoon. The Wolves had already decided to pass on him, though.
We should know more about this by week's end or the beginning of next week at the latest. Stay tuned for more, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Brandon Roy returned to practice this past week. He fully participated in Thursday's practice and said afterwards that his knee 'felt good'. He said that if all went well on Friday, he would more than likely return on Saturday vs. the Suns.
Unfortunately, Roy didn't practice on Friday because of 'personal reasons', which we ultimately found out was knee-related.
Roy has suffered another setback and his return to the Wolves and to basketball is very much in question and the possibility of retirement looms. Roy has reportedly been contemplating retirement for the past two days. He also missed Saturday's shootaround.
It's certain that Kahn is trying to talk Roy out of it. He has a lot invested in Roy as he gave him a two-year $10.4million contract this summer. Luckily the second year of the contract isn't guaranteed and will be declined this summer--if he doesn't retire.
Ultimately Roy's options at this point seem to be (a) another procedure in hopes that he can play a few more games (b) retirement. Looking on Twitter, there were pictures today of the Wolves preparing for a press conference. It's all but certain that Brandon Roy will be retiring from basketball once again, sometime in the very near future.
We'll have an update later as there should be more news on this VERY soon. Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
UPDATE (12/29 @10:30amCT): Roy practiced on Thursday and 'felt good' and if all went well at practice on Friday, he was likely to debut on Saturday vs. the Suns. Unfortunately he missed Friday's practice for 'personal reasons' and now his return is once again in question and doubt. Many assume these 'personal reasons' are knee-related and might spell the end of Roy's career...once again. Stay tuned, we should hear more on this prior to tonight's game vs. Phoenix.
Brandon Roy hasn't played in an NBA game since Nov. 9th, it was probably a week after that game (vs. the Pacers) that we found out Roy would need surgery on his right knee. It was the seventh knee surgery for Roy dating back to his high school days.
Roy underwent arthroscopic surgery on that right knee and was to be out for a month. Now, in late December it's sounding as though his return to the hardwood is very near.
Roy fully participated in Thursday's practice and is expected to do the same tomorrow (Friday). If all goes well, Roy should be available this weekend when the Wolves face the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.
Roy will be a welcome addition. The Wolves are QUITE thin in the 'wing department' after injuries to Chase Budinger and Malcolm Lee as well as Josh Howard, who tore his ACL and was waived.
I'd say it's almost certain that Roy will be coming off the bench, while Alexey Shved continues to start at shooting guard. He'll likely be in the backcourt with Ricky Rubio coming off the bench. Which could spell great things for Roy as Rubio will be able to find him for wide open looks.
Roy definitely struggled to start the season. Through five regular season games he's 11-35 (31%) from the field and 0-9 from three. The one thing that he did show off in those nine games was his passing ability. Through five games Roy dished out 23 assists, with a season-high vs. Orlando on Nov. 7th, when he finished with 9 dimes.
The TWolves (excluding Roy) currently have four players averaging at least four assists a game: Alexey Shved (4.4), Luke Ridnour (4.4), J.J. Barea (4.4) and Ricky Rubio (4.0). What the Wolves will need from Roy is points--someone to pass the ball to and trust that he'll knock down shots. There's no doubt he struggled in those first five games of the regular season, however we now know it was because that knee was bothering him (Roy bumped knees with another player in MIN's final preseason game and he says it didn't feel right following that, he re-aggravated it in that game on Nov. 9th--prompting the surgery).
Roy will be a welcome addition--and here's hoping he'll be able to put points on the board and help the Wolves as they are in dire need of help at the 'wings'.
I'll be updating this story following Friday's practice and hopefully another update on Saturday that'll say he'll be playing. Stay tuned for that, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Chase Budinger tore his lateral meniscus early in the season after being pushed to the floor by Marco Belinelli in a loss to the Chicago Bulls on November 10th. We found out a few days later that he'd be out for 3-4 months. That makes his return date sometime in March.
Because of this, Josh Howard was signed to a non-guaranteed veteran's minimum offer in mid-November. Less than a month later, in Minnesota's win over the New Orleans Hornets on December 14th he went down with an injury. It was initially thought he had a hyperextended knee and he was hoping to return on the following Sunday in that game in New York. He had an MRI earlier that week and we found out he tore his ACL and it was a season-ending injury. As such, Howard's non-guaranteed contract came off the books (he was waived) and the Wolves now have an open roster spot, they'll be looking to fill with a defensive-minded swingman.
Minnesota is looking to fill that open roster spot with a player that can play both wing positions and whose specialty is defense.
With Malcolm Lee likely out for the season with a 'chrondal' injury in his right knee, the need for another wing player becomes even more vital.
Brandon Roy is expected to return to the active roster this weekend vs. the Phoenix Suns, he'll definitely fill a void in the 'wing department'.
Because Roy is returning very soon, the need for another wing isn't as important. The most likely scenario for the Wolves is they wait until January 5th when teams can begin signing 10-day contracts. The Wolves could then sign a player to two 10-day contracts.
It's sounding as though the player the Timberwolves are most interested in is Mickael Gelabale. Gelabale is played for Valencia BC of the Spanish League. Mickael is a 29-year-old, 6'7" swingman that was in the NBA from 2006-2008 with the Seattle Supersonics. He was originally drafted by Seattle in the 2005 NBA Draft, 48th overall. He has an opt-out clause in his contract on January 30th.
The TWolves could then seemingly sign someone like Lazar Hayward, James Anderson, Donte Greene or Joey Graham to two 10-day contracts and then sign Gelabale at the end of the month, when he can opt-out.
From all the rumors I've heard, that scenario sounds the most likely. However, things can change very quickly. January 30th is a full month away and we could lose a guy like Andrei Kirilenko or Alexey Shved to injury, which would necessitate a trade or a free agent signing immediately.
Those players listed above for the potential 10-day contract targets are some of the names we've heard circling the rumor mill. James Anderson was in training camp with Atlanta before being waived and then signed back with the Spurs, but was waived before his contract became fully-guaranteed (and the Spurs were getting some of their wing players back from injuries). He was put through a workout earlier this week by the Wolves, however just today it was announced he signed with Rio Grande of the D-League. That doesn't mean much, he could still be called up and play in the NBA again this season. Former Wolf Lazar Hayward was also in for a workout. He was traded last offseason to the Thunder and was traded again this past summer from OKC to Houston in that James Harden deal. He was shortly thereafter waived by Houston. Joey Graham is the other player they've had in for a workout. Like I said these are just a few guys whose names have come up in Minnesota's search for a swingman.
A quick note. When the Wolves were looking to sign Josh Howard, they also made the same offer (veteran's minimum) to free agent Mickael Pietrus. Howard responded 'yes' first and was signed. A week or two later, Pietrus signed a veteran's minimum deal with the Toronto Raptors. Thus, he's obviously not an option for a 'free agent signing'.
That's all for now. Again, the most likely scenario is signing a player to a 10-day contract on January 5th--that's definitely a date to remember. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
The Wolves signed Howard just over a month ago in mid-November after losing Brandon Roy and Chase Budinger to injuries. Now, word came today that he's been waived.
It was initially thought that Howard hyperextended his knee in the game vs. the Hornets. Howard was hoping to return this Sunday vs. the Knicks. This morning he underwent an MRI that revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The injury is season-ending.
Kahn says that they waived Josh because of the immediate need of a player at the wing position. There is clearly a big hole in the second unit behind Andrei Kirilenko at the small forward.
Some free agent targets that have been thrown out include former-Bucks Michael Redd & Chris Douglas-Roberts. I'd assume that the Wolves will look to sign someone in the very near future, so we should now more in the next day or two.
Until then, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
Point guard Will Conroy joined the Minnesota Timberwolves this summer and played in four regular season games with the Wolves during the month of November.
After injuries to Brandon Roy and Chase Budinger the TWolves were in dire need of another swingman. Conroy was waived so the Wolves could sign Josh Howard (who is now also dealing with an injury).
So, Conroy is back with the Wolves! But...he won't be throwing on a uniform and hitting the court, but rather will become a spectator for some NCAA and NBA games as the newest member of the Minnesota Timberwolves scouting staff. The 30-year-old Conroy says this isn't the end of his playing days, but rather a hiatus.
His relationship with Brandon Roy likely has a small part to do with him receiving this role (and making the roster this summer), however it's clear the Wolves are fans of him as a person and of his character.
That's all for now, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
For the past week we've been hearing rumblings that Ricky Rubio is likely to make his season debut against the Mavericks on Saturday at the Target Center.
It became official this afternoon as he was cleared by the medical staff to play.
It's remains uncertain as to whether Adelman will start him at point guard or not, but look for him to play 16-20 minutes.
That's all for now, GO WOLVES!
If I was one of the few healthy Wolves' players on the team I would double wrap my knees in bubble wrap as knee injuries appear to be contagious for the Wolves this season. Ricky Rubio, Brandon Roy, Chase Budinger and now Malcolm Lee.
Lee was injured in Wednesday's game vs. the Nuggets and today we found out that it's a 'chrondal' injury in his right knee and he's currently listed as out indefinitely,
Because of all the injuries the Wolves had already suffered, Lee was Minnesota's starting shooting guard bringing energy and perimeter defense to the starting lineup.'
Minnesota's training staff says he'll need further evaluation to determine the next steps in his treatment.
Alexey Shved will now step in as the team's starting shooting guard, something that TWolves fans have been clamoring for, however it's certainly unfortunate he had to come like this. Rubio is scheduled to debut on Saturday and Roy could be back by Christmas/New Years.
A 'chrondal' injury involves cartilage damage. Lee is no stranger to knee injuries, he sustained a torn meniscus that cost him nearly his entire rookie season. Hopefully it's not a season-ending injury and we can see him again this season!
That's all for now, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
By now, I'm sure most of you have read the article published on Yahoo! Sports about Kevin Love and the Timberwolves' front office.
If not, here it is: Kevin Love unsure about Timberwolves' future.
Most of us realize this isn't anything new from Kevin Love, just three months prior Kevin Love spoke to the media and made a statement with ultimately the same quotes and jabs at the Wolves front office and his uncertainty of his future in Minnesota.
I already knew all this information reading that article, however it didn't keep my heart from dropping. For the first time in years the Wolves are a bonafide playoff team around a core of Love, Rubio, Kirilenko and Pek. I was mad when he initially made those comments, however this time I was just fearful for the Wolves' future.
I agree that the timing of this article and to bring up all these issues was poor on Love's part, especially since the Wolves were at the time a .500 team and very much in the playoff hunt while awaiting the return of Ricky Rubio.
I think it's clear that there's plenty behind the scenes we don't know about and I personally believe it stems from owner Glen Taylor. Kevin Garnett spent the majority of his career here, however upon his departure it was clear the Wolves front office left a sour taste in his mouth. Was it Kevin McHale? Perhaps. Glen Taylor? More likely.
Kevin Love clearly holds a grudge against David Kahn. I think we all know there aren't many in the NBA circles that have nothing but nice things to say about David. I guarantee there will be an uproar if Kahn is extended and the Wolves have to trade Love to a big market like L.A. or if he declines that player option and leaves for absolutely nothing.
There's not a doubt in my mind that Kevin Love was deserving of that 5-year $80million extension. My stance on that was solidified when James Harden received that identical extension when he was traded from the Thunder to the Rockets prior to the start of the 2012-13 season. Harden is a top 40 player in this League and a top 10 shooting guard, however I can't fathom him getting that kind of extension and a bonafide all-star like Kevin Love who is clearly a franchise cornerstone, not getting that top dollar amount.
Although David Kahn and Glen Taylor deny it, it's pretty clear that they're saving that big extension for Ricky Rubio (they can only offer it to one player). Rubio is Kahn's guy, David drafted him and finally convinced him to come to Minnesota last season (likely what saved his job when Taylor picked up the option on his contract this summer). Kevin Love has said he loves Ricky and he'll be happy for him and won't hold any grudges if he gets the big extension.
David Kahn doesn't seem to worried about all of this as he knows that the Wolves can offer Kevin the most money. I find this to be a shortsighted stance, Kevin Love maintains that he wants to play for a contender.
If Dwight Howard resigns in L.A. after this season, can you imagine a Kevin Love-Dwight Howard frontcourt?! They'd average 60 rebounds a night as a team! I do feel that if Love was to leave Minnesota (says he will if they don't have a contender in two years) that L.A. is his most likely destination.
The biggest thing that stood out for me was what Kahn and Taylor had to say about Kevin Love. Ultimately that he wasn't a franchise player, because he hadn't led the team to a playoff appearance yet. If I was Love, I'd be furious about that. This is a guy who has spent his NBA career proving people wrong while transforming his body and his game to become the greatest power forward in the NBA today! The reason the Wolves haven't had a playoff team is because of poor roster decisions. Wesley Johnson, Jonny Flynn, Darko Milicic, etc. The Wolves have finally shown some sensibility this offseason with the additions of Andrei Kirilenko, Alexey Shved, Chase Budinger and Dante Cunningham. However I attribute that almost 100% to Adelman. Kahn had plenty of chances at smart roster moves in the past and instead signed Darko to a 4-year $20million deal, drafted two points in the 2009 draft (luckily Ricky is working out--Flynn on the other hand is playing ball in Australia now) as well as their 2010 (Wesley Johnson) and 2011 (Derrick Williams) draft choices. Wesley was awful last season and is now playing in Phoenix, unable to crack the rotation and Williams is biding his time as it's become clear he's on the way out. Lest we not forget hiring Kurt Rambis as our head coach.
Honestly, I pray David Kahn doesn't have his hands on this franchise after this season, however Glen Taylor likes him and it's all but certain he'll remain the President of Basketball Operations.
If Kevin Love is gone after two years and the Wolves have nothing or next to nothing to show for it the Timberwolves front office will only have themselves to blame. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
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