Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
There was speculation that Ricky might play on Wednesday vs. the Nuggets at the Target Center, however a few hours before tipoff head athletic trainer Gregg Farnam ruled him out.
Now, the TWolves play the Hornets in New Orleans on Friday. Rubio could play, however he's said he wants to make his debut at the Target Center in front of the TWolves faithful.
That means, barring any kind of setback--Ricky will play his first game of the 2012-13 campaign on Saturday night vs. the Dallas Mavericks at the Target Center.
It remains unseen whether or not he'll be placed directly into the starting lineup. Adelman could continue to start Ridnour and Lee and bring Ricky off the bench for the time being, perhaps Rick goes back to that Rubio-Ridnour lineup he used the majority of last season or (hopefully) we may get to see that Rubio-Shved backcourt. I'm thinking that Adelman decides to bring him off the bench for these first few games (if sitting on the bench following warmups doesn't make that knee 'stiff' or 'sore').
Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
There's no doubting that Derrick Williams' time in Minnesota has been a disappointment. He began 2012-13 as the team's starting power forward--only because Kevin Love missed the first nine games of the season with that broken hand.
Now, with the play of Dante Cunningham, Williams has seen very limited time off the bench. It's been nine games since Love returned and D-Will moved to the bench. Derrick has played in five of those games while receiving four 'did not play--coach's decisions'. In those five games, he's averaging just 12.8mpg.
The biggest problem remains that he doesn't have an exact position in the NBA. Is he a small forward? Is he a power forward? Those are questions that will plague him throughout his entire NBA career. If Derrick was an exclusive small forward, he'd be seeing more playing time and have a big future with this team. Unfortunately he doesn't really have an NBA position--he plays power forward, but it's clear when you watch him that he doesn't do that too well. Derrick doesn't have the foot speed, perimeter defense or consistent outside shooting touch to be a reliable small forward. He also struggles finishing in 'traffic' and with post moves to be a reliable power forward.
Watching him in the first nine games of the season, it's clear that his post defense HAS improved. He had some solid defensive games against the likes of Indiana's David West and Chicago's Carlos Boozer (among others).
Derrick's name has surfaced in trade rumors, however Williams says he hasn't gone to David Kahn to ask for a trade. The most persistent rumor is a trade that involves Nikola Pekovic, J.J. Barea or Luke Ridnour and Derrick to the Lakers for Pau Gasol. Kahn shot those rumors down, however it's guaranteed that anytime the Wolves are in discussions with other teams for trades, Williams' name will be the focal point. With the depth at small forward (Kirilenko, Howard and Budinger--when he returns) and the depth at power forward (Love, Cunningham, Amundson; as well as AK) and as he continues to pile up DNP-CDs it's all but certain that Williams will be playing for a different squad by the trade deadline OR during the 2013 offseason.
That's all for now, however expect to hear more on this for quite some time, until next time, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
The Minnesota Timberwolves moved back to .500 on the season following a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
Without their two leading scorers the Cavaliers struggled to score and posted a season-worst (for a TWolves opponent) in points (73) and field goal percentage (34.5%).
The Cavs also made and attempted a season-low (for a MIN opponent) in free throws, something that Cavs head coach Byron Scott was not too pleased with. The TWolves went to the line 35 times (making 27) while Cleveland went to line just 9 times (making 6).
Scott said the officiating was "that bad." He said: "I mean I understand we're playing in Minnesota, but 35-9, we went to the basket just as much as they did."
In comparison, TWolves two-time All-Star forward Kevin Love went to the line a season-high 18 times (making a season-high 14 times), which is twice as many as the entire Cavs squad did.
The League fined him $25,000 for criticizing the officials.
That's all for now, the TWolves aren't back in action until Wednesday vs. the Nuggets, we'll have a gameday preview of that one Tuesday night (following the Nuggets game vs. Detroit). As always, thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
UPDATE (12/10 @7:15amCT): David Kahn talked to the media on Thursday to address the Pau Gasol trade rumors and stated firmly that the Wolves were NOT in talks with the Lakers for a trade and that he hadn't spoken to anyone in the Lakers organization about Gasol since June (when he was pushing hard for a trade for Gasol around the NBA Draft). Kahn said it's unfair to guys like Pekovic, Williams, Ridnour, Barea, etc. when their names surface in trade rumors--things like that can get into a players head and he just wants those guys to be carefree and continue performing well for the Wolves. There's no doubting that Gasol will be traded at some point, whether it's in a week, just before the trade deadline or in the 2013 offseason and until Gasol isn't wearing purple & yellow, you can expect the Wolves to be a team interested in his services. Though Kahn has said he wants to wait until Rubio is back and playing at 100% until he decides if any deals need to be made.
The Los Angeles Lakers' struggles this season have been well-documented. Really any time the Lakers do anything...it's well-documented.
Making headlines for the Lakers this season? Acquired Dwight Howard from Orlando. Terrible start to the season. Fires head coach Mike Brown. Hires Mike D'Antoni as replacement. Kobe hits 30Kpts. Any and all Laker struggles are place on their all-star big man: Pau Gasol.
Pau Gasol has taken the brunt of the criticism thanks to his 'soft' play and his inability to play in new head coach, D'Antoni's system. It's because he doesn't fit in Mike's system that he's likely to be moved, however GM Mitch Kupchak is adamant that they won't trade Gasol until he has a chance to play with Steve Nash (in this new system). It remains to be seen exactly when Nash will be back, but Kupchak's stance on trading Gasol could change before then.
They reportedly have offers on the table already, one of which comes from our Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves are rumored to be offering 2011's #2 pick Derrick Williams, big man Nikola Pekovic and either Luke Ridnour or J.J. Barea. In return? Pau Gasol. The other comes north of the border from the Toronto Raptors. They're reportedly offering former #1 pick Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon and swingman Linas Kleiza.
So, what do I think about the TWolves' offer? How do you 'type' a fart sound? I'm against any and all trades that involve Nikola Pekovic. He's my favorite player. Not only is he one of the best interior scorers in the League and the strongest player in the NBA, he's ever improving and only 26 years old. Pau Gasol is more talented, however he comes with a bigger price tag, questionably healthy knees and he's 32. As far as Derrick Williams and Luke Ridnour/J.J. Barea, I'd be all right with that. Derrick Williams isn't ever going to have the kind of role on this team that he'll need to become a serviceable forward in this League. He needs a team like the Bobcats, that he can grow with and be a big part of their rotation. I'd prefer Luke Ridnour goes, my stance on those two (Luke & J.J.) has changed over the past couple weeks. Don't get me wrong, I (now) like them both, however J.J. has shown to be a much better player, the way he can drive the lane for easy layups or a kick out to a wide open teammate is making me like him more and more.
If I was the Lakers, I'd take that Toronto offer and run! They get the stretch four that they want in Bargnani. A big man to play alongside Dwight that'll make defenders roam out of the paint to cover him leaving Dwight with more one-on-one situations down low. They get a backup point guard in Jose Calderon. Jose is a very capable starter in this League and with Steve Nash's health and return date in question (as well as Steve Blake's) the Lakers would get a HUGE upgrade over their current starting point guard: Chris Duhon. Lastly they also get a solid shooting swingman in Linas Kleiza. Kleiza could come right in as the backup to World Peace and provide shooting and defense off the bench. The Lakers get three great rotation players for the underperforming Pau Gasol!
If Pau did get traded to Minnesota my initial reaction wouldn't be pretty (only if they have to give up Pekovic). If there is a way that the TWolves could acquire Pau Gasol and not trade Rubio, Kirilenko, Love or Pekovic I would be okay with this. If Kahn was able to pull that off...oh wait...this is Kahn we're talking about... Nonetheless, a starting lineup of Rubio, Lee (or Shved?!), Kirilenko, Love and Gasol would go from fringe playoff team to top 5 seed in the West.
Clearly this is a very short-term look at things, if the Wolves are giving up D-Will & Pek, they're looking to win (a lot) NOW! It makes sense though, owner Glen Taylor is looking to sell the club (it's easier to sell a winner), Adelman is 66 and has two years after 2012-13 on his contract AND you also want to keep your superstars happy, Kevin Love & Ricky Rubio won't want to stick around a club that's 'allergic' to winning.
Hearing that the Wolves are okay with including Pekovic in this deal tells you that they aren't so sure they want to be the team that pays him this summer. Pek is a top center in this League and if guys like JaVale McGee & Omer Asik are getting deals between $8-$12 million, you can expect a max deal for Nikola.
That's all for now, this isn't the last we'll hear about this, Kahn will be interested until the day Gasol gets traded...and let's be frank, we all know Pau won't be a Laker come the Trade Deadline in February. Thanks for reading HOWL and GO WOLVES!
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