Year-Round News & Updates on the Minnesota Timberwolves
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!
A TWolves fan, bringing you the daily updates.