Blog Entry

T-Wolves are on the clock (UPDATE)

Posted on: June 23, 2009 11:13 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2009 6:24 pm
The keys to the draft are now tucked neatly in the hands of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

A flurry of pre-draft trade activity on Tuesday left Minnesota’s new GM, David Kahn, with four first-round picks – including the fifth and sixth – with clear designs on using at least two of them to move as high as needed to snag Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio or UConn center Hasheem Thabeet.

Or both.

The next 10 picks after the Clippers take Blake Griffin are no longer a bore. And if this works out the way Kahn envisions, neither are the Timberwolves.

To recap: Pending league approval, Minnesota has agreed to acquire Washington’s No. 5 overall pick along with Etan Thomas, Oleksiy Pecherov and Darius Songaila for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. With the fifth, sixth, 18th, and 28th picks, Minnesota is far from finished. A person familiar with the team’s plans said Minnesota is loaded for a run at Rubio, the gifted but raw 18-year-old point guard, and Thabeet, the 7-3 shot-blocker who would finally replace Kevin Garnett’s inside presence. “In a perfect world, both,” said the person with knowledge of Minnesota’s master plan.

Either way, this sends shivers through the Sacramento front office, which seemed to be hoping Rubio would be available with the No. 4 pick. Even more so, Kahn appears to have trumped his former boss with the Indiana Pacers, Knicks president Donnie Walsh, who has done a commendable job persuading some rival executives to believe that coach Mike D’Antoni wanted Rubio. But as much as Rubio’s play-making skills could energize D’Antoni’s free-wheeling, pick-and-roll offense, the player the Knicks covet is Davidson’s Stephen Curry, according to a high-level management source with knowledge of the team’s plans. But the Knicks believe they may not be able to land Curry with the eighth pick, as evidenced by their serious talks with Washington about the No. 5 selection – talks that stalled, according to a person familiar with them, when the Wizards balked at taking back Jared Jeffries and his $6.9 million player option for 2010-11.

Minnesota had to give up two proven commodities in Foye and Miller, and the deal came together like a perfect storm because of Washington’s desire to add veterans to its core of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison. The Wizards entertained numerous offers for the fifth pick, even exploring a deal with Phoenix that would’ve yielded Amare Stoudemire. They backed away from that one when the Suns asked for Butler.

In a draft in which team executives see no can’t-miss stars after Griffin, the Wizards didn’t want or need to pay a lottery pick to join a team that management believes is ready to contend now with a veteran roster and experienced coach, Flip Saunders. The trade also accomplished the Wizards’ goals of creating a roster spot and not taking back any salary beyond next season. The impact on Washington’s 2010-11 payroll is a wash.

The day began with a report that the Celtics had engaged in low-level discussions with the Pistons about a blockbuster scenario that would’ve sent Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen to Detroit for a package including Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, and Rodney Stuckey. The talks never went anywhere, but sparked league-wide curiosity about Boston management’s level of discontent with Rondo.

The Spurs struck first in what is shaping up to be a frenzied trading period, acquiring Richard Jefferson from Milwaukee for Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio Oberto. It was a clear sign that the Spurs are determined to make at least one more championship run with their core of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili. For Milwaukee, acquiring $11.3 million in contracts that expire after next season clears cap space to re-sign promising guard Ramon Sessions.

Oberto was, in turn, sent to Detroit for Amir Johnson as the Pistons continue obliterating their roster in preparation for the 2010 free-agent frenzy. Joe Dumars now has only three players under contract for 2010-11 – Prince, Stuckey, and Arron Affalo. UPDATE: The Pistons plan to buy out Oberto, thus trimming more payroll for next season.

So, welcome to the 2009 NBA draft, a.k.a. the new trade deadline.

Since: Sep 20, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2009 4:20 pm

T-Wolves are on the clock (UPDATE)

No, I don't think so. Kevin Love very good last year and I think they would keep both Jefferson and Thabeet.. There would be plenty of minutes for Love. Thabeet is an offensive liability, Jefferson is coming off major surgery, and they both could get into foul trouble on any given night...

Since: Dec 13, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2009 4:20 pm

T-Wolves are on the clock (UPDATE)

ok i suggest t wolves call ainge trade jefferson back to Celtics for kendrick perkins and eddie house

Since: Jan 22, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2009 4:11 pm

T-Wolves are on the clock (UPDATE)

In case you haven't heard, Jefferson now plays for the Spurs, so having Rubio dish to Thabeet and Jefferson would not only be exciting, it would also impossible.

Since: Jun 21, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2009 3:09 pm

T-Wolves are on the clock (UPDATE)

I agree,

I watch Syracuse ALL SEASON long, and everytime I saw Thabeet Flynn, and Devendorf could easily get in the paint and get him in foul trouble.. Blocked shots or not, he is a very likely bust...

With Al jefferson and Kevin Love in the front court the Timberwolves need a back court.. Get Rubio, or even flynn or curry and pick up a SG..

Try to trade 5th and 18th orr 6th and 18th to move up to get rubio.. Dont trade 5th and 6th it's not worth it. You can easily get a solid PG and SG in the 5th and 6th spot.. Address numerous needs this draft. 4 picks are rare to come by!! Prove yourself now Kahn

Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2009 2:41 pm

T-Wolves are on the clock (UPDATE)

The T wolves aren't done yet. They are still making moves. I think they will end up with the 2 pick to go with the 5 and 6. Memphis is rebuilding also and getting Love with the 2 later picks would make them do it. I hate how this team has been managed the last few years but if they can pull it off there will be buts in the seats again.

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: June 24, 2009 1:59 pm

T-Wolves are on the clock (UPDATE)

Is everyone crazy. Thabeet is a top 3 pick. He will not make it down to the 5th spot. Best case scenario is the Twolves get Tyrek Evans and Rubio/Curry/Harden. They can still get a solid point later in the draft like an Eric Maynor or Nick Calathes. Plus BJ mullens will be a steal at 18th pick. Add some size. They need a strong 2 guard. Solid threat that can hit the jumper locked down other teams top scorer. Harden adn Evans have to be their favorites right now. Stephen Curry will be interesting point. Sebastian can hold his own and solid point. Stephen Curry can be that scorer that can cause defenders havoc. Alot of options for the TWolves.

Since: Feb 5, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2009 1:31 pm

T-Wolves are on the clock (UPDATE)

How do the Grizz not get more of a mention in this article? Isn't it going to be hard for the T Wolves to draft either Rubio or Thabeet when those seem to be who Memphis is most likely to take whether they keep them or not? I'd guess if the Kings want Rubio they are going to need to swap the 2 for the 4. Similar for Minny, the Grizz hold the keys tomorrow night.  

Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: June 24, 2009 1:09 pm

T-Wolves are on the clock (UPDATE)

For the sake of the young men in the draft, I sure hope that I'm wrong on this, but I just don't think many of the guys drafted this year will be impact players.  Look at the projected lottery picks and honestly tell me that more than a handful will even be starters 5 years from now.  Rubio may end up a top PG, but the others are laregly role players.  Teams will appreciate the rebounds that Griffin will provide, Thabeet's defense, Harden's scoring punch, and Curry's leadership & tenacity; but they won't like the hefty contracts they'll have to pay for lottery picks when they could get more experienced role players for much less money.  I just can't believe Minnesota is trying to acquire more picks in a draft that is below average in talent.  Go ahead and draft a bunch of overpaid projects and see where that gets you - a permamnent seat at the Draft Lottery drawings for the next 3-5 years.  Again, I hope I'm wrong and I wish all of these guys a bright future.

Since: Mar 23, 2008
Posted on: June 24, 2009 1:04 pm

T-Wolves are on the clock (UPDATE)

That would be nuts.. Our draft could be something like Ricky Rubio, Hasheem Thabeet, and Tyreke Evans.

However, I like Love better than Thabeet. I would rather see us use our mid level exception on a big man and a solid back up veteran.

Since: Jun 24, 2009
Posted on: June 24, 2009 11:42 am

T-Wolves are on the clock (UPDATE)

I am Celtics fan, so I very interested to see what the WOLVES do with these picks.  They can instantly be a STRONG contender def. the playoffs if they use the picks well.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or