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Tag:Timberwolves
Posted on: August 4, 2010 8:49 am
 

Shootaround 8.4.10: The Z-Bo Conundrum

Posted by Matt Moore

  • Could Shaq be coming off the bench ? Sure, it makes sense, but the big guy has never come off the bench, not even last year in Cleveland. And there's been no indication that he's had some sort of ego-check over the past four months. It's much more likely that this could cause some friction off the bat. If the Celtics go on a losing streak, you're going to hear from O'Neal. The Shaq one. Not the Jermaine one. Man, this is going to get confusing.
  • The Grizzlies have a conundrum on their hands with Zach Randolph. Z-Bo wants a pricey new contract extension. The Grizzlies face a strict new CBA next year. The problem is that Randolph is Memphis' first All-Star since Pau Gasol and is credited with the lion's share of the success Memphis had last season. The fact that this is wholly incorrect (Marc Gasol's pinch post play and Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo's ability to spread the floor were what allowed Randolph room to work; Randolph is the tip of the spear) is irrelevant, his performance was clearly outstanding and he deserves a bump. But at his age, with his locker room concerns, and a hazy ceiling for this Grizzlies team, committing long-term may not be the best plan.
  • Magic Basketball lays out the comprehensive case for the prime of Tracy McGrady in NBA lore.
  • Roundball Mining Company reviews the Mark Warkentian era and comes to this conclusion: "The ultimate flaw in the Warkentien ear was the Nuggets inability to see the need to add another quality big man during the 2009-10 season." The lesson here is: It doesn't matter how much you build a team up, it's that one step back that kills you.
  • They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. If Mike Wells is right , the Pacers are insane.


Posted on: July 27, 2010 10:37 am
Edited on: July 27, 2010 10:38 am
 

So THAT'S why you have four point guards

Posted by Royce Young

See, it all makes sense with David Kahn now. He knew exactly what he was doing.

Jonny Flynn didn't participate during the summer league due to a hip injury and it's bad enough that he'll undergo surgery next week to fix the problem, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports . According to Spears, Flynn will be out 3-4 months.

What a wild summer for Minnesota. Wesley Johnson turns out to be a bit of a controversial draft pick because of DeMarcus Cousins' talent. Martell Webster is acquired on draft day. Darko Milicic gets a hefty extension. Then the Wolves start dealing, grabbing Michael Beasley, Delonte West, Sebastian Telfair, while trading former franchise player Al Jefferson to Utah. Luke Ridnour is signed. Kahn is fined for saying Beasley smoked too much pot. And now their starting point guard is hurt. It's unlucky and weird, but just seems about right for the Wolves right now.

Luke Ridnour, who was signed recently, will start until Flynn returns. Delonte West who the Wolves acquired yesterday will reportedly be released, but Sebastian Telfair who came along in the deal can serve as a third point guard for the Wolves while Flynn recovers.

Posted on: July 14, 2010 11:43 am
Edited on: July 14, 2010 11:45 am
 

Report: Ridnour accept four-year deal with Wolves

Posted by Royce Young

Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Luke Ridnour has accepted Minnesota's four-year, $16 million deal. Wojnarowski also said the Wolves are looking to move Ramon Sessions to Charlotte.

That makes sense because of course the Wolves don't want a 17th point guard on the roster and also, the Bobcats are in need of a point man after losing Raymond Felton to New York last week.

Ridnour had a solid season in Milwaukee last year, averaging 10.4 points per game and four assists in just about 21 minutes a night. Of course, Ridnour was behind rookie Brandon Jennings in the rotation, but was a pretty key part to Milwaukee's surprising playoff run.
Posted on: July 13, 2010 5:39 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 10:14 pm
 

The other side: Utah snags Jefferson

Posted by Royce Young

Quietly, the Jazz are building.

Building a championship contender? To be determined. Building a quality, in-the-mix team in the West? Absolutely.

Yeah, yeah, Utah lost Kyle Korver and Carlos Boozer to other teams in free agency. Yes, Wesley Matthews may be playing in Portland next year. But the Jazz may already have Matthews' replacement lined up in Ronnie Brewer. And it appears they have Boozer's in Al Jefferson.

Can Jefferson replace the All-Star Boozer? I suppose that's yet to be determined. But Jefferson is an actual center more than Boozer who was a four that often masqueraded as a five, while Mehmet Okur hovered around the 3-point line.

Coming off a second knee injury, Jefferson managed a quality season of averaging 17.1 ppg and 9.3 rpg. Boozer went for 19.5 and 11.2 last season. Having Jefferson allows Utah to move Paul Millsap into the starting lineup, something the Jazz clearly kept him around to potentially do when they matched Portland's four-year, $32 million offer.

Now with Jefferson, Utah has a more complete starting five. Deron Williams at point guard. Ronnie Brewer/Wesley Matthews off the ball. C.J. Miles playing small forward. Millsap at power forward with Jefferson teaming inside with him at the five. That's a pretty stout group. Especially when you think about Jefferson playing with Williams. If you can't see Jerry Sloan's mechanical pick and roll offense flowing beautifully between those two, you're probably a Nuggets' fan having nightmares about it.

And you know who Utah matches up much better with now? That team in purple and gold.

This all hinges on Jefferson continuing to heal and regain his form. Again, it's not like he was bad last year. Heck, he played in over 70 games. Though it was pretty obvious that he wore down late in the season, with another summer of conditioning and rehab, one should expect him to return to his old, dominant post-playing self.

And if he does, look out. I'm not saying Williams to Jefferson is the new Stockton to Malone, but it's certainly not that far off.

Posted on: July 13, 2010 2:32 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2010 2:34 pm
 

Report: Luke Ridnour to Minnesota. Seriously.

Posted by Royce Young

The Minnesota Timberwolves are close to signing point guard Luke Ridnour, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! reports . Terms are reported at $16 million over four years.

So let's take roll here. Jonny Flynn, point guard. Ramon Sessions, point guard. Ricky Rubio, point guard. Luke Ridnour, point guard. As Eric Freeman of The Sporting Blog put it , "This joke isn't funny anymore."

However, there's a somewhat reasonable explanation for the deal. A Wojnarowski mentioned in his original report, the Wolves are looking to sign Ridnour to the exact same deal as Sessions and then move Sessions to a team able to absorb his contract. Basically, this is a trade of Ridnour for Sessions. Not terrible.

But you know what would've made more sense? Not signing Sessions in the first place. Heck, not drafting Jonny Flynn and ticking off Ricky Rubio would have probably made the most sense. But we're talking about KAAAHHHN here. What makes the most sense isn't necessarily what is actually done. I keep telling myself that here any minute it's all going to click and make complete sense for everyone. Surely Kahn has a brilliant masterplan, and we just haven't figured it out. It's not incompetence, right? RIGHT?

With the deal sending Al Jefferson to Utah reportedly finished, the Wolves are going to be about $13 million under the cap, which is definitely good. Plus, they're stockpiling a number of quality assets and picks.

But in order to turn all that into actual on-court success, you've got to make the right moves once you have it. And how confident can Wolves fans be that their management will do that? Going by recent history, I'm saying that would fall in the "not confident" category.


Posted on: July 12, 2010 10:07 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2010 10:43 pm
 

Report: Utah nearing deal for Jefferson (Updated)

Posted by Royce Young

UPDATE : Based on this tweet from Jazz CEO Greg Miller, I'm assuming the deal is done.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that the Utah Jazz have emerged as the front-runner for Minnesota big man Al Jefferson. Originally, the Mavericks were thought to be in the lead, but Utah's cap situation obviously has improved with the subtractions of Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver due to free agency.

As Stein says, Jefferson's contract would slide into the $14 million trade exception that Utah created earlier this week in its sign-and-trade deal with Boozer.

As mentioned when Dallas was in play for Jefferson , the Wolves are looking for quality assets and not necessarily just a salary dump, though Minnesota would prefer not to take much back.

If the deal goes through, clearly the Jazz re-emerge as a major contender in the West. Jefferson still hasn't entirely recovered from a second knee injury, but the Minnesota big man is just 25 and averaged 17-9 last season for the Wolves. Team him with Paul Millsap inside with Deron Williams setting things up and you've got a quality roster.

Also, as is with any deal involving Minnesota, KAAAAHHHHNNN.

Posted on: July 10, 2010 6:48 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2010 6:54 pm
 

Cavs in the mix for Josh Childress, Al Jefferson

Posted by Royce Young

Replacing the best player in franchise history isn't easy. But that doesn't mean Cleveland is just going to sit and cry and write angry letters about it. Well I guess one of those things they did do. Nevertheless.

Brian Windhorst reports that the Cavs
are considering making an offer to Atlanta restricted free agent Josh Childress . But that's not all! The Cavs are also talking with Minnesota about a deal to bring Al Jefferson to Cleveland, Windhorst reports .

Childress has until July 15 to opt out of his contract with Olympiakos, which is where he spent last season. The Jefferson talks aren't serious yet, Windhorst says, because Minnesota is looking for more than just a salary dump. They want assets. Does that mean J.J. Hickson? Just draft picks? Hickson plus picks? There were talks a few days ago that Cleveland was making a play for Jonny Flynn. Maybe this is all one big package deal being discussed.

Cleveland's not the only team making a play for Jefferson though. Marc Stein reports the Mavs have had some talks with Minnesota involving Eric Dampier, but the Wolves want picks along wth Dampier's attractive contract, and that's something Dallas doesn't want to include.


Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:18 am
 

Report: Heat trade Beasley to Minnesota

Posted by Royce Young

To make room for LeBron James, the Heat have traded Michael Beasley to Minnesota for a 2011 second-round pick, Marc Stein reports . Also involved is a swap of future first-round picks, but specifics weren't out as of yet.

Ken Berger reported earlier that there were strong talks between Charlotte, Houston and Miami involving a three-way trade, but those fell apart. Miami desperately was looking to dump Beasley's $4.9 million contract into someone's lap, and of course, David Kahn and the Wolves were ready for it. Essentially if you were wanted Beasley, you could have him for a low, low price. Not too bad a price to pay for 2008's second overall pick.

Of course with Beasley comes some major issues, but don't forget, this guy was considered one of the most talented players in the class of 2008. The ability is there. For Beasley, most of the lack of on-court production has been a result of what's between the ears.

Beasley has always been caught between positions in Miami, flipping between small forward and power forward. I imagine in Minnesota, he'll likely see more time at small forward, considering the Wolves front court depth with Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, Darko Milicic and Ryan Hollins. Minnesota traded for Martell Webster on draft night, but other than that, there's not a ton of depth at the three.

But to recap, the Heat traded a former second overall pick for a second-round pick. Hey, when you're making room for the King, you've got to do what you've got to do.
 
 
 
 
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