Tag:Minnesota Timberwolves
Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:35 am
Edited on: January 25, 2012 11:43 pm

NBA Extension Buzz 1.25.12

By EOB Staff

The deadline for rookies from the 2008 draft class to receive extensions is Wednesday at 11:59 p.m.. We'll help keep track of those getting the big payday, and those left out in the cold for restricted free agency, below. 

Wednesday 10:40 p.m.
  • Yahoo Sports reports that New Orleans Hornets guard Eric Gordon will not receive a contract extension, instead heading on the path towards restricted free agency next summer. The Hornets reportedly made a 4-year offer to Gordon but the sides could not reach an agreement.
Wednesday 7:03 p.m.
Wednesday 7:03 p.m.

Wednesday 6:34 p.m.
Wednesday 3:50 p.m. 
Wednesday 12:50 p.m. 
  • Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the Nuggets have signed Danilo Gallinari to a four-year, $42 million extension. That's great value for a player of Gallo's upside and ability. He's expanded his ball-handling abilities and is operating in a hybrid point-forward role at times in the pick and roll, attacking the rim and working the offense. Great value for a player that looks to be part of the Nuggets' contending core going forward. 
  • Fox26 TV in Houston reports that the Rockets will not be extending Hasheem Thabeet, Terrence Williams or Jonny Flynn, and Jordan Hill is still up in the air. No shockers here as none of those players have proven themselves to be legit NBA rotation players on a consistent basis. 
Wednesday 9:30 a.m.: 
  • The saga of Eric Gordon and the NBA-owned Hornets continues. Yahoo Sports reports that the league has finally given the Hornets permission to offer Gordon a four-year extension. This is clearly short of the five-year "designated player" extension. The Hornets want to hedge their bets a bet with whoever they land in the draft this season as well as Gordon's injury issues. Still, the league not granting permission until the day-of is really an absurd approach and again hinders the Hornets' ability to maximize efforts to lock up their solitary star player. 
  • Fox Sports Arizona reports that the Suns say they reached out to Robin Lopez' representatives, but that Lopez' agent preferred to see what Lopez could pull in in restricted free agency rather than take what is likely to be a lesser extension offer. No shocker. Lopez shows flashes but has yet to put together any sort of consistent ability and the safer approach is to wait and see if Lopez can boost his value in the next five months headed into free agency
  • A report surfaced Tuesday night that Kevin Love and the Wolves had agreed to a four-year, $60 million extension, but Love later tweeted that conversations were ongoing and reports indicate that the deal is not done. It's clear the Wolves will get this done today, the question will be for how much, and how much they're going to frustrate and anger their star player through this process. There's absolutely no reason the Wolves have not just offered love the max, five-year, designated-player offer. 
  • Roy Hibbert is unlikely to receive an extension, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. It's more than a little shocking, especially considering Hibbert is coming off one of his most dominant performances of his career against the Lakers, backing down and scoring over Andrew Bynum, even. The Pacers tried to make a bid for Nene in free agency, but without him, if they were to lose Hibbert, their center position would be a massive question mark. Hibbert has been uneven through four seasons, but there's every reason to believe he'll continue to develop ino a top-ten center in the league. A player with his abilities on both sides of the ball should not be overlooked. 
Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:01 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 9:46 pm

Report: Kevin Love, Wolves agree to 4-year deal?

Posted by Ben Golliver
Kevin Love reportedly agrees to a contract extension. (Getty Images)

The Minnesota Timberwolves are reportedly closing in on their man, and at the price they wanted.

Twincities.com reports that the Timberwolves have agreed to terms on a 4-year contract extension with All-Star forward Kevin Love worth $62 million.
Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Love has agreed to a four-year, $62 million contract extension and is expected to sign the new deal Wednesday afternoon in Dallas, a person close to the situation told the Pioneer Press.
ESPN.com reports that the discussions are still "ongoing" and that a final decision will not be made by Love until Wednesday.

"If you read it on the Internet it must be true right?," Love wrote on Twitter shortly after the initial report of an agreement broke.

Love has reportedly sought a 5-year deal worth closer to $80 million. Wolves president David Kahn reportedly made a 4-year offer worth $60 million last week. The two sides face a Wednesday to finalize the agreement. 

Love, 23, was the No. 5 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft after spending one season at UCLA. He's generally regarded as one of the league's top-3 rebounders and he was recently named as one of 20 finalists for the United States' 2012 Olympics team. He was the NBA's leading rebounder in 2010-2011 with 15.2 per game, earning recognition as the NBA's 2010-2011 Most Improved Player and being named to the 2011 Western Conference All-Star Game.

The Timberwolves' franchise player and double-double machine would join Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook as Class of 2008 players to ink extensions. Both Rose and Westbrook signed 5-year deals. Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement's "designated player" rule, giving a fifth year to Love would prevent the Timberwolves from offering a 5-year deal to rookies Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams. Locking up Love for four years while maintaining flexibility going forward would be a coup for the much-maligned Kahn, who has battled charges of incompetency since taking over the Timberwolves' basketball operations in 2009.

Love is averaging 24.9 points, 13.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 39.4 minutes per game this season.
Posted on: January 24, 2012 7:23 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 7:26 pm

Current status of Kevin Love's extension

Posted by Royce Young
Time is running out for Kevin Love to get his extension from the Wolves. (Getty Images)

The deadline for the class of 2008's extensions is coming Wednesday. Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose got their deals, which were to be expected. But one other player that's earned a big payday is still waiting.

So where are things with Kevin Love?

According to the Star-Tribune, the Timberwolves haven't moved up to a five-year max offer just yet. The Wolves were reportedly in the four-year, $60 million range last week, which Love wasn't exactly stoked about.
"One team source told me tonight that the Wolves are closing in on a five-year maximum contract deal that would pay him more than $78 million and despite such a forthcoming deal, David Kahn hasn't won any brownie points with Love in this negotiation. Another said that as of Monday afternoon, the team still hadn't moved off its four-year, $61 million offer."

ESPN.com reports that Minnesota's offer is for four years, $62 million right now. But there's still a little time to get something done and whether it's four or five years, Love has to be a priority for the Wolves.

The Wolves know that Love will likely take their deal no matter if it's four or five years because it's the most Love can get. If Love were to go to restricted free agency, the biggest deal he could sign would be four years, $58 million.

The question is though, is the extra year worth it for the Wolves to potentially offend Love? Unlike the deals for Westbrook and Rose, Love hasn't exactly been shown that he's important to his franchise. They're stringing him along, trying to milk him out for less. To me, that's not wise. You don't treat your cornerstone like that. Sure, maybe you want to save here or there, but for premier talent you just have to bite the bullet and pay up. It's life with a star.

And don't tell me Love's not a star. He's entirely deserving of the max deal, whether the Wolves offer it or not. Time's running out for that though. You have to think a deal is going to get done because you just can't risk a player like Love getting away. It's just a matter of who's blinking first.

Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:58 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 12:29 pm

Report Card: A's and F's

Kevin Garnett and the Celtics embarrassed the Magic Monday night in Boston. (Getty Images)
By Matt Moore

Your nightly report grade gives you the overview of what went on in the NBA. Share your grades with us on Faceboook or Twitter. 

Celtics effort

I'm not trying to dog the Celtics by saying that the execution wasn't there. But they didn't magically get younger. They were still slower than the Magic, still weaker than the Magic. But they showed the effort and intensity that made this team a title contender for four years. And that's going to carry them a long way, especially on nights when the opponent rolls over and dies like the Magic did. Celtics are on a win streak. Are they finally back?

Orlando Magic

Gameplan. Effort. Focus. Effort. Intensity. Effort. Cohesion. Effort. Everything went wrong for the Magic Monday night, but their effort was atrocious. Jameer Nelson let second-year man Avery Bradley get into his skull and turn him over constantly. Dwight Howard was failing to keep position or even jump against Kevin Garnett's half-centimeter hook shot. Brandon Bass stole Glen Davis' lunch money and pretty much ended any conversation about who got the better end of that sign-and-trade. This was one of the most pathetic performances I've seen by an NBA team this season and I've seen the Wizards and Nets play six times each.

Emeka Okafor's game-saving block

Down two against the Hornets, San Antonio ran a picture-perfect play which resulted in Tony Parker dishing to a wide open Tiago Splitter racing down the lane for what would have been a clinching dunk. Emeka Okafor recovered weak side and blocked him. No, I'm sorry, block is too weak a word. He obliterated him. He erased him. He undid Tiago Splitter and all seven feet of him to spark the possession that would tie the game. The Hornets lost the game, but it was honestly one of the best plays of the season.

Tim Duncan's game-winning hook:

Running, across the lane, from fifteen feet, for the win, simply net. Old man can still do work. Game, folks. Drive safe

The Washington Wizards

If this were actual school we would have told the parents the Wizards need to pursue repeating the D-League grade. They had as many assists as a team as Andre Iguodala in the first half. They lost by double-digits. They were down 30 after the first 24 minutes of play. They are bad. Still. 

The Rockets' balance

The Rockets only had a four-man bench, but they provided 36 points. Kyle Lowry had a triple-double. Kevin Martin was all kinds of special. And after a Kevin Love three took the lead for the Wolves, the Rockets responded by hammering the Wolves into nothingness. Very impressive win over a game Wolves team.

Ricky-Rubio-Kevin-Love connection

The two are concocting something special. Rubio dished four behind the back passes that I saw Monday night to Love on the perimeter. You can't defend Love's shot on the perimeter for the entire possession. With a point guard that can find him at any point, it makes it nearly impossible to defend. 

Philadelphia, Chicago and Oklahoma City versus garbage teams

They should have won by twenty. They won by twenty. The end.

Memphis Grizzlies

You just... cannot kill this team. The Grizzlies stormed back from down 16 in the fourth quarter to edge the Warriors, crushing the Dubs with yet another fourth quarter loss. They needed to create steals, they created steals. They needed to hit big shots, the hit big shots (including a Rudy Gay ice-cold turnaround). They needed to make free throws to ice it, they iced it. They needed to stop Monta Ellis, Marc Gasol hedged him all the way to the corner and avoided the foul. The Grizzlies' wild ride of the past two seasons continues. 

Golden State Warrirors

The 2012 Golden State Warriors. Motto? No lead is too big to lose! The irony of their biggest win being against the Heat because the Heat collasped down the stretch is just stunning.
Posted on: January 23, 2012 2:49 pm
Edited on: January 23, 2012 3:29 pm

Quarterly Report Awards: LeBron leads MVP

James leads the pack of first-quarter MVP candidates (Getty Images)

This lockout-shortened NBA season is already a quarter over for most teams, stunningly. It has been a crazy whirlwind under the compacted schedule, and we're seeing older teams like the Mavericks, Lakers, and Celtics struggle through it. Meanwhile, deep, younger teams like the Nuggets and Sixers are thriving, and yet the same powers that were expected to be at the top are, even with Miami fallen off a bit. So to get a fix on where we are this season, we thought we'd hand out some awards, roundtable-style. 

1. Who's your MVP?

Royce Young: LeBron James. The Heat lost their first game without Dwyane Wade this weekend, but still, they're 5-1 without him and that's pretty much because LeBron is still the best player in the world.

Matt Moore: I don't want to say LeBron James, because it seems too obvious, but I'm going to say LeBron James, because it's so obvious. No one takes over those first 46 minutes like he does, and without them, you don't get to the time where he has so many question marks.

Ben Golliver: We’ve exhausted the ways to explain LeBron James’ individual brilliance in recent years, but the modifications that he’s made to his game – slashing his three-point attempts, improving his mid-range shot, getting to the free throw line more than he did last season – plus ridiculous numbers (29.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 2.1 blocks, 56.4 percent shooting) make this James’ best season to date. Give it to him so we don’t have to listen to arguments in 5-8 years about how many times he was snubbed, like we’re been hearing from droning Kobe Bryant fans since 2006.

2. If star power wasn't a factor, just straight out "who helps their team the most," who's your MVP?

Royce Young: Still LeBron. I think it became pretty obvious last season how valuable he is to a roster when the Cavs went from a contender to the longest losing streak in NBA history just with the subtraction of LeBron.

Matt Moore: I think it's a tie between Gerald Wallace and Andre Iguodala. Both of those guys do such a phenomenal job in every facet of the game for their teams, and the wins and losses often correspond to how they come out. They're so active with and without the ball and make so many plays for their teams, they have a ridiculous level of impact on their teams, even if James is a superior player.

Ben Golliver: James’ PER ranking is 8 full points above the nearest competition (35 to Bryant’s 27) and he’s carried the Heat in Dwyane Wade’s absence due to injury, so his claim to “helping his team most” to date is essentially indisputable.

3. Is ROY a two-man race already?

Royce Young: Not yet. Ricky Rubio is the first quarter ROY, and Kyrie Irving is right there with him, but don't count out Kemba Walker and even Brandon Knight, who had quietly been playing well in Detroit early on.

Matt Moore: Rubio is drawing comments from people who say he is unlike anything they've ever seen and Irving is statistically dominant in nearly every category. If there were an award for Rookie to wind up making the most impact on wins and losses, I'd go with Kawhi Leonard, who will be making life very unhappy for some team in the playoffs.

Ben Golliver: We’ve definitely got the Ricky Rubio vs. Kyrie Irving two-headed monster that we expected, but the twist is that both the Timberwolves (11th in West) and the Cavaliers (9th in East) are fringe-y playoff teams rather than conference basement dwellers. Team performance could easily be the deciding factor.

4. If James Harden was starting like he should, who would be your sixth man of the year?

Royce Young: It's a close race between Al Harrington and Lou Williams. Both impact their teams greatly when they step onto the floor.

Matt Moore: Al Harrington. Harrington's ability to score anywhere on the floor combined with his active defense make him the prime candidate and it's not close.

Ben Golliver: Mo Williams of the Clippers has dealt with some injuries but has put up 14.5 points and 3.9 assists while shooting the ball extremely well (53.8 percent from the field and 44.8 percent from deep) during the season’s first month.

5. Who wins "worst coaching performance?"

Royce Young: Paul Westphal. Getting fired kind of seals your fate by default, doesn't it? But Westphal, who is a good basketball mind, just couldn't connect with his young team and lost them. That's not doing a good job.

Matt Moore: It pains me to say this because I think he's limited by his roster and will work out in the long-run for the Pistons, but Lawrence Frank has disappointed. Signing veterans with limite upside and impact isn't his fault, but relying on them is. The pieces are there for the Pistons to come together, but it simply hasn't so far this year.

Ben Golliver: I’ll give it to Flip Saunders of the Washington Wizards, if only because he was blown off so blatantly by referee Danny Crawford during this argument. He should have already been fired.

6. If we were giving an award for "strategic adjustment" by a team, who wins?

Royce Young: Rick Adelman has done the best job of any coach so far this season. The Wolves are finally organized offensively and he smartly managed the Rubio starting situation. He gave him time to ease in and made the move to start him before it became a nagging issue that was a constant topic of discussion.

Matt Moore: I'm going with Doug Collins' use of his bench. Deploying them as units and then integrating based on what's working in-game has been genius. Honorable mention to George Karl's two-point-guard lineup.

Ben Golliver: Completely disregarding defense was getting played out, so props to Mike D’Antoni’s Knicks for switching it up and completely disregarding offense.

7. Who has the best defense in the league, team and player?

Royce Young: The Bulls have easily been the best defense. Teams are having trouble cracking 80 on them for crying out loud. At home, they've held four teams to under 70. Best player, I'm giving credit to Andre Iguodala who had been terrific defending the perimeter so far this year.

Matt Moore: Chicago has the best team defense, but the Sixers' more basic, very stable set is a strong candidate as well. Dwight's the obvious pick, but with the Magic's overall defense not as hot, how about the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan? A block machine. He still overreaches on help at times, but overall he's been nearly dominant down low.

Ben Golliver: I think we’re at the same place we were last year: Chicago has proven itself to be the NBA’s best defense while Magic center Dwight Howard (16.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks per game) is in a category all his own when it comes to individual accomplishments and impact.

Andre Iguodala has helped the Sixers to a surprisingly strong start. (Getty Images)
8. What wins "best storyline" for you?

Royce Young: The 76ers and Pacers quiet rise to contendership. Both teams don't really have any starpower and might not be able to sustain this success through the year, but they're playing well right now and positioning for a high seed in the East.

Matt Moore: The Knicks, Celtics, and Lakers falling apart like a flan in a cupboard. Nothing is more scinitllating that star-studded teams in big markets collapsing.

Ben Golliver: The Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz being so much better than the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets, the teams who made blockbuster moves for Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams at least year’s deadline.

9. Best free agent signing, first-quarter?

Royce Young: David West. He's given the Pacers exactly what they needed. An extra scoring option and someone to rely upon late in games for a big basket.

Matt Moore: Marc Gasol. Cheap out as he was re-signed, but Gasol has been even better than last year and looks like the franchise center he's being paid to be. Memphis made out huge with that deal.

Ben Golliver: Among the teams with the top records in the league, the Pacers adding David West – solidifying them as a likely top-4 team in the East – and the Clippers nabbing the amnestied Chauncey Billups – giving them a foul-drawing machine and a stand-in replacement when Chris Paul gets injured, both merit acknowledgement.

10. Who is the best team in the league?

Royce Young: Chicago. The Bulls are a bit boring -- especially when Derrick Rose doesn't play -- but you can't ignore how they're just hammering on people right now. Scoring against Chicago is a full on chore and with Luol Deng playing great, Carlos Boozer looking better and of course having Rose ready to carry the load when needed, the Bulls appear to have the total package.

Matt Moore: The Miami Heat. I know what the records say. I know how good Chicago and the Thunder have looked. But the Heat at their best are a better team than they were last year. OKC doesn't look as good, and Chicago is the same. Look me in the eye and tell me you're confident either of those teams can knock off the Heat if it's best vs. best. Chicago or OKC can both win the championship this season. The Heat are still the best team.

Ben Golliver: The Bulls are No. 2 in defense, No. 6 on offense and No. 1 in rebounding; their closest competition, the Thunder, are ranked No. 5, No. 14 and No. 16 in those categories. So far, this one isn’t as close as the records might indicate. I think Orlando – riding Howard and their point generating machine of an offense -- is a strong dark horse.
Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:32 am
Edited on: January 21, 2012 1:38 am

Kevin Love hits game-winning, buzzer-beating 3

Posted by Ben Golliver 

All-Star forward Kevin Love hit a game-winning, buzzer-beating 3-pointer to push the Minnesota Timberwolves past the Los Angeles Clippers, 101-98, at the Staples Center on Friday night.

Love's 3-pointer came on a side out of bounds play after Clippers guard Chauncey Billups missed a lay-up with just seconds to go and the Timberwolves called timeout. Love came open, caught the inbounds pass from Luke Ridnour at the top of the circle and let fly from well behind the 3-point line. He hit nothing but net, sending the Timberwolves bench into hysterics.

Love's winner came after Timberwolves rookie guard Ricky Rubio hit a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left to tie the game at 98. It was Rubio's first made field goal of the evening, and he finished 1-for-11 with 9 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds.

Love finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal in 36 minutes. Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal in 38 minutes.

Here's the video of Kevin Love's game-winner to send the Minnesota Timberwolves past the Los Angeles Clippers at the buzzer.

Posted on: January 20, 2012 4:02 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 9:18 pm

Chris Paul (hamstring) out vs. Wolves

Posted by Ben Golliver
Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said Friday that All-Star guard Chris Paul is "unlikely" to play in a Friday night game against the Minnesota Timberwolves due to a left hamstring strain, according to Clippers.com. The Los Angeles Times reported shortly before gametime that Paul was officially out but that he might play on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors.

Paul suffered the injury during the fourth quarter of Saturday's 102-94 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Paul underwent an MRI last Sunday which revealed no major results and was listed as day-to-day by the Clippers. Since then, he sat out all three games of a back-to-back-to-back against the New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks. The Clippers went 2-1 without him.

In Paul's absence, the Clippers will have veterans Chauncey Billups and Randy Foye, recent D-League call-up Courtney Fortson, and reserve guard Mo Williams, who returned WEdnesday after missing three games with a foot injury.

On the season, Paul, 26, is averaging 18.0 points, 8.4 assists and 2.8 steals per game in 37.3 minutes per game.
Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:53 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 11:09 am

Report: Wolves to offer Love four years, $60M

Posted by Royce Young

It's not even my contract and I'm insulted.

According to the Pioneer Press, the Timberwolves are setting up to offer Kevin Love a four-year, $60 million extension before the Jan. 25 deadline. You already know this, but that most definitely is NOT a maximum extension. This comes after a report a couple weeks ago said the Wolves were planning on offering Love the max, but it was just a matter of if he wanted to sign.

Well, if he was having reservations about signing a max deal, I'm pretty sure $60 million over four years will give him even more pause.

If Love doesn't sign the extension, he will become a restricted free agent July 1 (assuming the Wolves extend the $6.1 million qualifying offer, which they will). And I'm pretty sure somebody will step up and give Love more than $60 million. He's a legit building block player and while I can understand Minnesota's reservations in giving him the max, you have to do it. Or at least get closer.

Otherwise, you're going to see a player walk. Because Love thinks he's a max player and why not? The guy averaged 20-15 last season and is putting up better numbers this year. For whatever reason, Love outperforms Blake Griffin almost every way statistically and yet people see Griffin as a no-brainer superstar and Love as just a good, solid 4-man. Maybe it's because Love plays below the rim or maybe it's something else -- who knows.

If Love becomes a restricted free agent, other teams can offer four years at 4.5 percent raises which would total about $65 million. Unless Love chooses to just accept the qualifying offer and waits to become an unrestricted free agent in 2013. The Wolves might just think they'll match any offer that rolls in and be done with it, but it might not be that simple at that point. Love might choose to just wait and then pick his own destiny in 2013.

The most recent power forward I can think of that got a big extension was LaMarcus Aldridge in 2009 who agreed to a five-year, $65 million deal. The season before that, he averaged 18.1 points and 7.5 rebounds a game. Again, Love is at 25.6 ppg and 14.3 rpg this year after 20.2 and 15.2 last season. 

This leak could be part of the negotiation and the Wolves could very well still be offering the max soon. Obviously Minnesota would love to sign Love for less. The Wolves would prefer he sign a five-year deal for $10 million if he would be willing. It's a negotiation. And Love likely sees himself as a max guy and the Wolves will probably have to step up to the plate. I think they will. But the clock is ticking.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com