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Timberwolves GM denies Pau Gasol trade rumors

By Zach Harper | NBA writer
David Kahn denies all of your rumors. (Getty Images)

Remember that report the other day about the Lakers declining trade proposals for Pau Gasol? Allegedly among the turned-away hopefuls were the Minnesota Timberwolves. The alleged proposal by the Wolves was Nikola Pekovic and Derrick Williams for Gasol.

David Kahn addressed the media at shootaround Friday and denied the discussions even took place. Via Timberwolves.com:

“I can assure you that there has been absolutely no discussion with the team since June,” he said.

The rumored deal doesn't even come close to working under the collective bargaining agreement. The Wolves would have to include one or maybe two other players to reach the salary figure they'd have to match to bring Gasol to Minnesota in a trade. To make it work, the Wolves would have to include J.J. Barea and/or Luke Ridnour.

Considering the Wolves' injury issues so far this season and that they need a lot of depth during the return process of Ricky Rubio, dealing away players from a position that has been both shallow in numbers and production this season doesn't exactly seem like a smart move on their part.

Speaking of the return of Rubio, there were rumors he'd try to play in tonight's home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Kahn also addressed these rumors and reports:

“To my understanding, there was a report this morning that Ricky was pining to play tonight," Kahn said. "There's absolutely no truth to that. It's false, it's erroneous, it's irresponsible. I think we're trying to err here on the side that I'd prefer not to have weekly briefings on what's real and what's not, and we won't. But there does come a time when you see these things start to have a life of their own, and it's important for us to state conclusively how untrue they are.”

Kahn said it's important to manage expectations surrounding Rubio's return and the fact that he is coming back from an eight-month rehabilitation process. Rubio tore the anterior cruciate and lateral cruciate ligaments in his left knee March 9 and underwent surgery March 21.

“I would think that any person who follows basketball would understand that,” Kahn said. “That it just doesn't happen for him or for anyone else overnight. But everybody's different, and so I'm not in the prediction business regarding him or any of this team. It'll be what it will be.”

In terms of health, Rubio is completely fine. His knee is physically sound and he just needs to improve his conditioning to get himself ready to return to action. After returning to practice nearly a week ago, it's been pretty clear from watching him in warmups and in practice that while he's working incredibly hard to get himself back into game shape, he's just not there yet.

After tonight's game against the Cavs, the Wolves have four days off until Wednesday's home game against the Denver Nuggets. It leaves Minnesota more than enough time to continue to work him back into shape and evaluate where his conditioning is. If it's deemed he's made enough progress, he'll be back with the team Wednesday.

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