Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn is pouring cold water on the seemingly endless speculation surrounding the team’s interest in Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn is pouring cold water on the seemingly endless speculation surrounding the team’s interest in Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rick Adelman asked for more veterans to coach in Minnesota, and Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn delivered them.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have already made some moves this offseason, and it seems like they are not quite done.
The team is trying desperately to sign Portland swingman Nicolas Batum away from the Blazers. Being a restricted free agent, the Blazers have the right to match any offer for the Frenchman. Portland general manager Neil Olshey has been adamant about getting value for Batum, and insists the team will match any offer made to Batum.
The Wolves need a shooting guard in the worst way, and it sounds like they are willing to over pay for potential.
Batum has been in the league six years already, but really started gaining notoriety towards the end of the lockout-shortened season. He had some games where he showed flashes of elite-level scoring but has not been consistent.
He averages just 10 points per game over his career, and that number drops to six in three trips to the postseason.
Timberwolves general manager David Kahn seems to think Batum is the answer for this team. “He very much is kind of a missing piece,” Kahn said. “We’re very hopeful that we can have him. But we understand what restricted free agency is.”
One of the Wolves’ biggest weakness is on the defensive end. Batum is long and a pretty solid defender. He was Portland’s best defensive player last season and could help the Wolves shut down opposing teams’ best players.
The Blazers, however, are not just going to let this guy leave. ”I don’t believe in letting talent walk out the door,” Olshey said.
I know Kahn thinks Batum is going to make this team a playoff contender, and he may be right, but I would hate to see this franchise over pay yet again for a possibility.
Batum is a decent player, but he has accomplished nothing in the NBA so far. I think for what he is, the reported deal of about $50 million is a bit much. If he does not work out, you are crippling your chances of surrounding Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio with more talent in the future.
With Love under contract for the next four seasons, the Wolves’ window to keep him long-term is short. They need to win, and they need to win now.
I have not agreed with Kahn on several key decisions since he has taken over as GM, and this possible signing is pretty high on that list.
I doubt the Blazers will allow Batum to play in Minnesota as he has requested, but that doesn’t mean the Wolves won’t try.
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On Sunday night, Yahoo!’s own Marc Spears dropped a story that made pretty much every basketball fan in Minnesota uneasy. Kevin Love, the Timberwolves’ franchise player and arguably the best power forward in the world, stated that he was unhappy with the state of the roster and wanted general manager David Kahn and the rest of the front office to make some moves.
Here’s a sample of his comments, though you should really read the full story :
MINNEAPOLIS Derrick Williams had his moment to shine. In fact, he had an entire lockout to be the most talked-about name for the Minnesota Timberwolves after they picked him second in the 2011 draft. A year later, with no lockout to speak of, it’s still Williams whose name is again coloring the team’s offseason. In 2011, the speculation was about how good Williams could be. In 2012, it’s where he’ll be, who the forward could bring the Timberwolves if they trade him, if he can use this offseason to get into better shape and play like a No. 2 pick.The resolution to the Williams situation is unlikely to come at any time in the next few days, and the players whose fates do hang in the balance as the 11:59 p.m. deadline on Saturday for qualifying offers approaches seem to be almost an afterthought. By Sunday morning, small forwards Michael Beasley and Martell Webster and power forward Anthony Randolph will all know their fates, but the Timberwolves’ roster will likely not take shape for weeks.Before free agency begins July 1, the Timberwolves have the option of giving qualifying offers to Beasley (8.2 million) and Randolph (4.0 million). They also must decide if they would like to buy out Webster’s 5.7 million contract for 600,000.Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said the team would wait until Saturday to announce its decision on the three players. However, all three underperformed in 2011-12, posting some of the worst statistics of their careers. And after Tuesday, getting rid of the contracts of Beasley, Webster and Randolph could be a cost-saving measure with a cheaper replacement in Chase Budinger now available.Because they’re not technically under contract, neither Beasley nor Randolph could have been used as trade bait when the Timberwolves attempted to deal up in Thursday night’s draft. Right now, they’re looking more and more like players the team will let go, but Kahn stressed that he and the Timberwolves had not yet finalized their decision as of draft night.”No determination has been made as to how we’ll proceed,” Kahn said Thursday. “We’ll be making decisions I wouldn’t say on the fly because that makes us sound like they’re not well-thought.”Once those decisions are made, the Timberwolves will have the 10-day July moratorium, a period from July 1-10 in which they cannot sign or make trades, only negotiate. There are exceptions, though; they can sign draft picks and free agents to minimum one- or two-year contracts and they can also sign restricted free agents. If they’d had a first-round pick Thursday night, they could also have signed him to a rookie scale contract.It’s impossible to say yet who the Timberwolves will target during free agency. All it takes is a look at the Budinger trade to see these acquisitions can come out of nowhere. Kahn did confirm that the Timberwolves are interested in retired guard Brandon Roy and that they’ve spoken to him; still, signing him is still at least 11 days away, and other teams are interested as well. Roy will also have to prove that he is indeed healthy after he retired due to a lack of cartilage between the bones in his knees.Other notable shooting guards on the free-agent market will be Ray Allen, Jason Terry, Delonte West, O.J. Mayo and Jamal Crawford. They’re stretches, especially guys like Allen and Terry, but the Timberwolves were rumored to be pursuing Crawford at the trade deadline. Right now, though, these are just names, players the team can’t ignore but might prove less than interested in. When the Timberwolves acquired Budinger on Tuesday, they got a player who can help them both at small forward and shooting guard, two areas where they had the most need. However, Budinger won’t solve all their problems, and he’s primarily a small forward. Coach Rick Adelman was quick to point out that the team is not finished with offseason moves, and Budinger isn’t a cure-all.Kahn, for his part, remains firm on the most concrete point he made at season’s end: Only Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love are untouchable.”It’s not to say everyone else falls into some other bucket, there are just different degrees,” Kahn said.That’s his way of saying that yes, even a player with as much potential as Williams might still be on the trading block, though the team would have reservations about parting with him. He’s not saying that the Derrick Williams era ends now, or even that it’s likely to but rather hedging his bets. Right now, there’s little that isn’t an option.As far as salary cap room is concerned, the Timberwolves are still flexible. They can make room as necessary, Kahn said, and though it remains to be seen what the team does on Saturday, it would appear that Budinger only adds to that financial flexibility. Couched amid the vagaries going into free agency is one concrete fact: The Timberwolves are going to be active. It must be a trying time for the team (“It’s just perpetual it just never stops,” Kahn said to describe the process), with so much uncertainty affecting everyone from the front office to players. Logic says that the team will retain many of its players, but with such an explicit statement that anyone but Love or Rubio could go, it’s hard not to feel unsettled.But for a team like the Timberwolves that dealt with so much last season everything from landing on the brink of contending to a crippling injury to a season that ended far worse than it should have unsettled can be good. The players are young, and they need to learn a lesson in how this process works. They need to see that they can earn stability but that they haven’t yet.The players can take this offseason to work and mature. Kahn and the team might have a harder task, though. They must make the stress of uncertainty worth it to the players who will remain.Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have reportedly proposed a trade to the Charlotte Bobcats for their No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. The Wolves were offering power forward Derrick Williams, but were quickly rejected.
Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony is reporting about the proposed deal:
Sources say Minnesota offered Derrick Williams to Charlotte in exchange for the #2 pick. Bobcats quickly rejected.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 28, 2012
In a classic David Kahn move, the Minnesota general manager offered last year’s No. 2 pick in Williams in exchange for this year’s.
Not only does it make the franchise look bad for almost admitting that Williams hasn’t worked out, there was no way the Bobcats would exchange the potential stars at No. 2 for a tweener power forward.
What It Means
With the 2012 NBA draft Thursday night, this is the type of activity that fans can expect from the teams trying to get better. Fans should also expect some ridiculousness coming from the Wolves’ front office as well.
While this is just a sign of David Kahn’s inability to formulate reasonable deals, this is also poof that the Bobcats are indeed fielding calls for the No. 2 pick—as they should be.
The rejection of this deal also proves that Charlotte is also not doing anything hasty. They realize there is a lot of talent at the top of this draft, and teams are willing to pay to get there.
It is still unclear if the Timberwolves are actively shopping Williams or if he was just a player the team thought Charlotte might bite on, but this is a bad sign for a player that was drafted No. 2 just last year.
For the few Bobcats fans left in Charlotte, the fact that your team is being patient and fielding all calls may be a sign of changing times.
The hope for the franchise is to stay at No. 2 and get a star, but they have the responsibility to listen to all offers in case there is something monumental.
Check back for more on the National Basketball Association as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s NBA page to get your fill of all things basketball.
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MINNEAPOLIS The next step in Ricky Rubio’s rehabilitation process has begun.On Sunday, the Minnesota Timberwolves point guard flew back to Spain, announcing his arrival in his home country with a tweet on Tuesday that read: “Back to Spain to see my family and friends! So excited! Spain here I go!!!” It’s a trip Rubio has been anticipating for months and a sign that his rehabilitation from March surgery to repair the torn ACL in his left knee is going well.As early as April, just a month after his March 9 injury, Rubio discussed his desire to return to Spain this summer. “Being back in Spain is going to be an option because (it will be good) for my mind, especially, being with my family,” Rubio said in an April press conference.Now, two months later, he’s able to return, albeit with a Timberwolves’ staffer in tow at all times. After a successful checkup with Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail last week, the team decided to permit Rubio to return to his home country. Physical therapist Andrew Tai flew with Rubio on Sunday, and the point guard will return to Colorado at the end of July for another checkup.”We’ll have someone from this staff with him every day,” Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said. “You can’t take any chances. It’s not that we don’t trust people in other parts of the world or across the street; I just felt very strongly.”Right now, the details about Rubio’s eventual return are as foggy as they were last time Kahn provided an update, on May 31. The start of training camp is a “pretty accelerated” target for the point guard’s return, Kahn said, pointing out that it’s only been three months since his surgery. However, Rubio’s most recent checkup was upbeat, and doctors were very pleased with his progress.The Timberwolves have been adamant since the early days of Rubio’s rehabilitation that they’re more focused on a complete recovery than setting or even speculating about a target date for his return. With a young player who has no history of significant injuries and years of basketball ahead of him, it would seem short-sighted to rush the process rather than wait a few weeks or months into the season for his return.”The last thing I’d like to do at this early stage is come out with dates and timetables,” Kahn said. “He just needs to keep making steady progress. The most important thing is that he comes back better and stronger than ever.”Follow Joan Niesen on Twitter.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Chase Budinger arrived in Minnesota on Wednesday as the first of what Timberwolves president David Kahn expects to be several moves this summer to balance the team’s roster.