Kevin Love has agreed to a contract extension with the Timberwolves reportedly worth $62 million over 4 years. Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press was the first to report from what I saw. More to come on this excellent day for the Wolves.
UPDATE: NO DEAL yet sccording to ESPN. Wolves unwilling to budge from the 4 year maximum. This will play out in dramatic fashion. No need to jump to conclusions yet.
UPDATES: Deal official. Love agrees to 4-year deal with opt out after year 3. Not sure what to make of this yet, other than Rubio and Love could be free agents at the same time. Yikes.
Anyhow. Very glad this is complete and official. Great day for Wolves fans. Now get that man some help, Kahn!no comments
Coming into the year we were pretty sure Kevin Love a borderline All-Star, we really really hoped Ricky Rubio was the real deal and we were quite sure Michael Beasley could score a ton of points if he was properly focused. Well a month has passed and we know some things.
The good news is that Kevin Love isn't going to let us pencil in Blake Griffin in at 1st team All-NBA PF for a decade. Ricky Rubio has been one of the top 5 stories in the NBA. He's living up to every optimistic hope we had on draft night. Finally, finally we aren't screaming at asinine rotations we've been subjected to for this entire rebuild, I still can't believe we have a real coach. Oh and DID YOU SEE THAT CLIPPERS GAME! Wow!
The bad news is the Mike Beasley might as well not have existed, he's been such a non-factor. Wes Johnson has been drastically worse than that (he did decide to show a bit of a pulse this last weekend, don't be fooled). Darko, *sigh*, he'll poke his head out every-so-often but he is still the most embarrassing player on the roster.
The rest, Luke is back in the role as off-guard/pg along side a rookie that is apparently his calling in life. He's earning his money. JJ looks like he should be a guy we can trust with the ball, but who really knows. AT and Pek give maximum effort and are great guys for Derrick "Charge" Williams to be around. Williams shooting hasn't been great but he looks to have a natural finishing ability along with flourish for dunks that leave me optimistic.
Anyways I've compiled my own rankings along with 7 of my closest TWB contributors and am sharing this wonderful data with you. For the purpose of adding a comparison to expectations I made up a preseason top 15 that seems pretty reasonable.
Charles Barkley recently called Kevin Love on InsideTheNBA, “the best power forward in the world.” That is large praise from a large man, although less large since he joined WeightWatchers. It is possible to take it a step further: Kevin Love should win Most Valuable Player this year, but he won't.
Love worked on his body this summer, and it shows. He looks strong and healthy this year, and can use his body in the paint more effectively than ever after playing volleyball all summer. He looks bouncy, tan, and dangerous; he has probably never been in better physical shape in his life. He reportedly lost 25 pounds, and it will serve him well in this lockout shortened year; he has not looked winded in any game this year and somehow he is averaging 39.9 minutes a game(#1 in the league). That is more minutes than at any point of his career and it will serve him well statistically.
Love also wins MVP points for fan accessibility. He recently offered to pay for any Wolves fan's ticket to the Detroit game if they bought a ticket to the Kings game. Granted this is a much more sentimental argument than a fact-based won, but it doesn't hurt to point out that Love is doing every single thing that he can do to win basketball games. He'll rebound, score down low, shoot the 3, buy your ticket to the Detroit game, sweep the floor, and all the while he'll be smiling at Ricky Rubio: his new favorite player.
Rubio is the second reason Love should win MVP. Rubio has reinvigorated Love's enthusiasm for basketball; Love obviously played well last year, but if not for Rubio there is not a guarantee that Love would have stayed in Minnesota beyond his rookie contract. There were certain press conferences last year where Love sounded morosely disappointed in what his teammates brought to the table, but Love wouldn't dream of leaving now. Rubio is actually the main reason Love should win MVP, because Rubio has fully unleashed Love's potential. Any idea what Kevin Love is averaging since Rubio became full-time starter? 29.2 points and 14 rebounds a game. If he averages anywhere near that the rest of the season and the T-Wolves finish in the top 5 in the West it will be hard to deny Love. And if he doesn't win MVP in that scenario it means LeBron or Kobe somehow scored more than 30 a game and also scored with efficiency higher than 50 percent. LeBron is an outside shot to manage this, but very unlikely.Please click "Read More" to continue...
This picture appears on the front page of ESPN NBA, where long time Timberwolf-hater John Hollinger ranks Rubio #2 in the ROY race behind Kyrie Irving.
Can you find David Kahn? He does lurk...everywhere.
And on that note, how insane is it that the link to the article cannot be posted because it is an ESPN Insider, paid article? While I am a subsciber (thank you, $10 Groupon), how shady is it that in order to read one man's opinion, usually laden with snide, holier-than thou remarks, you need to pay a fee? Never understood it. Alas.
On a brighter note, Rubio is due for more minutes and a starting role soon. Things are looking very good for a Ricky of the Year trophy.
PS...vote him into the All-Star game! Text the word "Rubio" to 69622. Do it. Now. Just do it.no comments
Santa Kahn. Kahnukkah. Kahnza. Las Kahnadas. Saint Kahn's Day.
The Holidays are here in full force. Kahn is back and is oddly quiet as can be. Rubio is in town being escorted around in his mother's Tahoe. Kevin Love is looking like a bonafide, athletic NBA player. Beasley lowered his ears. Barea is running around wreaking havoc. Anthony Randolph is confused. Pekovic may have murdered someone. Adelman is grumpy. Darko is sensitive.
The Wolves and their plethora of humorous idiosyncrasies are back in town. And before we dive into this, let's all relish together in a merry thought we can all agree on: it feels great.
So where does this team go from here? What is next? After a satisfying pre-season containing a fast-paced blowout followed a few days later by 46 minutes of disaster and 2 minutes of never-could-have-imagined-level Wolves basketball vs. Milwaukee, the only real answer is: I have no idea. This team is tough to predict.
On a topline level, the Wolves have re-tooled nicely this offseason. Ousting one of the worst NBA coaches in the history of the league (who shall remain nameless) and replacing him with one of the best in legendary Rick Adelman, is a dramatic change previously unheard of throughout Timberwolves history. The team also added three promising rookies and free agent JJ Barea, former x-factor of the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks. But where do we go from here? Well, there is a lot of be excited about, and some not. We'll touch on both. More after the jump.
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Check out the excellent site Hickory-High for a team-by-team breakdown of Holiday wishes here. A great read with contributions from several notable NBA bloggers and writers.
The TWB submission:
For Christmas this year, I would love nothing more than Santa Kahn to deliver a freshly-wrapped, certified, high-quality NBA starter to the Wolves via trade. The Wolves’ could assure themselves future success by taking the Celtics and Clippers approach to rebuilding: selling youth for experience. The team has acquired a set of nice, young players, but the roster and rotation is horribly imbalanced, mismatched, and built around nothing of skillsets and fit, but the principle of youth alone. It is time to trade a few young pieces for an established player such as Andre’ Iguodala, Pau Gasol, pre-scandal Monta Ellis, Kevin Martin, etc. Doing so would propel the Wolves forward to a +.500 record, and would turn Wolves fans over-attached to mystique, allure, and draft picks toward the only thing that matters: a winning team. Happy Kahnukkah!no comments
I brainstormed several different titles for this post. All of the following probably would've sufficed:
"Get Ready for One Heck of a Season"
"Ricky Rubio Made Me Cry. Four Separate Times."
"Watch as I Overreact to a Preseason Blowout"
But instead, I went with "Why This Team is Special" -- because the culture of losing we've become so accustomed to is finally over.
Last night the Timberwolves defeated the Bucks 117-96 in their first game of the preseason. Yes, it's the preseason, but it was an impressive showing nonetheless.
I'm going to go out on a limb here. Call me a homer. Call me naive. Call me whatever you like. But this year's T-Wolves team is going to sneak into the playoffs with a 36-30 record. I'm calling it right now. BOOK IT.no comments
The other day, the Wolves traded Lazar Hayward to Oklahoma City for two 2nd round picks and the cap relief from his modest contract. A common refrain heard after this trade was, "Great! The Wolves acquired two 2nd round picks for a player who had no spot on the roster. Great value." Or, "awesome! All Dallas was able to get for Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer was a single 2nd round pick!" Now, there is nothing untrue about the previous statements by any means, but to truly look at why this trade is bad, let's take a 2008 Kevin Love-sized step back and examine the forest.
Before delving too deep into a futile issue here (a freaking Lazar Hayward trade), let's spend some time chatting about a curse bestowed upon a sub-faction of Wolves fans ever since a fateful day that coincided with a major Minneapolis bridge collapsing into the Mississippi River: The Garnett trade on August 1st, 2007. I'm not sure whether it was former Wolves mastermind Kevin McHale's mindless inability to make good use of a first round pick, but ever since this day a certain chunk of Wolves fans have become, to use Woj-like hyperbole, blindly obsessed with draft picks and potential over proven NBA talent. Every first round pick, whether the Wolves own one or four, is a 'chance to add the next star.'
It is hard to really pinpoint the reason for this obsession, but it is there. As were a group of fans who, for various reasons, defended Kahn's decision to trade Al Jefferson to the Utah Jazz for two poorly positioned first round picks, Kosta Koufos and cap relief that was eventually used on Anthony Randolph. "First round picks! Potential! Kobe and Malone were drafted in the mid-first round! Randolph was once drafted higher than Jefferson and compared to Lamar Odom on a draft website! We needed to get rid of Al Jefferson to make room for Love!" (Gee, you coulda tested the market and traded him for a solid wing instead of Kosta Koufos' nose). Never-you-mind the Wolves had a coaching staff these past two years who couldn't develop a case of syphilis at a ASU sorority house, not to mention basketball talent; but the mystique and allure that these imaginary planets would align in some form of anti-apocalyptic, one in four-hundred trillion manner was too exciting for a fan-base used to the same repeatable, predictable 5.5-month run of disappointment, shaken and stirred with sub-zero temperatures and snowdrifts the size of Oliver Miller's annual Thanksgiving feast.
MUCH MORE Below the Jump:
If there is one guarantee you can make in terms of how the Wolves handle their often confusing annual set of roster transactions, it is that the team will often do whatever makes the least sense. Armed with the cap space equivalent of the mid-level exception, the Wolves today have signed JJ Barea, the bench sparkplug for the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, to a contract believed to be 4 years and $19 million.
JJ Barea is a nice player, but make no mistakes, he a prototype guy who benefited from a few magical playoff games and, due to said spotlight, received a larger-than-deserved long term contract. This happens year after year. He is a scrappy little guard, who, while being unable to throw a rock into the ocean, is very quick on his feet and can penetrate the lane with the best of them. But the big question one should be asking is: 'why?' Surely this means the Wolves will trade Ridnour in a package deal with some of our frontcourt characters in order to align the roster? Don't count on it. As always, this is a very Kahn-like, Kahnfusing move. I can't kahnprehend how this helps the Wolves kahnpounding rotation problem. How will this help the Wolves' position in the Western Kahnference? What does Barea bring to the Kahnversation? A team desperately in need of a high quality shooting guard who can dribble, goes out and signs its 3rd point guard, which does nothing but make an already mystifying rotation even more muddled?
Color me Kahnfused.
As a positive, Barea does have a nice skillset that IS pretty void on the team as of today: ballhandling. The problem is, where does he play? Does Adelman dare play Barea at the 2 in hopes of adding some much, much needed dribble penetration from the wings? (Don't fool yourself into thinking Wes Johnson is going to become a ballhandler any time soon). Could be. I guess we will have to see what kahnfusing move Kahn has up his sleeve as free agency continues. Just count on one thing: he will probably do whatever makes the least sense.no comments