Minnesota Is Crazy: The Minnesota Timberwolves have to officially be classified as crazy.
The Wolves have offered virtually every team in the league some kind of trade proposal, so at this point there could be as many as 29 trade combinations that drop.
The Wolves have offered almost everyone on their roster at some point this month and they have tried almost every angle imaginable to obtain another top 10 pick in this year's draft.
Sources close to the Clippers say that Minnesota offered the #16 pick and Corey Brewer to the Clippers in exchange for the #8 pick, they have offered multiple player and pick packages to the Indiana Pacers for the #10, and last night league sources said the Timberwolves had at least agreed to the idea of swapping the #16 and Corey Brewer with the Toronto Raptors for the #13 and Hedo Turkoglu - a deal that couldn't drop until July 1st because of cap reasons.
- Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I can't take all these rumors anymore. I'm just going to sit back and let the show unfold/implode.
The Timberwolves rejected the Indiana Pacers' offer to trade the No. 10 overall pick in Thursday's NBA draft for Wolves point guard Jonny Flynn, Minnesota president of basketball operations David Kahn said Monday.
"They called last week," Kahn said of the Pacers. "We turned it down in a second."
- Too much here to speculate on, so I won't even begin. But it would be nice to land Granger (somehow.) Trade any/everything. Otherwise, a trade with the Pacers is just crap for crap.
Almost every NBA draft contains a contradiction such as Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins, a player who excites league executives with his talent and vexes them with serious questions about his maturity and habits.
He's the kind of prospect over whom somebody someday will feel regret.
But will it be the team that drafts him or the ones that don't?
"He is either going to get a general manager fired or get him executive of the year," ESPN college basketball and NBA draft analyst Fran Fraschilla said.
Three days before they procure what they hope will be another franchise cornerstone, the Timberwolves are comfortable with their evaluations, and confident that they know how Thursday's NBA Draft will go.
Well, except for one spot.
Philadelphia, picking second, "is kind of the question mark," said Wolves assistant general manager Tony Ronzone. "They're posturing [that they'll pick Evan] Turner, but they talked about Wesley Johnson today. They've talked about [Derrick] Favors, too. They're doing what they should do" by keeping other teams wondering, which could produce a trade offer or two.
- I know what they should do... trade the #2 pick to the Wolves. There, I solved it.
Interview With Kahn: "We're Right in the Middle of Re-Re-Re-Re-Rebuilding"
In a little more than a year on the job, Timberwolves general manager David Kahn has retooled his roster, added coach Kurt Rambis and created a reputation for unorthodoxy—especially at draft time, when last year he chose point guards Ricky Rubio and Jonny Flynn with consecutive picks. This offseason, holding the Nos. 4, 16 and 23 picks in the draft, Kahn again figures to be a major player on draft night. He spoke with Sporting News’ Sean Deveney
- Mildly interesting interview.
For more Wolves/NBA/Draft/Rumors & News please click "Read More" to continue...
Minnesota offering Jonny Flynn and two first-round picks (16 and 23) to Indiana for a package that includes the 10th pick, sources tell Y!
Obviously this is part of a bigger deal considering what transpired with Flynn earlier. Could it be a Roy Hibbert deal? Or a deal involving Al, Granger and others? Either way, just remember, no matter what way you slice and dice players from mediocre-to-poor squads, poop is still poop.
So, I totally blanked that it was Monday and my day to do the Daily News. Major fail on my part. Anyway, I remembered in time to give you all a special "lunch time" edition if you're stuck at your desk eating a bologna sandwich. Enjoy!
No one's really asked it much, because the inevitable answer is a punchline: "Kahn will draft three points guards, naturally." But the Wolves once again have three picks, two in the lottery, with another talent pool thought to tail off abruptly, and then plateau, after the top 10. The question is, what does Kahn do this year to get us talking in the right way?
This isn't 2009. Instead of picking at 5, 6, and 18, the Wolves are sitting at 4,16 and 23. And, many will say, there's no way that 2010 -- a draft class high on question marks, low on magnetism -- could possibly belch out three quality players at those spot.
A pretty good read from an "outsider" looking in. Basically sums up the fact that the players we need the most aren't slated to fall in the draft positions we currently own. Ugh...
4. Minnesota Timberwolves: Evan Turner, Ohio State
The Wolves desperately need a perimeter creator, despite the presence of Jonny Flynn, who had a really poor rookie campaign for someone considered by many to be "ready." Turner will waste a lot of possessions with a middling jumper and turnovers galore, but he'll also put pressure on opposing defenses from Day 1, and open up the floor for Flynn and whoever survives the Al Jefferson-Kevin Love fight scene.
Yes please! Tom Ziller for GM of the Sixers and Nets!!!!
"He's quite a specimen for somebody 18 years old," Kahn said. "I think you have to wait. I think you have to be patient with him. It's hard to believe he's 18 when you look at the body. Now he just has to learn how to play and that could take a couple years. ... The team that takes him - obviously somebody will very high - has to keep reminding themselves to be patient because it'll be a while."
Can the Wolves afford to be that patient after winning 22, 24 and 15 games the past three seasons?
"We have to do what's best for the long-term viability of the franchise," Kahn said. "It's as simple as that. While I know people would prefer it happen sooner rather than later, I don't think we can be forced into doing something that isn't best for the long-term vision."
Kahn acknowledged that the team eventually would have to make roster moves if it drafts Favors. The Wolves already have power forwards Al Jefferson and Kevin Love and will try to sign big men Darko Milicic and Nikola Pekovic in July.
"If he's there and we take him, that obviously hastens something else that would have to occur," Kahn said.
It's kind of a tough spot for the Wolves if you draft Favors. You're basically forced to trade Al for something because you drafted somebody who may not even end up as good as Al. Having the 4th pick SUCKS!
This morning the Pioneer Press in Minneapolis reports that Kahn has said it is "very unlikely" that the selection will be traded. This could be pillow talk, and certainly things change before and on draft night, but as of now, it looks like the Wolves will be where they are. This leads to further speculation that the top five selections have already been nailed down to John Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, Wesley Johnson, and DeMarcus Cousins.
Kahn also stated that he doesn't see the team trading the rights to Spanish star Ricky Rubio. Kahn has long said that Rubio is part of the Wolves' future plan to compete on a consistent basis for championships, and that he wouldn't be dishing off Rubio to a larger market like New York. You know, like one Rubio might actually be willing to play for.
Kahn has been seen as a hyper-aggressive, if sometimes foolhardy manager, but it looks like he might be taking a more conservative approach in his second draft.
Referencing the above analysis, we almost HAVE to trade the #4 pick. Unless you feel Wes Johnson is going to set the world on fire (doubtful) or Tom Ziller just nailed the first four picks of the draft (even more doubtful), the Wolves are going to find themselves in a situation where they lose value, standing pat at #4. Then again, maybe Kahn's exhausted all our options and there aren't any worthwhile offers... Can we get to Thursday already!
The Wolves, on the other hand, always have a chance to stumble across an immediate impact player. The consensus appears to be that they will take small forward Wesley Johnson with the No. 4 overall pick. That appears to be the safe choice. Johnson turns 23 in a couple of weeks, and that is old for a rookie. He might start to creak before the Wolves turn it around.
More daring moves include trading up for the No. 2 pick so they can grab Evan Turner. Or trading down to where they still can draft, say, Al-Farouq Aminu while acquiring other assets in return for the swap. The Wolves also might look to work a deal so they can draft Bloomington's Cole Aldrich with their second pick — and then hope he doesn't turn out to be another Greg Ostertag.
Anyway, the Wolves have some possibilities. And there are absolutely no expectations for the coming season. The organization has done a splendid job of selling the public an open-ended rebuilding job. To paraphrase their marketing slogan: "Yeah, we're really terrible, aren't we? Someday we'll be better."
Personally, I'd take Greg Ostertag given our current big-man crop.
And to take a cue from WallyWorld, should the Wolves trade for Al "Farouq my life" Aminu... Well, the name sums it up. By far the best nickname heading into the draft! Strong work, Mike!
Johnson is the safer pick, a 6-7 small forward with a 7-foot-1 wingspan who would fill team needs for length, athleticism, outside shooting and a perimeter presence, even if he might not be the exact ballhandler and playmaker they seek.
Cousins is the risk/reward pick, a massive 6-11 center/forward who might be more talented than anyone in the draft, but also would join a roster where Jefferson, Love and presumably Milicic already reside. He has league executives concerned about his temperament and maturity.
Favors impressed during last week's Target Center workout with a combination of size (6-10, 7-4 wingspan) and freakish athleticism, but the Wolves probably would at least have to swing a deal with New Jersey for the third pick to get him.
Both Cousins and Favors possess the kind of size and reach that Jefferson and Love lack. If Kahn indeed trades any players currently on his roster this summer, he must decide whether to do so this week or wait perhaps for what he calls the "fallout" from a free agency period that will hum once James, Wade and Bosh, among others, decide their futures.
The Philadelphia 76ers have the No. 2 overall pick in 2010 NBA draft, and they're expected to take Evan Turner, of Ohio State. But Syracuse's Wes Johnson might have them thinking twice about what to do on Thursday night.
Johnson worked out for the Sixers on Saturday morning, and coach Doug Collins was thoroughly impressed with the former Orange forward.
"Watching Wesley work out was like, 'Wow, that was impressive.' This young kid has got it. He's charismatic. He can play. He's respectful. He's older. Impressive," Collins told the Philadelphia Daily News.
I have to admit, Wes Johnson almost seems like the kind of guy who will end up being the sleeper of the draft. Great name, good character, great interviewer... Then I remember he's old and can't create his own shot. In other words, not happening.
not ground-breaking but it will be favors or johnson if we keep the four. zilcho chance the select cousins. those opinions are 100 percent accurate. And count on wall one and turner two and there will be no change.
here's the bit ... i was sworn to secrecy by a very reliable source but there's going to be a story by a credible NBA writer for a major newspaper and supposedly very soon that will send your head spinning. if it plays out the way it was explained to me your wolves and one of the game's best will be tied together. if it doesn't hit the web within five days i will share said rumor, but until it goes public i cannot. hope you understand.
if and or when this story/rumor emerges my over-under for views of said thread on this page is 4,000. and that might be light. off to the track.
- PA has ruled out Lebron, DWade, CP3, Bosh, Danny Granger, and Josh Smith and said it's not related to Joe Johnson or Rudy Gay.I've been a bit depressed by all this Wes Johnson at #4 talk and the decreasing likelihood that we trade for Evan Turner, but this rumor has lifted my spirits. Who could he be talking about? A lot of people seem to be guessing either Amare or Carmelo Anthony. What could we possibly offer the Nuggets for Melo? Feel free to speculate in the comments section.
***UPDATE 6/18/10: New Rubechat Post from Paul Allen***
i blew it. i took something from a new source and got everybody wound up and have been asked not to talk any further about it. i feel awful. there will be a day i may share the info and the story may still come out this weekend, then you'll understand where i was going, but now is not the time. encapsulated, i blew it, i am an idiot, i got everybody all riled up, wasted your time and feel terrible about it. i truly am very sorry and know i have lost rumor cred and am letting all of you down. again i am very sorry.
-Nice work PA. #Fail, epically.
In workout news, the players participating tomorrow at the Target Center are: Oklahoma State guard James Anderson, Xavier guard Jordan Crawford, Cincinnati guard Lance Stephenson, Mississippi guard Terrico White, Syracuse guard Andy Rautins, USC guard/forward Marcus Johnson, BC Red Star Belgrade guard/forward Nemanja Bjelica, and Minnesota players Lawrence Westbrook and Damian Johnson. Xavier Henry will not be working out.
It'll be interesting to see who impresses and disappoints in this group. I'd love for the Wolves to get either James Anderson or Jordan Crawford.
Wes Johnson participated in an individual workout this afternoon at the Target Center and all indications are that the Wolves are very impressed. ESPN "insider" Chad Ford even went as far as posting this tweet:
chadfordinsider: Wes Johnson was in Minn Monday. Heard he wowed everyone ... not only with his basketball skills, but he's a really great kid. A lock at 4.
Don't fret, all is not lost. Chad Ford does work for the TMZ of sports coverage and he's usually wrong about mostly everything. I don't even think Wes Johnson was here on Monday was he? It would make sense that he flew in on Tuesday, thus the late starting time of his workout. EDIT: He flew in Monday afternoon for meetings with the staff.
Another factor that certainly can't hurt his chances? Johnson actually wants to play in Minnesota.
Johnson worked out for the Wolves on Tuesday night and said he would love to be drafted by a team that won just 15 games last season and plays in a city that spends about four months of the year buried under snow and ice. Johnson transferred to Syracuse from Iowa State and grew to be close friends with Jonny Flynn, the Orange point guard who was drafted by the Wolves sixth overall last year.
"I would love to come here," the 23-year-old Johnson said. "I really would. Especially with Jonny here. I've met a lot of the people, the coaching staff, and they're wonderful people. I think I would be a good fit here."
How can you go wrong with drafting a player out of Syracuse 2 years in a row because they seem like good guys and want to play here? Umm yea...excuse me while I get to the liquor store before it closes. I'm still holding on to the opinion that all of this is somehow a part of Kahn's devious master plan, but I'm losing faith quickly.
In other workout news, Florida St. center Solomon Alabi, Tulsa center Jerome Jordan, Minnesota forward Damian Johnson (STUD), Duke center Brian Zoubek, and CSKA Moscow power forward/center Artem Zabelin will be working out tomorrow for the Wolves. Kentucky center Daniel Orton was also scheduled to work out but has cancelled, most likely because he sucks and/or is scared of Damian Johnson.
Derrick Favors will be doing an individual workout for the Wolves on Thursday.
His transformation from a 400-pound high schooler to a 320-pound collegian to a 290-pound-and-counting NBA prospect has caught the attention of pro scouts, and on Sunday, impressed the Timberwolves during their first private-workout session for next week's draft.
"He's lost a dramatic amount of weight, and it appears he's still losing it, because every time I see him, he looks a little better," said Wolves President David Kahn, who owns five picks, three of them first-rounders, in the June 24 draft. "That's a positive sign that he really wants to be in this league and is willing to make the changes necessary to make that happen."
Yet another ringing endorsement to pass on DeMarcus Cousins...
John Grieg, the agent for Cousins, won’t send his client to workout for the Minnesota Timberwolves, sources say, because he believes the Wolves have decided to draft Syracuse small forward Wesley Johnson.
I can't say that I'm sad about this, but it is kind of puzzling that the Wolves wouldn't at least feign interest in in Cousins for negotiation purposes with other teams. Strange...
And now for our daily TWB Reader Mock Draft Poll...
With the 16th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select...
Hassan Whiteside, Center from the Marshall University
With the 17th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls select...
Gordon Hayward, Small Forward from Butler University
With the 18th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Miami Heat select...
With the 19th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics select...
TWB Reader Draft Board
Oh, and I forgot to mention...
KEVIN GARNETT IS ONE WIN AWAY FROM A SECOND NBA TITLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hassan Whiteside, Cal forward Jamal Boykin, UConn forward Gavin Edwards, and Texas center Dexter Pittman worked out for the Wolves at the Target Center today. Ekpe Udoh was also scheduled to attend but will be working out at a later date.
Here is what Kahn had to say about the workout in an interview with Jonah Ballow. You can find this and other wolves coverage at timberwolves.com
Question: Any players stand out? Kahn: I thought Dexter Pittman really demonstrated a physicality about himself. We saw the things Hassan Whiteside does well, the timing on shot-blocking, and the potential is kind of oozing out of him. I thought the other three guys in their own way had their moments.
Question: How does Pittman compare to DaJuan Blair and Glen "Big Baby" Davis? Is there a place in this league for a big bruiser in this league? Kahn: Absolutely, he (Pittman) is actually much taller than both the guys you mentioned (Blair and Davis). He's 6' 11", he's a center, and in this league there's a dearth of centers, especially those that have that kind of size and physicality about them. He's very intriguing...He has lost some dramatic amount of weight and it appears as if he's still losing because every time I see him he looks a little bit better. That's a positive sign that he really wants to be in this league.
Question: Pittman mentioned that he worked with (Wolves Assistant GM) Rob Babcock's son; does that give you extra insight? Kahn: Sure, I think whenever you have people on your staff who have special relationships due to family, friends, or past working relationships, you'll always feel that the information is a little bit more solid because it's a little deeper and it's more day-to-day.
Question: Do you watch the prospects reactions when they go through a workout, if they have their head down low or are cheering on other teammates, does that factor into it? Kahn: Absolutely, the way they interact with other people. Being in a practice setting, they're in a gym, they're in their workplace so you have an opportunity to see them in their workplace.
Question: Whiteside really improved over the course of his freshman year, where do see his upside going? Is he intriguing because he is such a young player? Kahn: It will be up to Hassan in my opinion. If Hassan is willing to really apply himself, and work and understand that he has a world of potential but a lot of work ahead of him then I think he could be a very fine player in our league. It's really up to him.
Question: Will you be making a decision on Pekovic's future? Kahn: We really can't, we're not allowed to sign him until after July first... You can always have a determination of what direction you want to head but I don't think you can really lock in all the way. Of course we will be talking internally about he might fit in. That's part of this discussion in these next two weeks.
Question: Do you think you will have the same picks as you do now come draft night? Kahn: I'll stand by what I said back then, I think it's unlikely that we will have the same three picks on the night of the draft. Typically there's a lot of movement league-wide and I think that we will be one of the teams that will move. I'm not sure if that means up, down, sideways, or what but I'd be surprised.
Question: Have the discussions around the league met your expectations to what's being tossed around? Kahn: This is the week where it really intensifies, it always is. The thing that's different this year is you have about six or seven teams that have an enormous amount of room for the purpose of free agency. I think that rather than a thirty team league that would be active; you almost have a 22 or 23 team league. Not that those teams won't try to do deals, they will, but because they're in effect almost acting with a smaller roster and a smaller cap number they're probably less prone, they waiting for their big moment. It's a little different this year; I sense that those teams in particular are still waiting for their time to come.
A ditty from yesterday afternoon seems to suggest Philly may keep the #2 pick.
The Sixers have never said so publicly, but - by all accounts - they are poised to use the No. 2 pick to select Evan Turner, of Ohio State.
"We're listening to anybody who calls, but we have not shopped the No. 2 pick whatsoever," Stefanski said. "We don't shut our phones off, but it would take a blockbuster for us to consider moving the pick."
Fantastic Off-Topic Fun
I feel obligated to link to this fantastic site, ShamSports.com, which has a legendary series of columns called "Where are They Now?" This may be old news but I discovered this one recently and have been trying to slowly make my way through ever since. Each entry contains several guys you likely have never heard of, but also contains several novelty players, including Todd Fuller, who took my vote for best entry:
Fuller is now a busy little bee, with a variety of things going on. His number was retired by North Carolina State in 2007, and he sponsors the "Todd Fuller Maths Competition" at a North Carolina high school. He tours the globe participating in voluntary basketball camps, and he serves on the Airport Advisory Committee for Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. (Fuller is a FAA certified pilot in the Charlotte area, so that figures.) He also teaches applied mathematics at Charlotte Christian School. Here's his phone number.
Check it out.
Ford's Latest Mock
A Rube Chat poster has been gracious to supply this "premium" content for the rest of us out there. I'm not a fan of the latest development in the slightest.