Kevin Garnett is the moral center of the NBA universe and the newfound
spokesman for the league after being traded from Minnesota to Boston
this summer. As a Timberwolves fan since Sidney Lowe was running point
with Sam Mitchell on the wing, my NBA offseason felt like a parental
divorce, a reincarnation, a bar mitzvah and a funeral all in one. I
revoke a mentor, I breathed anew, I grew up a little bit, and I
performed mummification and ancestral worship rituals at the site of a
lost loved one...
The Wolves have until midnight tomorrow (Wednesday) to sign Al
Jefferson to a contract extension. After that, they cannot sign him
until next summer, when he would be a restricted free agent and the
Wolves would retain the rights to match any other team’s offer.
Jefferson said he isn’t worried if the deal gets done now or not. Hey, that’s what he said.
Minnesota is believed to be offering a five-year extension worth as
much as $60 million if Jefferson reaches bonus incentives, most of them
based on the team's performance. Jefferson's agent likely is seeking a
deal approaching the maximum contract allowed, which would pay him $13
million next season and near $80 million total.
On Mark Madsen:
Mark Madsen's summer personal-watercraft accident was supposed to keep the Wolves forward sidelined until mid-November because of a shoulder injury that required surgery. On Tuesday, he practiced fully for the second consecutive game and declared himself, subject to matchups and lineup opportunity, ready to play.
Rest is the prescription. The injury will heal on its own, but it will
take time, at least three weeks. That's when Foye will have a follow-up
CT scan. The layoff could last longer than three weeks, though, because
even if he is cleared to play, he will need time to get into game shape.
Foye's absence means Sebastian Telfair and Marko
Jaric will take over the point guard duties for a young team that is
rebuilding. Coach Randy Wittman said after Tuesday's practice he hasn't
decided who will start in the season opener Friday night against the
Denver Nuggets at Target Center.
Though Ricky Davis couldn't be there, his father
and former teammates
were in attendance at a benefit recognizing the I-35W bridge collapse hosted by Davis.
If Foye’s injury doesn’t keep him out longer than the 4-6 weeks, Marko
Jaric should be serviceable as the backup point in limited minutes. If
Telfair is running well, Jaric can run the show in small chunks of time
if on the court with the starters, who should be there to bail him out
if needed. If Jaric is being Jaric, trying too hard and turning the
ball over as he does frequently, Wittman should have no problems with
yanking Jaric from the game and placing Buckner in the game.
Timberwolves have been pleased with the way Craig Smith has taken care of his
body and his effort in training camp. And look for Wolves executive Fred
Hoiberg to be honored as part of the Iowa
State all-time team this
The Timberwolves open their season against Denver at Target Center in Minneapolis on Friday, the same night Bruce Springsteen performs at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. One will be a sellout.