The Timberwolves finalized their roster late this afternoon, releasing Wayne Simien and placing Juwan Howard on waivers after a contract buyout as expected. They also made a last-minute deal that only makes sense in the convoluted world of NBA salary-cap specifics.San Antonio sent to the Wolves guard Beno Udrih and cash for a protected 2006 second-round draft pick that never will be delivered. The Wolves then waived Udrih and the Spurs got some salary-cap relief. Got it? I sure don’t.
For more on the deal, click here.
From Jerry Zgoda's On The Wolves blog:
Wolves coach Randy Wittman expected Foye to be ready to practice after he sat out more than two weeks because of knee tendinitis before playing in Friday’s exhibition finale against Milwaukee and was concerned when Foye couldn’t go on Monday morning. Last week, he appeared ahead of Sebastian Telfair as both tried to heal from injuries.Telfair played 27 minutes in that game, Foye 16. Wittman said Foye would be re-evaluated on Tuesday.no comments
Rashad McCants talks about the team's preseason trip abroad and shares video highlights with Mark Rosen/WCCO.
You can also check out a behind the scenes clip from the filming of the Wolves commercials.
Tas and Skeets at the Basketball Jones preview all 30 teams in 30 hours. Check out their Wolves preview here.
Having the mentality of a leader is not inside everyone. Braving the storm of criticism in order to achieve ultimate success is a feat not many are able to face. Randy Foye has that all-important final piece which makes him the ideal candidate to lead this team for the rest of his career — confidence without arrogance.
"I feel as though I'm a natural born leader, and I feel like I can get this team to follow me. I want to be that. Some of these guys I'm playing with, they are already following me. Juwan came in here today and said, 'It's your show, young fella.' It's good and, at the same time, it makes me feel good that guys want to follow me. When somebody wants to follow you, you want to lead them," he said.
Marc Stein/ESPN's power rankings has the Wolves ranked last in the league.
Jefferson had a nice preseason, but let's be real. If the first Wolves team without KG since 1994-95 would have stayed in Turkey for another month or two, would anyone back in Minneapolis have minded?
The Wolves may not win a ton of games but they have a roster stocked with young talent and a cap space plan in place. Even with KG they were a lottery team . . . at least now there is a bright future without the pressure of having to win every season.
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site with an extensive season preview of Al Jefferson.
Some of the players hung out at the Mall Of America this past weekend.no comments
The Pioneer Press has up the second part of Rick Alonzo's interview with owner Glen Taylor.
On making Wittman the team's permanent coach.
I don't know if we could have made those changes with K.G. here. I don't know that Randy would have made any difference if K.G. was here. I think without K.G., with new guys, it might work with Randy.
It has more to do with K.G., and K.G. not liking Mike James, and Marko (Jaric), and he didn't like Mark Blount. Heavens, half the starting team. And Ricky (Davis) didn't listen to (Wittman). So it was kind of like, holy gripes. But I don't know who I could have brought in. I know I would have had to bring in a really experienced guy. There weren't too many guys available.
On what was pushing him to trade Garnett.
I think there was a lot of stuff going on that we just couldn't talk about publicly. K.G. wanted Trenton (Hassell, forward) around. K.G. wanted Troy (Hudson, guard) around. And those guys took advantage of the situation, and it drove me nuts. I thought both of those guys could have been better players. But somehow because K.G. stuck up for them, they probably would have both been better players this year without K.G. But they had gone down the rope so far...
From Krista Jahnke/Detroit Free Press, Chauncey Billiups and Flip Saunders comment on Part 1 of Alonzo's interview with Taylor.
"I guess the most amazing thing is, it's been three years," Saunders said. "At some point you've got to let it go. I guess if I was running for president, I'd say, 'Are you better off today than you were three years ago?' If you are, then it's a smart decision. If you aren't, then maybe there were other factors."
Britt Robson/On The Ball looks at the team's preseason plus/minus total.
On Saturday, Walker was asked if he might be a candidate for a contract buyout.
"Not right now, that's not been discussed with me," he said. "I just got here. I want to see if it can work. I want to play basketball. Everywhere I go, I try to make a home for myself and play to the best of my ability and hopefully I can be a part of this team. I don't know what role that will be yet, but hopefully a good one."
Bob Finnan/The Morning Journal on Juwan Howard:
Published reports say the Cavs could be interested in signing him once he's bought out.
Look for the Bulls to be among the teams to express interest in Juwan Howard, especially in connection with a possible Bryant trade. The Timberwolves are expected to buy out Howard this week and Howard has talked about joining Kevin Garnett in Boston. Cleveland, Dallas, San Antonio, Miami and Phoenix also have been mentioned as possible destinations.
Stephen Litel/Downtown Journal on Randy Foye's cover shoot for the paper.
Bob Sansevere/Pioneer Press talks to Theo Ratliff. On what he wants his epitaph to say, the player's response is:
Here lies Theo Ratliff, who was a Christian man, a family-oriented man, a man with conviction about being a part of charities, and a man who helped a lot of other people.
“Minnesota probably just wanted to move personalities and give the team to the young guys,” the Celtics coach said.
Mitch Lawrence/NY Daily News predicts the team will finish tied for third in the Northwest division with a record of 32-50.
In his preseason predictions, Mike Kahn/Fox Sports lists Antoine Walker as the league's worst defender and Al Jefferson as the season's most improved player.
When he reflects on his life sometime down the road, you can be sure Antoine Walker won't look back fondly on 2007...
WD/Canis Hoopus on the team's offseason moves.
Stephen Litel/Hoopsworld on news the team was finalizing Juwan Howard's buyout.
Gary Giombetti/Hibbing Daily Tribune on the team's recent trade with the Heat.no comments
Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press talks to team owner Glen Taylor about why he continues to support Kevin McHale. Taylor says he doesn't think he has any "special loyalty" to McHale. He also says that some of moves McHale is criticized for, such as Chauncey Billups leaving the Wolves, were actually things Flip Saunders did.
That's not to say Kevin hasn't done some things wrong that I got kind of ticked at him for. But they're kind of other things, some of the trades, some of this type of stuff that he probably should have looked at more, checked into the character of guys more, done more work on them. So, then I go back and say, well, is it because I didn't give him enough support? I don't always just shoot a guy down like that. Maybe I didn't give him enough help.
I can assure you he holds nothing over me. I can tell you that Fred Hoiberg isn't ready yet. But Kevin wouldn't have any problem stepping down if, say, Fred was ready.
On KG blaming McHale:
I'm just saying, a lot of the guys that left here, K.G. (Kevin Garnett) kind of points out that it was Kevin. I say, K.G., you even know better. You were here on the gosh-darn team. K.G. says, well, I really liked it when Flip was here; when we got rid of Flip, that's what made it bad for me. I says, well, K.G., where were you when I asked you, do you want Flip? You didn't want Flip. He says (he wanted him) now.
Antoine Walker's reaction to the team working on a buyout for Juwan Howard:
"I'm disappointed," said Walker, who, at age 31, is three years younger than Howard. "I was looking forward to it. Me and Juwan grew up as kids together. He was in high school when I was in elementary school. He was a big star in Chicago. I know he's thinking of trying to play for a championship, so hopefully best of luck to him."
Wolves forward Chris Richard's contract is not fully guaranteed, but he made the team anyway. That shows how much the staff likes him.
Also from Alonzo, Walker on yesterday's scrimmage:
"I felt good," Walker said. "I was a little confused about some of the plays. But it was great getting out there with the guys. They've welcomed me with open arms. It's going to be a fun group to play with. We're a lot more talented than people think."
Ricky Davis, while a Timberwolf, initiated a dinner for Tuesday in downtown Minneapolis to honor first responders' rescue efforts during the Interstate 35W bridge collapse. Davis won't be able to attend because he has been traded to Miami, but the recognition benefit will be held.no comments
Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press on Juwan Howard:
The buyout is not official yet, Wolves spokesman Mike Cristaldi said Saturday. But an agreement is expected to be reached before 5 p.m. Monday, the NBA deadline for players to set their regular-season rosters.
Howard hugged teammates goodbye after Friday's exhibition finale at Target Center and did not attend the Wolves' public scrimmage there on Saturday evening...
From Zgoda's blog, On The Wolves:
His departure, barring any other transactions by Monday’s 5 p.m. roster deadline, seemingly gets the Wolves to the required 15-player limit, assuming they waive Wayne Simien as well. Simien was acquired in Wednesday’s trade with Miami, but was told not to come to Minnesota along with new Wolves Antoine Walker and Michael Doleac.
Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune on Corey Brewer's childhood, his family, and hometown of Portland, Tennessee:
When he was young, his middle-school teacher telephoned his mother at work one day and asked her to fetch her son because he clearly wasn't feeling well.
Glenda Brewer asked what was wrong.
He's not smiling.
"All his life, if I go through his pictures, every one I've seen has got that smile," his mother said. "He was a happy child. There was a reason he smiled. I'm going to tell you why he smiled. See, I've found, we have love. We love each other. You've got to love each other."
Stephen Litel/Downtown Journal on last night's win over Milwaukee:
Apparently, in an effort to be somewhat of a buzz-kill, I feel the need to point out the rough evening had by Craig Smith. In 23 minutes, Smith had 8 points, 2 rebounds, 5 fouls and 7 turnovers. Throughout most of the game, Smith was constantly complaining to the refs for what he felt were bad calls, although most of the calls were spot on.
At one point in the third quarter, Smith was sitting on the bench after another horrible stint in the game. He sat there, very upset and nearly crying. Eventually placing his head in his hands, Smith put on such a display Marko Jaric--the team’s resident pouter--put his hand on Smith’s back, consoling him.
Ben Polk/City Pages on the game:
Things got surreal for me as I came into the Wolves dressing room after the game. Jefferson, McCants, Ryan Gomes (who, it turns out, is a really charming, friendly guy), Randy Foye and Corey Brewer were watching highlights of the Celtics-Cavs game, in which the aforementioned KG managed a triple-double and some ridiculous highlights. It was beyond strange to see these normal (sort of) guys chatting about their former team and teammate...
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site with an extensive look at Marko Jaric.
Oly Sandor/Hoopsvibe on veteran players the team could move.no comments
From the Timberwolves site:
According to team sources, the Wolves are finalizing a buyout agreement with forward Juwan Howard. Per team policy, details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Upon the final announcement of Howard's buyout, the Wolves' roster would sit at 16 players, and must be reduced to 15 players by the 5:00 p.m. central deadline on Monday.no comments
Did anyone else read Sports Illustrated's NBA season preview issue, especially the Timberwolves page, especially the anonymous scout's take? Especially the part where the scout ripped Al Jefferson and gave huge ups to Gerald Green? What is a customarily fine mag like SI doing quoting obvious idiots as experts, and where was at least one editor with a smidgen of hoops knowledge to spot this bullshit and demand either a new scout, another interview, or one of those laughing heads to clue people in that the whole thing was a weird joke?
Click here for the SI.com scouting report to which Robson is referring.
From Jerry Zgoda's On The Wolves blog:
Al Jefferson, if he stays healthy and the Wolves can sign him to a long-term contract extension by Wednesday or next summer, will make the Kevin Garnett deal look lopsided within five years. He proved during the preseason — with a 17.9 point, 13.4 rebound, 31 minute average — that he’s the foundation of the team’s rebuilding.
Bob Sansevere/Pioneer Press talks to Coach Wittman, Kevin McHale, and the player himself about Al Jefferson.
On Jefferson's hands:
"It's like that old flypaper my grandma used to have hanging down from the ceiling. Anything that hits it sticks," Wittman said. "He has unbelievable hands."
"I've always been known for having good hands," Jefferson said. "When I played football, I always made the catch. And I always had good hands on the court."no comments
Newly acquired forward Antoine Walker did not dress for the game but watched from behind the bench. Michael Doleac was in the locker room after the game.
Walker and Doleac are expected to practice today when the Wolves host an open scrimmage at Target Center. The event starts at 5 p.m. and is free to the public.
Alonzo also writes that Antoine Walker "said all the right things" to the media on Friday.
"Any time you get traded in training camp, it's always a surprise," Walker said. "But I'm excited. I think it's a good situation for me. It's a young team. They need some veteran leadership with guys that have been around. So I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Riley did not play Walker in the Heat's final two preseason games, and Walker did not play in the Wolves' 106-85 victory over Milwaukee at Target Center because he just reported to the team on Friday morning. Before the game, Walker said he was anxious to play again and hoped to see some minutes in that preseason finale.
"I don't pay attention to what is said in Miami about Antoine," Wittman said. "All I can go on is what I see. That's what I've told him. He's got an opportunity here. If he shows he can help this team, he'll be out there helping the team."
NBA.com interviews Randy Foye about his childhood and his love of basketball.
From the Associated Press:
Former NBA player Eddie Griffin had more than three times the legal alcohol limit in his system when he crashed his sport utility vehicle into a moving train and died this summer, according to an autopsy report released Friday.
The Big Lead previews the Northwest Division.
Check out KFAN to vote for Sludge and Lake Wolves Dance Team All-Stars.no comments