Asked if a buyout of Buckner's contract is a possibility, vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale said Thursday, "No, no. Buck's been great."
Also from Alonzo:
Foye did not practice Thursday but did increase his individual work. Wittman said Foye and Telfair are doubtful for games today at Indiana and Saturday at Milwaukee. Forward Ryan Gomes returned to practice Thursday. He had been sidelined since injuring his left ankle Monday during an exhibition game in Memphis.
From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune:
Without those two point guards, Wolves coach Randy Wittman has started Marko Jaric at point guard and given him mixed reviews, while praising veterans Greg Buckner and Ricky Davis, who have filled in at that position in emergency.
Also from Zgoda:
Wittman has changed his starting lineup each night so far, according to that night's matchup. It's a practice he said he expects to continue to start the season, and probably beyond.
Warren Blatt/The Sports Network puts Al Jefferson on the top of his list of players to watch this season.
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site with an extensive look at Mark Blount. Trudell also posts a Q&A with Al Jefferson.
Bryan Doolittle/RotoTimes previews the Northwest Division.
Chaska resident, former NBA guard and current Minnesota Timberwolves’ Assistant General Manager Fred Hoiberg will headline a program designed to raise awareness for congenital heart defects and the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA)...
Clutch 3 has posted their preseason roundtable discussion.
Wittman's broader point is that there aren't really five positions in the NBA these days. As Wittman puts it, aside from point guards, "You've got wing guys and power guys." Smith, of course, is a power guy. And the idea that he should play further from the basket with Ratliff on the floor is evidently not one endorsed by Wittman.no comments
Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site talked to Randy Wittman, Al Jefferson, Corey Brewer, Greg Buckner and Ed Pinckney after Wednesday's practice about what's going on with the team.
After spending 11 days in Europe in close contact with his team, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor says he feels good about the group that will compete without Kevin Garnett when the regular season begins next month...
Also from Walters:
-Taylor said it's too early for him to determine expectations for this season. Meanwhile, there have been no recent trade talks, though that could change in the next two weeks.
- Look for the Timberwolves to make newcomer Al Jefferson a five-year contract offer soon in the $50 million range. Jefferson, who plans to buy former Wolves coach Dwane Casey's Minneapolis townhouse when he gets a new deal, will have until Oct. 31 to accept or reject the offer.
Veteran guard Greg Buckner said Wednesday he would understand if the Timberwolves want to buy out his contract and that he wouldn't fight the issue.
But his agent said a buyout is unlikely and that the Wolves shouldn't expect Buckner to take less money than he's owed.
Believing youth will eventually be served, Wittman is not above serving it up during the preseason...
Also from Youngblood:
Foye (knee tendonitis) and Telfair (ankle) both missed practice again Tuesday, as did forward Ryan Gomes (ankle). Of the three, Wittman said Gomes was the closest to returning to action.
From The Blowtorch - What your favorite NBA player says about you.
Click here for postgame quotes from Tuesday's loss to the Hawks.
Guy Lake/ESPN on the Wolves from a fantasy perspective.no comments
Stephen Litel/Hoopsworld talks to Mark Blount about the player's role with the team.
I continue to believe the starting lineup for the Timberwolves on opening night will be Randy Foye, Ricky Davis, Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson and Mark Blount. That does not mean, however, these are the players who will receive the most minutes on the team.
The Heat has been speaking with the agent for Cavaliers restricted free agent guard/small forward Sasha Pavlovic, and Miami interests him. But sign-and-trade talks haven't produced a deal. Also available via trade, according to one GM: Utah's Gordon Giricek and Minnesota's Ricky Davis.
Frank Isola/NY Daily News on Isiah Thomas
Thomas never hid his desire to land Garnett, and the Knicks made a bid that was rebuffed.
And although Thomas would never admit it, you get the idea that he buys into Jackson's theory that the relationship between Ainge and McHale is the reason why Garnett, the perennial All-Star power forward, ended up in Boston and not New York, Los Angeles or Phoenix.
From Andrew Perna/RealGM:
This seems to be the theme heading into the start of the regular season. Minnesota’s Al Jefferson is looking for a lucrative contract extension from his new team, just as Ben Gordon and Luol Deng are in Chicago. The Timberwolves are prepared to negotiate with Jefferson after the season if the Halloween deadline comes and goes, but Al’s price might be a lot higher after he gets the run of the roost in Minnesota. Kevin McHale would be smart to lock Big Al up now, but he’s never one to go by the book.no comments
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said Tuesday he expects to examine soon the terms of the contract that will be offered to fourth-year forward Al Jefferson, the centerpiece in July's five-player, two-draft pick trade for Kevin Garnett.
The Wolves have until Oct. 31 to sign Jefferson to a contract extension. After that, Jefferson, selected by Boston 15th overall in the 2004 draft, cannot be signed until next summer, when the Wolves still would retain the right to match any other team's offer.
"We will try," Taylor said. "It will be a good offer, a real offer, not a low-ball offer. But I don't know what his agent's expectations are."
A footnote, an afterthought to July's Kevin Garnett trade, new Timberwolves center Theo Ratliff has demonstrated across Europe and the American South recently that his surgically repaired back has healed and, at age 34, he still possesses the instincts that twice made him the NBA's blocked-shot leader.
"Theo gives us a presence we haven't had in there," coach Randy Wittman said Tuesday before Minnesota's 103-77 loss at Atlanta, a game in which Ratliff didn't play. "He's going to have the ability to block shots, as well as Al. That's something we really haven't had here in a number of years."
Ratliff has impressed Wittman so far in the exhibition season since being acquired from Boston in July as part of the Garnett trade. If he continues to play like he has, he could get significant minutes this season at center, maybe even start at times.
Forward Mark Madsen, who has been sidelined since August because of surgery on his right shoulder and pectoral muscle, said his "progress is going very well and very steady." He didn't want to put a time frame on his return, but he's expected back in mid-November.no comments
From the game recap:
Zaza Pachulia scored 16 points to lead six players in double figures, and the Atlanta Hawks held Minnesota scoreless for the first 9:35 of the fourth quarter and beat the Timberwolves 103-77 on Tuesday night.
Al Jefferson, acquired from the Boston Celtics in the Kevin Garnett trade, had 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves (1-3).
Forward Ryan Gomes (sprained ankle) and point guards Randy Foye (knee tendinitis) and Sebastian Telfair (sprained ankle) did not play Tuesday night. Wittman said the injuries aren't cause for long-term concern, and the players are scheduled to be re-evaluated before the team departs Thursday for its next game, Friday at Indiana.no comments
But unless Foye can stay with the lightning bugs and bear the scoring load at off-guard, it seems like Marko's fragile confidence, referred to by Taylor, may be destined to take another hit. Bottom line, lack of a classic point guard to provide a steadying influence remains the largest of the Wolves' many problems heading into this season.
Certainly, it remains to be seen how the rest of the preseason unfolds, but to this point it can be safely assumed Rashad McCants has earned a higher standing in the rotation of guards than Green. Hopefully, with McCants now showing somewhat of a reason for hope, Green will be given those minutes for the duration of the preseason to see if he is able to grow up on the basketball court.
Marty Burns/SI.com on Al Jefferson and the other unsigned members of the Class of 2004.
David Thorpe/ESPN ranks Corey Brewer #8 on his list of rookie of the year candidates.
Brewer is a lot like Thornton in that he plays incredibly hard and is an elite athlete, but he has not yet developed a strong shooter's stroke or a scorer's feel.
He makes this list as a projected starter (in the near future) who will fill up a stat sheet. In addition, he makes a lot happen on defense and does the little things that go beyond the box score.
With an improved jumper, Brewer could finish in the top three by year's end.
The Wolves site has an audio breakdown of tonight's matchup against the Hawks.no comments
Sekou Smith/Atlanta Journal-Constitution with a look at the Hawks roster the Wolves will face tonight in Atlanta.
Click here for the game thread in the forum.
Stephen Litel/Hoopsworld talks to Corey Brewer about the player's adjustment to the NBA.
From Dime Magazine:
You think Ricky Davis isn’t gonna take a ton of shots this year? Between KG being gone, a team full of young T’wolves who will naturally defer to a veteran, the high likelihood that Minnesota will be trying to shoot their way back into a lot of games, and the fact that he didn’t earn the nickname “Ricky Buckets” for his passing, it’s gonna be like watching the first half of Juwanna Mann when Jamal Jackson/Juwanna Mann was playing 1-on-5 all the time. Oh, and did we mention that Rick is in a contract year?
Check out the links below for blog previews of the Central Division teams.
CelticsBlog NBA Page
The Wolves face the Hawks in Atlanta tonight in the team's second preseason game with no local radio or tv coverage.
While he continues to experiment, Wittman presented a starting lineup on Monday -- the opening night of that trip that will also take them to Atlanta and Indiana -- that could very much resemble opening night on Nov. 2 against Denver: Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff and Corey Brewer in the frontcourt, Ricky Davis in the backcourt. Marko Jaric started for Foye, who along with Telfair was not in uniform.
Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press on last night's game at Memphis:
Forward Al Jefferson was more involved in the offense, something that had been an issue during the first two exhibition games when the Wolves didn't work the ball inside as much as Wittman wanted...
Also from Alonzo:
Wolves forward Ryan Gomes suffered a left ankle injury with about 6 minutes left in the second quarter against Memphis. Gomes winced after he landed awkwardly under the basket and left the game moments later. On his way to the bench, he told Wittman he was OK, describing the injury as "a little tweak."
Gomes played just four minutes and did not return.
Wittman said Gomes' ankle "swelled up pretty good." Gomes is doubtful for tonight's game at Atlanta.
Brewer is an alert and active player who seemed to defend well, including a spectacular block to break up a Grizzlies two-on-one fastbreak. But he seems to lack the athleticism, ball-handling, and shooting ability to be a star. He can be a good pro, but I suspect that, a few years down the road, there will be several players drafted after him who will be better.
Canis Hoopus on Wolves players with their own websites.
Alex Strien/RealGM on the Wolves/Celtics game in London.
It felt like more of a carnival at times than a game of basketball. The biggest cheer of the night came when the ‘Crazy Dunkers’ came out. The second biggest cheer was for the Timberwolves mascot Crunch...no comments