I had been looking forward to Thursday for months. When your a Wolves fan, June-August always end up being more entertaining than the actual NBA season. Then, Hostpocalypse happened. Like LeBron on a rookie contract, we'd be doing extremely well value-wise with Bloguin's hosting running 150 sites for $80/month. However, as we have now grown in size and stature, the time had come to fork over the free-agent money. Moving one site can be a daunting task. Moving 150? Well, let's just say this is the first time in about 96 hours where I'm not completely obsessed with the process.
That's not entirely true, as I was able to get things under control enough to take in the NBA Draft. After a long day, it was going to be my oasis of care-free entertainment. Needless to say, by the end of it I probably would've found myself less stressed had I just continued with three more hours fixing crashing websites... KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHNNNNNN!
Usually when you experience a nightmare like that, you have a point where you wake up. Hosting-wise, things are much better. T-Wolves-wise? Well, the nightmare has only just begun...
Some interesting thoughts from Wolf Among Wolves
from Ben Polk
- Its become clear that the Timberwolves have made re-signing Darko Milicic (and, to a lesser extent, Nikola Pecovic) a condition of trading Al Jefferson. “It’s the right time finally for us to explore this,” Kahn said. “I’ve met with Al and discussed this. If Darko comes back, there could be a need to create some playing time. We really need to get our front line settled.” This is slightly unsettling because it suggests that Kahn and Rambis have calibrated their concept of “team need” around Darko’s presence. One wonders: did this factor into their decision to pass on Demarcus Cousins? I am now squirming in my chair.
- Kahn predicted that sign-and-trades, rather than straight free-agent signings would dominate the landscape this summer. But, as Myles rightly points out, now that Rudy Gay seems to be off the table it’s not clear which free agents the Wolves might be pursuing. They could certainly attempt use Al to work a Chris Bosh sign-and-trade although I would think that Bosh’s first desire would be to just go wherever Lebron goes. After that, what’s left? Joe Johnson? Carlos Boozer? Amar’e Stoudemire? David Lee? Tyrus Thomas? Amir Johnson? Does any of this make sense?
Passing on DMC to accommodate Darko... I can't even go there. I'll just continue thinking that Kahn can't possibly be that stupid.
As far as the sign and trades go, I think Kahn might be onto something. The media LOVES this free agency period. Talking about a LeBron/Wade/Bosh super team will get anyone to perk up and read an article. That's a level of power that you only see at All-Star games. Still, when it's all said and done, money talks. Somebody like Bosh would get significantly more money in a sign and trade and won't necessarily make up the difference in "endorsements" the same way LBJ would by going to New York. If anything, playing in LeBron's shadow might further hinder his ability to do advertisements, etc. In Minnesota, he would be THE man, the next KG. That's worth some serious coin. Despite all the losing here in Sota, I'm sure KG made waaaaaaay more money "off the court" than Scottie Pippen ever did.
Wolves' off-season has just begun
via Jerry Zgoda at the Strib
A deal involving Jefferson, for example, conceivably would allow the Wolves to take back a signed free agent who received a maximum NBA contract. "I don't want anybody here to feel like we're some poor stepchildren," Kahn said. "We're not. We're building something of great value that will be sustainable. I think we have a chance to have some serious discussions with free agents after July 1."
It might not take Kahn long to learn whether, as many Wolves fans believe, he is deluded.
"I'll you know at about 12:04 a.m. on July 1," Kahn said. "Seriously, not to be funny, we'll know."
I will say, a Jefferson sign and trade for a max contract makes a lot of sense. That's something Miami, Chicago, NY, and even the Nets can't really offer. They've gutted their teams to clear as much cap space as possible, where the Wolves still have something relatively valuable to send to a team that's losing a top-tier player. As I said before, at the end of the day, money talks. The Wolves may be in good position by playing their hand this way. The real question is who's going to bite. If it's Carlos Boozer, I don't see how it makes us significantly better.
Njereaexrweafd Bjaremxnsdlfkjfse is coming to America
via Tom Powers at the Pioneer Press
Kahn likes the skill set Bjelica brings. At 6-10, he could play point guard as well as on the wing. He is that fluid and that good with the basketball. However, the Wolves have to decide whether they want him to work on his upper body strength here or in Europe.
"For sure I will play in the NBA," Bjelica said. "I don't know if I will play this year. I must learn a lot of things to do to reach the next level. Here, everything for me is new."
In fact, this is his first trip ever to the U.S. Although he will accept Minnesota's decision regarding the 2010-11 season, he said he really wants to bring his fiancee over and marry her here. She was his therapist while he recovered from his broken leg two years ago.
There is what I guess you could call an Eastern European hungriness about Bjelica. He is entirely focused on his basketball career. He loves the game, which he said saved him from "the dark side." And he has said often that, while money is important to everyone, he is more concerned with reaching his potential and becoming a great player.
Well, chalk up another feel good story for the Wolves. We may not be champions on the court, but, by golly, we will be champions off ot it.
Wolves Hopes in Free Agency
via Jerry Zgoda at the Strib
Amare Stoudemire: The Phoenix star is not the defender they seek, but he's the kind of athlete they lack at power forward and he's just 27. Remember this: The first rumors when David Kahn took the Wolves job 13 months ago involved him.
Rudy Gay: Wesley Johnson's presence at small forward makes this seem less likely, but the Memphis small forward seems a perfect fit and, at age 23, he's a guy who could be their star. He's a restricted free agent, so this probably would be a sign-and-trade between teams that made the Kevin Love-O.J. Mayo deal two years ago.
Hmm... How is Rudy Gay still a viable free-agent option after Kahn's Small-Forwardpalooza at the draft? Doesn't make much sense to invest that kind of cash in a fifth SF for this team. Amare? Let's just say max-contract and microfracture surgery are two things that should never be mentioned in the same sentence.
Questions about Wes Jonhson
via John Pitarresi at UticaOD.com
The ifs start with the Johnson’s 6-foot-7, 200-or-so-pound frame. That’s skinny by most standards, and certainly by NBA standards. He will gain muscle over the next few years, they all do, but I don’t know how much he can put on. His body type doesn’t look like it can take a lot.
He can shoot it from about anywhere, for sure, and can run and jump like a gazelle, but he has to handle the ball better if he is going to be a guard, and he has to prove he can attack the basket and rebound against big, physical players if he is going to be a small forward.
Again, Johnson was a great player at SU, but I didn’t think he was such a sure-fire pro that he would be picked fourth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in this week’s NBA draft. They’d know better than I.
John, you are giving this front office waaaaaaaaaaay too much credit.
Gomes not long for Portland
via Jason Quick at The Oregonian
Team president Larry Miller said the Blazers will probably release newly acquired forward Ryan Gomes in order to avoid taking on the remaining three seasons of his contract.
The team has until Tuesday to make a decision, but Miller said he has already told Gomes' agent not to fly him to Portland.
In other breaking news, College Wolf, in a move similar to the LeBron supporters in Akron, is staging a rally outside the Target Center, hoping to lure Gomes to Minnesota in free agency.
A review of the Wolves' draft
by Matt Moore at NBC's Pro Basketball Talk
2. Minnesota Timberwolves: "Irrational movement is still progress." The Wolves turned 5 beautiful, untouched picks into a marginally good small forward with a considerable, if not large, contract, and several tweener players that would have been available later in the draft than where they were selected. Wes Johnson is fine, but is he better than Cousins? Than Udoh? Than Monroe? Lazar Hayward... what? And they sent Babbitt to Portland for Martell Webster...and gave them Ryan Gomes! The Wolves' GM got worked by a guy who was fired.
A pretty fair assessment of the team's woes, but a little tough on Wes Johnson. There was talk of him going as high as #3 prior to the draft. Personally, I wanted Cousins. But Epke Udoh or Greg Monroe? I think if Kahn took those guys over Johnson, especially with our current lineup, he'd really need to get his head checked.
Grading the Draft
by Kelly Dwyer at Yahoo! Sports
Listen, I even like Martell Webster(notes). Think highly of him. But to cash in Ryan Gomes'(notes) desirable contract and the 16th pick on Webster? Johnson might be terrible, and a guaranteed contract for Lazar Hayward? What an awful night.
Hey, hey, hey! I object. Look, I'm not the biggest fan of what the Wolves did on draft night either, but that was solid D- work by David Kahn!
HoopsWorld Reviews the Wolves Draft
by Stephen Brotherson
The happiest man in this year's draft just might be Timberwolves President and GM David Kahn. Kahn has stated that even he can't miss with the fourth pick this year and he was right...
I'm just gonna stop right there.
By the way, did any of you tune into Timberwolves.com right after the draft? They had a live broadcast going and Jonah Ballow and Hanny, God bless 'em, were going on and on about how much promise the Wolves picked up in the draft, how the fans were ecstatic with Wes Johnson. All the while the Twitter feed right next to the video wasy streaming Tweets like, "WTF? Lazar Hayward?", "I'm never rooting for this team again!", "Al-Farouq my life", "KAAAAAAHHN!", "What are the Wolves thinking?".