Starting at Center, Number 16, Pau Gaasoollllll!?

Surprise surprise, rumors are swirling again that the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to move starting PF Pau Gasol. The 32 year old Spaniard is again the victim of the Lakers early season struggles. This season for the Lakers has been one of big dreams and mass blame. Early on it was Mike Brown, who in reality should never have been chosen over Rick Adelman in the first place. Brown got the quick axe and now it looks to be the once loved Lakers big man who is getting the LA “Death Stare”.

Thus far Gasol has registered a career low 12.6 PPG while shooting .420 percent from the floor. The rest of his game seems to be around his career average with 8.8 RPG and a respectable 3.5 APG. But with the unsatisfactory drop from his Laker average 18.4PPG, it is easy to put a target on the 7’0” big man. Unfortunately for Pau, his surroundings seem to be his downfall. He is on one of the most covered and decorated sports franchises of all time, playing with one of the greatest NBA players of all time and is once again paired with a post player who is taking Pau’s touches , looks, and space in the paint. Granted Pau can hit it from anywhere within 18 feet, he needs to be fed the ball down low. I don’t know if the Lakers forgot, but Pau Gasol has one of the best jump hooks in the league today, and not to mention he can do it with either hand! But so can Dwight Howard right………..? [Read more…]

Derrick Williams Trade Proposals

As you can see, even Crunch is willing to drive Derrick Williams out of town at this point.  As the Pups enter a four day stretch without a game, we wanted to tackle the most polarizing player on the roster right now.  In fact, this topic might get so heated that Big Al asks me to stop writing for the site.  We are on opposite ends of the spectrum on this one and I’ll start the conversation with a number of trade proposals that I would at least consider if I were running the Wolves.

Personally, I do not feel like Derrick Williams has a role on this team if/when the Wolves finally get healthy.  When Kevin Love returns, that gives DWill no more than 15 mpg at the PF spot, which includes moving Love over to play C at times.  DWill’s weaker position, SF, is currently loaded on the roster with AK47, Cunningham, and now Josh Howard.  The former two players in that list have outplayed DWill to this point in the season and I don’t think that can be argued.

Therefore, it is time to think hard about shipping him to another team before he gets stuck at the end of the bench and his value continues to decline.  I do believe that DWill can and will be a decent pro.  However, there aren’t many teams that are a worse fit for him.  Who could have predicted this when he was drafted?  (Raises hand, along with hundreds of others) [Read more…]

Timberwolves Rumors: Love Still Irritated Over 4-Year Deal?

Kevin Love & Ricky Rubio have begun to cement themselves as one of the NBA’s top PG-PF combinations.

Last season to the surprise of many folks around the NBA, the Minnesota Timberwolves were indeed able to come to terms with franchise cornerstone Kevin Love on a 4-year maximum contract extension, despite the team’s ability to offer Love a five-year deal. Love and his agent “reluctantly” agreed to the shortened contract offer, and K-Love was certainly peeved off at the organization for not dishing him the maximum possible offer. Ia an interview provided by the Associated Press, Love elaborated on his frustrations with last winters’ negotiations:

“That’s because I wanted to be here,” Love said, slapping his hand on the arm of a chair to stress the point. “I wanted them to say, ‘When people think Minnesota Timberwolves, they think Kevin Love.’ And I felt with my contract we didn’t really do that.”

Owner Glen Taylor and president of basketball operations David Kahn wanted to keep maximum flexibility with the payroll. So they were hesitant to offer the five-year maximum to Love or any other player, for that matter.

“There’s a lot of stuff behind the scenes that people didn’t know about and they will never know about,” Love said. “A lot of people looked at me and said, ‘Oh, he doesn’t want a four-year deal?’ No. I wanted to be the guy. I wanted to be THEIR guy. The fact that I worked as hard as I possibly could and made my mark in many different ways, even after last season, I felt I was a little bit slighted. At this point I’m past that now.”

Despite stating that he is past the whole situation, it is clear that Love will be playing with a chip on his shoulder from this point on. Perhaps an angry Love isn’t the worst thing in the world (as long as Luis Scola isn’t around), given that it will probably only make him play harder in attempt to prove the entire upper management and ownership that they made a mistake by not signing him to a 5-year deal. [Read more…]

Dear Kahn: Please Do Not Sign Andray Blatche

There have been way too many “positive” articles written about the Timberwolves signing Andray Blatche and we need to ensure that there is enough of a counterargument online to this type of move, just in case David Kahn is out there and listening.

After Darren Wolfson reported the Twolves interest on his Twitter feed I started to make comparisons for the players in which the team has been linked to – Blatche, Tolliver, Hassan Whiteside, and Mickael Pietrus – and who would be the best and worst matches.  Guess where Blatche lands – the very bottom of said list.
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Report: Timberwolves Turn Down Trade For Andrew Bynum

Earlier this week, the Orlando Magic put an end to the “Dwightmare” and finally sent star center Dwight Howard to Los Angeles after months of trade demands and tension between the player and organization. The finalized trade involved a total of four teams, the Magic, Lakers, 76ers, and Nuggets. The trade culminated in the Lakers receiving Howard, the 76ers nabbing All-Star center Andrew Bynum and G/F Jason Richardson, Denver taking back G/F Andre Igoudala, and Orlando bringing back the haul of SG Arron Afflalo, PF Al Harrington, 2012 first-round pick SF Moe Harkless, 2011 first-round pick C Nikola Vuvecic, and three protected future first-round picks from the other three teams. Orlando, clearly looking to shoot low this season to get as high of a first-round pick as possible, passed up the opportunity of bringing back potentially both Igoudala and Bynum.

One of the most interesting parts about this trade is that Minnesota was not involved, despite being engaged in trade talks for Pau Gasol dating back to last summer. However, as reported, the Wolves were approached by Los Angeles to be apart of the deal and were even offered Andrew Bynum in the proposed trade. It has not been released as to who Minnesota would have needed to give up in order to return the 24-year-old 7-footer, but it is likely that the Wolves were asked to part ways with either Kevin Love or Ricky Rubio. David Kahn has reiterated that both players are untouchable, and apparently he was not tempted by the idea of taking back the second best center in the NBA.
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Timberwolves: Implications of a Batum Signing

The Timberwolves began NBA free agency in frenzy as the clock struck midnight on July 1, commencing their quest for veteran additions to their current nucleus by scheduling meetings with SG-SF Nicolas Batum, C Greg Stiemsma, former Portland SG Brandon Roy, and PF-C Jordan Hill. The Timberpups also reached out to the likes of SG Jamal Crawford, SG OJ Mayo, while remaining extremely active in trade discussions with the Los Angeles Lakers in hopes of landing PF Pau Gasol.

It appears that the Pups are as dedicated as any team in the NBA to land multiple high-profile players NOW, greatly reflecting their urgency to “win now,” as Minnesota head coach Rick Adelman is 66 and is likely in the middle of his final contract of his life, while Pups owner Glen Taylor is 71 and wants to see how far his current core group of players can take him before he sells the team in a few years. Whatever the sole cause, it is very uncharacteristic of the Wolves to be so very active in free agency while placing such great importance on attracting marquee names to the land of 10,000 lakes, and the Minnesota front office and coaching staff deserves much credit for their persistent efforts thus far. [Read more…]

NBA Free Agency: Timberwolves Offseason Plans

A look into the Timberwolves offseason plans

Well here we are, it is July 1 and NBA free agency has just begun. The Timberpups decided to not extend qualifying offers to both Anthony Randolph and Michael Beasley, making the pair unrestricted free agents and meaning that they will most likely not be returning in Timberwolves uniforms next season. The club has also pushed back the team option deadlines on both Martell Webster and Brad Miller, as they look to include them in trades over the next few weeks. With potentially $20 million in cap space, Minnesota looks to be a major player in a strong free agent crop this summer.
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