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 Twincities.com 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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Sources: Brandon Roy to the Timberwolves?

If you are a Timberwolves fan, there is some level of pain/embarrassment/anger when the name Brandon Roy comes up. Memories emerge of draft night 2006, the night that Twolves brass decided to draft Roy with the 6th overall pick, only to trade him later that night for the 7th pick, Randy Foye. The two players could not have taken different paths in their professional careers as Roy quickly became one of the most feared shooting guards in the league while Foye became a mere afterthought for an organization in desperation mode. After several arthroscopic surgeries on both knees, Roy decided to call it quits at the tender age of 26 due to a lack of cartilage in his knees. In one of his final games as a Trail Blazer, Roy, having been demoted to a reserve role, scored 18 fourth quarter points in game 4 divisional series comeback win against the Dallas Mavericks, recapturing the national spotlight and providing hope that there was still a future for Roy despite his degenerative knees.

After retiring and sitting out this past season, Roy has been working back into NBA playing shape in an attempt to make a comeback to the game he loves. Ironically, this time he could come back as a…you guessed it… Timberwolf. Former Portland lead assistant and current Timberwolves assistant coach Bill Bayno has remained very close with Roy and Bayno has reportedly convinced Timberwolves brass that signing Roy would be worth the risk. With word coming out that Minnesota is set to offer Roy a two year pact when free agency begins next week, Wolves fans may soon have their chance to see the guy who slipped away in home colors. While Roy may never return to being the All-Star player that he once was, many NBA teams are intrigued at the possibility of adding a proven veteran and scoring punch off of the bench. Roy would not be a definite answer to Minnesota’s 2-guard woes, but he could certainly help and it would be satisfying to finally witness him in the uniform he should have worn his entire career.

Photo Credits: Getty Images

Minnesota Timberwolves Draft: Top 5 Targets

The Minnesota Timberwolves got a bit of luck this season as Utah narrowly made it into the playoffs, sending Utah’s first round draft pick to the team as conditioned in the Al Jefferson trade. With the 18th overall selection in the deep 2012 NBA Draft, the Wolves will certainly have their options when they are on the clock. Due to their draft position, we will never know if a high profile prospect will fall to them until draft day, but in the meantime, here are five realistic options who may be available for the team at 18.

5. Terrence Jones
Position: SF/PF  |  School: Kentucky  |  Year: Sophomore  |  Age: 20

 

The Timberwolves saw virtually no offensive production out of starting SF Wesley Johnson this season and desperately need consistent scoring out of the 3 spot. While Derrick Williams is undergoing rigorous two a day, 5 day a week workouts with his goals being to lose 15 pounds and come back next year as the teams starting SF, the Pups need to have a vital plan B and prepare as if D-Will will be unable to make the transition. Enter Terrence Jones. Jones has ideal size (6-9, 252 lbs) , length (7-2 wingspan), athleticism (34.5 inch vertical leap), and an extremely unique skill set that is very similar to that of Josh Smith. A classic “tweener” forward, Jones was a main contributor to Kentucky’s national championship run and would bring a shot-blocking presence that the Pups certainly lack. He is very comfortable as a ball-handler and can knock down shots extending out to three-point range. Most importantly, Jones can get to the hoop and can be a rebounding force, which would add to Minnesota’s dominance in the paint when paired with Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. The Wolves may decide that their need at the 2 guard position is much more dire, but if Jones happens to fall to 18, they may not have a choice. Jones projects to chosen anywhere from number 7 (Golden State) to number 19 (Orlando). [Read more...]

Will the Wolves amnesty Darkooo!?

With 16 games left in the regular season, it is about that time when we start to wonder who might be making their last few appearances in a Wolves uniform. Brad Miller has confirmed that he will retire following the season, opting to focus his efforts toward hunting rather than basketball. It’s been a good run for Miller, best known for his role with the Sacramento Kings back in the C-Webb/Vlade/Bibby/Baby-Hedo/Peja years, and most people around the league expected this year to be his farewell tour.

With Miller and his $5.1 million dollar salary coming off the books, the Wolves will gain some much needed cap relief. According to our calculations, Minnesota will have $55.3 million dollars tied to guaranteed contracts next year. The new CBA left this year’s salary cap consistent to the 2010-11 season ($58 million), and early indications are the 2012-13 cap will fall in the same neighborhood.

The Pups did not extend qualifying offers to Michael Beasley ($8.2 MM) or Anthony Randolph ($4.0 MM), but hold control over both players rights due to their status as restricted free agents. The Wolves will likely wait to see the kind of interest each player draws in free agency before a) offering them a contract b) matching an offer sheet the player signs with another club or c) allowing them to leave via free agency.

So, with all of that said, will Darko be back next year? The center has played 59 minutes in the entire month of March, and head coach Rick Adelman recently had this to say about him:

“He hasn’t done anything to really give you a lot of faith that he’s going to go out and do the job. He’s gotten himself out of shape. He hasn’t been as driven as you’d like so when a situation like this happens, it’s time for someone to have their opportunity and get back in there.”

Flip Saunders (the former Wolves, Pistons, and Wizards head coach) added a few thoughts during his weekly appearance on Dan Barreiro’s radio program (100.3 KFAN, Minneapolis):

“The talent that Darko has, if he was totally engaged, he’d be making about $15 million a year instead of $5.. He’s extremely talented.. One of the better players I’ve ever had as far as defensively and pick-and-roll defense, being able to jump out and get back to his own guy. He is long, he can shoot the ball.. He has a lot of the tools.. A lot of times God doesn’t give you the whole package, he only gives you certain pieces of it.

Using the one time amnesty exemption on Darko would give GM David Kahn and the Wolves an additional $5.2 million in 2012-13 and $5.7 million in 2013-14 to play with, so the time could be right to make a move. Clearly, Darko’s inability to get off the bench in late season games while Pek isn’t even with the team is a bit troubling. It would be more troubling if the Wolves continue to stick with a guy that by all appearances (and accounts) has already given up on the season.

Timberwolves, Orlando Magic Talking Jason Richardson

Rumors are beginning to swirl that the Orlando Magic have discussed a trade which would send Jason Richardson to the Minnesota Timberwolves most likely in exchange for SF Michael Beasley. This season Beasley has seen a much decreased role coming off of the bench and playing very spotty minutes due to a logjam at SF and PF. He is sitting on an expiring contract and is set to become a restricted free agent at season’s end, and it is not new information that the Timberpups have been shopping Super Cool Beas for some time now. Former All-Star SG Jason Richardson is averaging 12.2 PPG this season while shooting an impressive 39% from three-point range. The Pups could definitely use J-Rich’s hot hand from behind the arc, but the only problem is his age (31) and the fact that he still has an additional 3 years remaining on his contract worth approximately $19 million. The Magic are attempting to appease Dwight Howard to convince him to stay in Orlando past this season by acquiring players that will improve the roster for years to come, and the Magic organization thinks very highly of Beasley’s ability to score from all over the court. With the NBA trade deadline coming on March 15, Michael Beasley’s up-and-down tenure in Minnesota may soon be coming to an end, while the Timberwolves may finally acquire the effective SG they have been looking for.

Photo Credits: WestOrlandoNews.com