I know many of you are in the same boat as I am and simply cannot wait to see B-Roy repping the blue and white. Here is a great compilation of some his best highlights during his five years in PDX. Now, many of these plays happened before knee ailments led Roy to retire before last season, but it is still exciting to know that if he returns to anything close to All-Star form that made him one of the top players in the NBA, he will surely be an upgrade to what the Wolves experienced at shooting guard last season. Well, enjoy the highlights and have a nice weekend y’all.
I really can’t hide my emotions on this one – I absolutely love the signing of Brandon Roy. Sure, it is six years and a few knee procedures later, but if he produces anything this coming season, I’ll finally be able to move on from the now infamous (and tragic) Roy for Foye trade from draft night 2006.
What do I mean by “produces anything”? I don’t expect Roy to play 30 mpg whatsoever. I’d like to see his time somewhere between 20-24 mpg, especially for the first half of the season. Let’s see how he is feeling the day after a game, and more importantly, after back-to-back nights. There’s no reason to wear him out early on in the season, even if Rubio is missing from the lineup (as he likely will be). Even in his introductory press conference, Brandon seemed to be aligned to a similar plan; he mentioned he would like to play as much as possible, but needs to be smart about it.
There were two other important sound bytes from the introductory press conference that caught my attention:
In a move that came to the surprise of very few in the NBA realm, the Minnesota Timberwolves have signed former Boston Celtics backup center Greg Stiemsma to an offer sheet that will most likely not be matched due to Boston’s lack of appropriate cap space. The Wisconsin graduate enjoyed an efficient rookie season this year for the Celtics after originally going undrafted in the 2008 NBA draft and subsequently playing stints in South Korea, Turkey, and the NBA D-League. Ironically, Stiemsma found himself signing with the Timberwolves following the 2009-10 season, but was ultimately waived before appearing in a game for the Pups.
This season for the Celtics, Stiemsma averaged 2.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, and an impressive 1.5 blocks in 13.9 minutes per game. He appeared in 55 games and won over the Boston fans due to his high energy and tireless work ethic. Stiemsma’s offensive game is undoubtedly in need of some work, but there is no question that he is an impact defensively on the low post and he brings a shot-blocking ability that the Timberwolves are in desperate need of. The 6’11”, 260 pounder loves taking charges and does any thing he can to help his team win. There is also not a question that his attitude and work ethic will be an enormous upgrade over that of Darko Milicic and Anthony Randolph.
Well, friends, here we are in the midst of another hectic summer of NBA free agency and our Timberpups just cannot seem to catch a break. For starters, the Trail Blazers matched the Wolves offer sheet to Nicolas Batum worth 4 years and roughly $46.5 million, ending the dream of nabbing the 23-year-old rising star who can shoot, defend, and play both shooting guard and small forward (both positions of significant need). Despite signing Kevin Love to a max contract earlier this year, the Timberwolves are loaded with cap space after the amnesty of Darko, trade of Brad Miller, waiving of Martell Webster, while watching both Michael Beasley and Anthony Randolph sign elsewhere after being non-tendered. This years crop of free agents was not the greatest in recent memory, but there was no doubt that there were plenty of serviceable players that the Timberwolves could realistically sign.
The Batum saga lasted for approximately 18 days, ultimately culminating in Minnesota fans getting their hopes up followed by an inevitable, oh-so-familiar Minnesota sports letdown. The time that Minnesota spent attempting a sign-and-trade with Portland for Batum was not without its opportunity cost as potential free agent fits OJ Mayo, Lou Williams, Jamal Crawford, Landry Fields, Chauncey Billups, and most recently Courtney Lee found new homes. The sting of losing out on Batum was only made worse by seeing other viable wing options fill the needs of contending teams, while limiting Minnesota’s remaining options in free agency. The failed pursuit of Batum not only yielded Portland retaining one of their core pieces, but also contributed to the brewing rivalry between the Timberwolves and Portland.
After several failed attempts at a sign-and-trade deal for Portland SG-SF Nicolas Batum, the Wolves officially signed Batum to an offer sheet worth $46.4 million over 4 years. The deal includes incentives that could potentially push the total dollar amount to over $50 million, and the general consensus of sports minds believe that Portland will not allow Batum to walk for nothing. As a restricted free agent, the Trail Blazers now have until Wednesday night to match the offer sheet.
Minnesota’s amnesty of Darko Milicic, waive of Martell Webster, and trade of Brad Miller have given the Wolves plenty of cap space to fit Batum and his large contract into their payroll, and even gives them additional room to potentially sign a few free agents that most likely include Brandon Roy, Alexey Shved, Greg Stiemsma, Jordan Hill, Courtney Lee, OJ Mayo, and Ronnie Brewer, among others. Many free agents have held off signing with teams until the Batum situation plays out, and Roy and Shved have already verbally agreed with the Wolves until they can officially sign with the team as they await Portland’s decision on Batum. If Portland matches, the Wolves will shift their focus on signing Stiemsma and targeting free agent shooting guards Lee and Mayo. Lee previously played under Timberwolves Head Coach Rick Adelman in Houston, and would be a great fit on both ends of the floor.
The Timberwolves have been prompt to addressing the various team needs so far during this hectic free agency period, beginning by the team sending their first round selection for the likes of SF Chase Budinger. They then took nearly a week to woo UFA SG Brandon Roy, and have reportedly struck a deal with the former Trail Blazer. The deal is reported to be a two-year pact worth $10.4 million, with only the first year being guaranteed. Roy recently retired due to medical concerns over his “cartilage-less” knees before this past season, and he has undergone platelet-rich blood therapy in an attempt to overcome the lack of cartilage in his knees, which is the result of his having several surgeries on each knee.
The Timberwolves originally selected the Washington star with the 6th pick in the 2006 draft, but traded him for Randy Foye on draft night after Timberwolves doctors red-flagged Roy’s knees as a potential problem for his long-term health.
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…]