Luke Ridnour Rumors
March 8 at 1:04pm CST By Luke Adams
Amidst rumors that Flip Saunders might be next in line to run the Timberwolves' basketball operations and owner Glen Taylor's insistence that current GM David Kahn could still be retained beyond this season, Taylor tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities to expect a decision no later than the end of April.
"I owe it to David to get going," Taylor said. "I can't go on for a long time."
Here are a few more of the latest Wolves rumblings from Wolfson:
- Taylor tells Wolfson that he hopes the team can work out an agreement with restricted free agent Nikola Pekovic this summer, but Wolfson continues to hear from team and league sources that Taylor likely won't go up to $12MM+ annually for the big man.
- Taylor expects Rick Adelman to return to the Wolves' bench as head coach next season.
- According to Taylor, Adelman had no interest in moving Luke Ridnour at the trade deadline, leading Wolfson to speculate that Kahn was more open to a Ridnour or J.J. Barea trade than the head coach was.
- As the Wolves debate whether to add a big man on a 10-day contract, Eddy Curry is one name the club has discussed internally, says Wolfson.
March 1 at 9:35am CST By Luke Adams
The trade deadline may be behind us, but that doesn't mean Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities won't continue checking in with his weekly Scoops column on Fridays. Wolfson still has a handful of Timberwolves-related notes to pass along, so let's check them out....
- Louis Amundson told FOX Sports Florida that the Timberwolves nearly traded him and Luke Ridnour to the 76ers for Spencer Hawes, but a source close to one of those players tells Wolfson that's "not true." Still, as Wolfson has previously reported, the Sixers did talk to Minnesota about Ridnour and J.J. Barea.
- Given how heavily the T-Wolves shopped Ridnour and Barea prior to the deadline, one of them will be moved this summer, says Wolfson.
- One source tells Wolfson to expect the Wolves to pursue a trade for Caron Butler in the summer. Butler, who will be entering the final year of his contract next year, was nearly sent to the Wizards on deadline day.
- Nemanja Bjelica, the 35th overall pick in the 2010 draft, is likely to come over to the NBA next season, a source tells Wolfson. Bjelica, whose rights the Wolves hold, signed a five-year contract with Spanish club Caja Laboral in 2010, but the deal included an NBA opt-out.
February 28 at 10:51pm CST By Luke Adams
10:51pm: The Bulls are in talks to sign Amundson, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com, who adds that a decision is expected on Friday.
8:16pm: Amundson's agent, Mark Bartelstein, acknowledges that while the Knicks are currently in the mix, his client is currently "close" to signing with another team (Ian Begley of ESPN New York tweets).
1:51pm: Since being cut by the Timberwolves nearly three weeks ago, Louis Amundson has yet to find another NBA job. However, the big man tells Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports Florida that a few teams are interested in him, including the Heat, Knicks, Celtics, and Bulls.
The Heat, Celtics and Bulls all have open roster spots, while the Knicks would have to clear room on the roster to make a move. According to Amundson, New York is waiting to see how things work out with Kenyon Martin before making a decision. The Knicks could also waive Rasheed Wallace to clear a roster spot. As for the Heat, Amundson told Tomasson that there may be too much overlap between his skillset and Chris Andersen's. The Birdman recently signed with Miami for the remainder of the season.
While four Eastern Conference teams remain in the mix for Amundson, he was nearly sent to another Eastern club earlier this season. According to Amundson, a trade that would have sent him and Luke Ridnour to the Sixers for Spencer Hawes was nixed by Minnesota, out of concern that dealing Ridnour would leave the team thin at point guard while Ricky Rubio worked his way back to 100%.
Since he was released earlier in February, Amundson will be postseason-eligible for his next team even if he signs after tomorrow's buyout deadline.
February 20 at 9:31pm CST By Chuck Myron
Most around the league are surprised by the Kings' involvement in a cost-cutting deal that sent away Thomas Robinson, the fifth pick of this past June's draft this evening, Grantland's Zach Lowe hears (Twitter link). It's just the fifth time a team has traded a top five pick in his rookie season, ESPN Stats and Info tweets. The Kings weren't expected to be involved in any deals as their ownership situation is resolved, but ultimately they didn't hesitate to jump in at the last moment. Here's more on that trade and from around the West as the hours tick down until tomorrow's 2:00pm Central time deadline:
- If Kevin Garnett is traded, it will be to the Clippers or not at all, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes.
- The Mavs are making Brandan Wright, Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones available in return for draft picks, but won't compromise future cap space, according to Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (All Twitter links).
- J.J. Barea, Luke Ridnour and Derrick Williams are all available from the Wolves, Berger also tweets.
- Marcus Morris is averaging 18.4 minutes per game this month for the Rockets, and he was seeking more before the trade that sent him to the Suns, tweets Sam Amick of SI.com.
- There's a decent chance the Blazers get involved in serious trade talks, but it would likely be about smaller moves, according to Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
- Bill Oram of The Salt Lake Tribune sums up what looks to be a quiet deadline for the Jazz, who aren't interested in trading for anyone on a long-term deal unless they get a core player in return.
February 20 at 10:59am CST By Luke Adams
Here's the latest on the Timberwolves from Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities....
- General manager David Kahn isn't convinced he'll be able to make a deal by tomorrow's deadline, but it won't be from lack of trying, says Wolfson. The T-Wolves have made Luke Ridnour, J.J. Barea, Derrick Williams, and Brandon Roy available as they explore trade options.
- The Wolves have received more calls about Andrei Kirilenko than anyone else, but the club won't move the Russian forward, barring a "too-good-to-be-true offer."
- Minnesota's top priority is a wing player with size. The team reached out to the Mavericks about O.J. Mayo, but was rebuffed, according to Wolfson.
- The Wolves like Timofey Mozgov and view him as a good value in free agency this summer, but are unlikely to reach a compromise on a trade with the Nuggets.
- To acquire J.J. Redick or Avery Bradley, the Wolves would have to give up Williams and a first-round pick, according to Wolfson. That's not happening for Bradley and is very unlikely for Redick.
- Rick Adelman and the Wolves like Courtney Lee and are keeping an eye on him, but they didn't want to offer four years in free agency last summer, so the contract could bother them.
- Adelman told season ticket holders that the Wolves' goal is to re-sign Nikola Pekovic this summer. However, some team sources aren't sure Pekovic is worth $11MM annually, and question his ability to stay healthy, says Wolfson.
February 19 at 8:16pm CST By Ryan Raroque
As we heard earlier, ESPN's Chris Broussard reports that the Raptors are in the market for a point guard and have been in talks with the Suns about moving Sebastian Telfair (Twitter link). Additionally, this ESPN report (which credits Broussard and Marc Stein) says that Toronto also has interest in Timberwolves' guard Luke Ridnour and Eric Maynor of the Thunder.
Since dealing Jose Calderon, the Raptors' point guard rotation has consisted of Kyle Lowry and John Lucas III. While Lucas has been productive as of late (scoring in double figures in the team's last four games), his assist numbers have been low enough to understand why Toronto could be looking to add a pure playmaker off the bench.
February 19 at 12:01pm CST By Luke Adams
In the last pre-trade-deadline installment of his weekly power rankings, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports shares trade nuggets for a good chunk of the NBA's 30 teams. We've already heard many of them, but here are a few of Spears' notes of interest:
- Agent Mike Conley tells Spears that his client Greg Oden likely won't sign with a team until the offseason. We've heard that the Cavaliers and Bobcats are preparing to make Oden offers after the trade deadline, so if he really waits until the summer to sign, it would strongly suggest to me that he prefers to go to the Heat. Miami can only offer a minimum-salary contract at this point, but would have the mini mid-level exception available again in July.
- The Kings prefer to let a new ownership group inherit the team as is, so they likely won't make any moves at the deadline.
- Eric Gordon figures to remain with the Hornets through the deadline, but the club may explore potential trades involving Gordon this summer.
- A source tells Spears that, contrary to previous reports, the Timberwolves aren't actively shopping Luke Ridnour.
- The Bucks doubt that they'll move either Brandon Jennings or Monta Ellis this week, even though both players could become free agents in the summer.
- Mark Cuban would like to make a trade that makes Dirk Nowitzki the Mavericks' second-best player, according to Spears. I have a hard time believing there's a deal out there like that for Dallas.
- The Pistons are expected to stand pat at the deadline.
February 15 at 11:37am CST By Luke Adams
As usual, Friday morning means the latest installment of Darren Wolfson's Scoops column has been published at 1500ESPN.com. With Minnesota expected to be active in trade talks over the next several days, let's check out the latest Timberwolves rumors from Wolfson....
- The Knicks are one of several teams interested in Luke Ridnour, who is mentally preparing to be moved. The Celtics, Sixers, and Jazz are among the other clubs with varying degrees of interest, says Wolfson.
- Nikola Pekovic has been assured by the T-Wolves that he isn't going anywhere for now.
- While Derrick Williams is still available, a trade over the summer may be more likely, according to Wolfson.
- Brandon Roy's financial advisor is still "rejecting overtures" on a buyout. It seems unlikely the Wolves will be able to move his salary in a trade, so a buyout would be the team's preferred route.
- When Chris Johnson signed for the rest of the season with the Wolves, the contract included a second year. Wolfson expects that it'll essentially be a team option for 2013/14 -- a non-guaranteed minimum salary.
February 15 at 12:02am CST By Ryan Raroque
Back in December, there were some rumblings of frustration brewing with Kevin Love about the direction of the Timberwolves franchise (though he would insist that he desired to stay in Minnesota soon after making those comments). Today, team owner Glen Taylor said that after meeting with Love this week, both of them are - and have been - on the same page. Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press writes that Taylor and Love have met periodically to discuss the future of the team, and that their latest encounter has given the impression that all is currently well in Minnesota. Here's the rest of tonight's miscellaneous links out of the Western Conference:
- Kevin McHale thinks that having James Harden will make the Rockets an attractive destination for free agents (Jonathan Feigen of Ultimate Rockets reports). In another article, Sam Amick of USA Today talks about Harden's emergence into superstardom in Houston.
- Jamal Crawford tells HoopsHype that he doesn't want the Clippers to make any trades right now: "We are family and it would be like trading a family member...We don’t think there is one thing we need that is missing. We have everything."
- Dave of the Blazers Edge answered a few questions about the Trail Blazers in his mailbag, saying that it's a "pretty safe bet" that Portland won't retain many of its bench players next season and that a backup point guard will surely be a target. He mentions Luke Ridnour and Jarrett Jack as hypothetical targets, but adds that the team will have to be wary of the cap in order to try adding a starting center or quality bench players as well.
- Tim Cowlishaw of SportsDayDFW took part in a chat with fans earlier today about the Mavericks. Among his more notable thoughts are that Dallas will miss out on the big names this summer and that he doesn't believe Dirk Nowitzki will ask to be traded. In the event that Dirk wants out, Cowlishaw thinks that Mark Cuban would try to convince him to stay first. In another article, Eddie Sefko (also of SportsDayDFW) makes an argument about why Darren Collison could be a keeper moving forward.
- The Warriors have taken pride in the progress they've made this season, and with four representatives participating in the All-Star weekend festivities, higher ratings for games, and sitting 30-22 in the Western Conference, there is a sense that Golden State is headed in the right direction (Marcus Thompson II of San Jose Mercury News).
February 13 at 11:36pm CST By Alex Lee
Kevin Garnett made some cryptic comments after the Celtics win on Wednesday night, stating that this weekend's festivities will be his last All-Star game, tweets Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. Garnett signed a three-year extension with Boston in the offseason, so this statement obviously prompted confusion and resulting questions from media (via Chris Forsberg on ESPN.com):
"Y'all don't know what I know," Garnett said. "So, let's put it like this: I'm more than grateful for going, but I'm not going to act like I've got more All-Star Games in me, so I'm actually going to enjoy this one with some friends and family."
Garnett could obviously be implying that he will decline future All-Star invites, but given his tendency for hinting at walking away from the game, this is something worth following. Here are some other things going on around the league:
- With his knee still bothering him, Derrick Rose told reporters that he "won't mind missing this year" if he isn't ready, writes Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. This was the first time Rose spoke to the media since the start of the regular season, making this a surprising revelation. Rose was originally thought to be aiming for a post All-Star break return, but that sure seems like a long shot at this point. Based on Rose's words, it is clear that he intends to come back on his terms and will only do so when he is entirely healthy.
- If the Knicks are truly inquiring on Luke Ridnour, sharpshooter Steve Novak may be the only piece they can move to get it done, writes Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops. Novak, recently relegated to more of a reserve role, makes $4.05MM -- a number that matches up nicely against Ridnour's $4MM for this year and $4.3MM for next. Sheridan writes that Jason Kidd and Pablo Prigioni aren't real options to play meaningful minutes at the point. Sheridan considers Will Bynum of the Pistons to be the best fit for the Knicks.
- Even if no high profile players are dealt by next week's deadline, look no further than last year to see how much a mid-level trade can make an impact on a franchise. The Blazers trade of Gerald Wallace to the Nets -- while it didn't alter the landscape of the league a bit last year -- resulted in the acquisition of Damian Lillard via the NBA Draft, and the subsequent expediting of the Blazers rebuilding process, says Ben Golliver of Blazer's Edge.
- Asked about the Lakers personnel, Hall of Fame basketball writer Mark Heisler, now of Sheridan Hoops, says via video that the Lakers won't be moving Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol or Kobe Bryant this year. Looking to the future, Hesiler says the team's No. 1 priority is to lock up Howard because, quite simply, he is "the only young player they have who's any good."