Minnesota Timberwolves Rumors

Corey Brewer Back On Trade Block

December 18 at 6:58pm CST By Eddie Scarito

6:58pm: The discussions between Houston and Minnesota include the possibility of Ronny Turiaf heading to the Rockets as well, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN.com tweets.

THURSDAY, 6:20pm: The Rockets are involved in trade talks with the Wolves regarding Brewer and hope to have an agreement in place by Friday, Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle reports.

WEDNESDAY, 8:25pm: The Timberwolves have placed veteran swingman Corey Brewer back on the trade block, Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein of ESPN.com report. Minnesota, which has been hit hard by injuries and is dead last in the Western Conference with a record of 5-19, are again engaging contending teams in discussions for Brewer. The Rockets, Cavaliers, and Clippers are the franchises most interested in acquiring Brewer, Windhorst and Stein note. The Heat have also been mentioned as being interested in the swingman’s services.

Minnesota had made Brewer available in trade talks back in November, but then pulled hm off of the trade market, with team president Flip Saunders saying that the 28-year-old defensive whiz was “too valuable to trade.” This was due in part to the loss of Kevin Martin to a broken wrist, and Ricky Rubio to an ankle injury, which left Minnesota rather thin in its backcourt, note the ESPN scribes. Saunders had acknowledged last week that the Wolves had switched their focus from retooling to rebuilding in light of the rash of injuries and their poor record, which explains why Brewer is suddenly being made available again.

Houston and Cleveland remain in the best position to make a deal because both teams possess an active trade exception large enough to absorb Brewer’s $4.7MM salary, note Stein and Windhorst. But their sources say that the Wolves are seeking a future first-round pick in exchange for Brewer, something that the Cavaliers are reluctant to surrender. Both the Rockets and the Cavs could certainly benefit from Brewer’s strong perimeter defense and versatility.

As for the Rockets, Houston hopes to sell Minnesota on trading Brewer for the Knicks’ 2015 second-rounder that the Rockets hold the rights to, which is a pick with the potential to be attractive come June given the Knicks’ ongoing struggles, Stein and Windhorst add.

For his part, Brewer would likely welcome a trade since he admitted last week that he wasn’t too keen on going through another rebuild with the Wolves. “It’s tough for me, I’m not going to lie,” Brewer said. “When I came back here, I wasn’t expecting this, to rebuild again. It comes with the territory. It’s business. It’s basketball. It’s what I love to do. So I wake up every day and I come to work.”

For the season, Brewer has appeared in 24 games for Minnesota, including 16 as a starter. He is averaging 10.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals in 28.3 minutes of action per contest.

And-Ones: Lopez, Matthews, Kings

December 16 at 10:27pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Though there don’t appear to be any deals currently imminent, there is a tremendous amount of trade discussions going on amongst teams currently, far beyond the traditional mid-December volume, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter links). According to Wojnarowski, the most active franchises in terms of discussions are the Celtics, Pistons, Suns, Timberwolves, Hornets, Clippers, Pacers, Nets, Nuggets, and Rockets.

Here’s the latest from around the league:

  • Robin Lopez‘s broken right hand will likely keep him out longer than expected. While the initial prognostication was that the Blazers big man would miss four weeks, Lopez tweeted (hat tip to The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman) that it would be six to seven weeks before he would be back on the hardwood again.
  • The Cavs have made numerous attempts to work out a trade with the Blazers for Wesley Matthews, but barring an unexpected free fall in the standings, Portland isn’t expected to deal the swingman, Chris Haynes of The Northwest Ohio Media Group writes. Matthews will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, but the Blazers have every intention of re-signing him, Haynes adds.
  • The Kings‘ firing of Mike Malone may provide an unexpected benefit to the franchise, Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders writes. Many expect the Kings to regress under interim coach Tyrone Corbin, and if that occurs the team should be able to hold onto its 2015 first-rounder. Sacramento’s 2015 first round draft pick is owed to the Bulls if it falls outside of the top 10.

Western Notes: Crawford, Moreland, Brewer

December 16 at 7:41pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Clippers guard Jamal Crawford is being mentioned quite a bit in exploratory trade talks, Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio reports (Twitter link). According to Amico, the Kings, Nuggets, and Thunder may take a run at acquiring the veteran guard, though no serious discussions are talking place just yet. In 23 appearances this season, Crawford is averaging 16.0 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 26.7 minutes per game.

Here’s the latest out of the West:

  • The Kings have once again recalled Eric Moreland from the Reno Bighorns, their D-League affiliate, the team has announced. This was Moreland’s fifth sojourn of the season to Reno, and in seven appearances for the Bighorns he has averaged 13.7 points and 1.4 assists per contest.
  • For the second time this season the Rockets have assigned Clint Capela to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Houston’s D-League affiliate, the team announced. The 6’10” rookie has made four appearances for the Rockets this season, recording a total of six rebounds, one assist, a steal and a block in 12 total minutes of playing time. In his first stint with the Vipers, Capela played in six games averaging 9.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in 14.1 minutes per contest.
  • The Rockets‘ coaching staff is enamored with Corey Brewer and are still pursing a trade with the Wolves for the swingman, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities tweets. No deal is imminent, Wolfson adds.
  • Kevin Durant refuted the notion that players around the league don’t want to play with Kobe Bryant, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. When asked if this perception is why the Lakers have been unable to make a splash in in free agency lately, Durant said,  “Excuse my language, but that’s [expletive]. I want to play with a winner every single night, especially somebody who wants to win that bad, who works that hard, who demands a lot, who raises up your level. I’d want to play with a guy like that every day. His style may make people uncomfortable, how he acts and just how he approaches the game, but I love that type of stuff. I think [the accusation] is BS.”

Ronny Turiaf To Miss Rest Of Season

December 16 at 2:22pm CST By Chuck Myron

Ronny Turiaf will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his right hip today, the team announced (Twitter link). Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune reported the news minutes earlier. Coach/executive Flip Saunders said that the team would waive Turiaf if an intriguing player became available at some point, Zgoda notes. The 10th-year big man is on a fully guaranteed contract worth $1.5MM this year, and it expires at season’s end.

The Wolves already have 16 players on their roster, thanks to the hardship Minnesota qualified for in part because of Turiaf’s lingering hip ailment, and it’s unlikely the team would be granted another extra roster spot. Minnesota can apply for a Disabled Player Exception, but the team can only do so if Turiaf is still on the roster, and it would only be worth $750K, which wouldn’t give the Wolves much additional financial flexibility. The 16th roster spot is only temporary, as the league awards it 10 days at a time, and when the Wolves return to health, the team will have to trim down to 15 players. Minnesota could at that point elect to cut Turiaf and keep Jeff Adrien, whom it added when the league first granted the hardship exception, but it’s unknown whether that’s what Saunders intends to do.

The 31-year-old Turiaf has only seen the floor for two games this season after playing in just 31 games for Minnesota last season. He started in 10 of those appearances and averaged 4.8 points and a stout 5.6 rebounds in 19.5 minutes per contest, but he’s largely failed to give the team much return on its investment in the two-year, $3MM contract he signed in 2013.

Western Rumors: Turiaf, Clippers, Gasol, Lopez

December 16 at 11:48am CST By Chuck Myron

Wolves coach/executive Flip Saunders told reporters today that it’s likely he’ll try to find a way to use Ronny Turiaf‘s roster spot to help the team in the short term, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Turiaf had surgery today on his right hip, and it’s unclear when he’ll be able to return. His contract, which calls for him to make a guaranteed $1.5MM this year, is up at season’s end, as Zgoda notes. Minnesota is already carrying 16 players through a hardship exception granted in part because of Turiaf’s injury, so his extended absence wouldn’t give the team any more ammunition to apply for a 17th roster spot, which it would be unlikely to receive, anyway. There’s more injury-related news amid the latest rumblings from around the Western Conference:

  • Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers acknowledged a report that the team is interested in Jermaine O’Neal, telling gathered media, including Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, that he’s casting a wide net (Twitter link). “Hey, count me in for everybody,” Rivers said. “… We’re looking at everything.”
  • Jordan Farmar isn’t enamored with his limited role under Rivers, who’s giving him just 15.0 minutes per night, observes Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Farmar’s deal with the Clippers includes a player option worth more than $2.17MM for next season.
  • Marc Gasol isn’t tiring of hearing his name in rumors as he nears free agency in the summer ahead, but he once more made it clear that he’s quite pleased to be in Memphis, notes Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link). The Raptors are the latest team reportedly gearing up for a run at the Grizzlies big man.
  • Robin Lopez is expected to miss the next four weeks after suffering a broken right hand in Monday’s win for the Blazers against the Spurs, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. The Blazers have 15 fully guaranteed contracts, so they have little flexibility to find a replacement.

Beck’s Latest: Kings, Knicks, Suns, Nets, Rockets

December 15 at 2:57pm CST By Chuck Myron

There will be chatter aplenty between now and the February 19th trade deadline, but not all of it will truly constitute trade rumors, as Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck cautions. However, when multiple voices speak in unison, there’s usually a grain of truth involved, and Beck has plenty of tidbits he’s heard from a variety of sources around the league. We already passed along the news that the Pistons are putting Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings on the block, but that’s not the only item of note. We’ll pass along the rest of the highlights here and encourage you to read Beck’s full piece for more:

  • The Kings head coaching job is George Karl‘s if he wants it, as both Beck and Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee hear (Twitter links). Alvin Gentry and Mark Jackson are also “prime candidates,” according to Beck, though it’s not clear if the Kings are targeting either of them. Karl said to Tom Byrne of SiriusXM NBA Radio today that, “If they’re interested in me, I’m interested in them (Twitter link). Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first identified Karl as the front-runner for the job, which Tyrone Corbin is expected to assume on an interim basis.
  • Executives around the league tell Beck that the Knicks are making all of their players except for Carmelo Anthony available, as Beck writes in his piece. A similar scenario is in place for New Orleans, where the Pelicans are open to trading everyone outside of Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Omer Asik and Ryan Anderson, Beck hears.
  • Many executives expect the Suns to trade one of Eric Bledsoe, Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas, according to Beck.
  • The Nets would probably only move one or two of Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson, team sources tell Beck. The Rockets asked Brooklyn about Andrei Kirilenko before the Nets traded him to the Sixers last week, Beck also hears.
  • There’s conflicting intel on the Nuggets, whom many executives view as top candidates to become sellers, while one Western Conference exec tells Beck that the Nuggets like their team and aren’t inclined to move anybody. In any case, there’s plenty of interest in Wilson Chandler and Timofey Mozgov, executives have said to Beck.
  • Many executives and scouts identified Thaddeus Young, Mo Williams and David Lee among likely trade candidates, Beck writes.

Western Notes: Howard, Daniels, Mavericks

December 13 at 9:41pm CST By Arthur Hill

The injury-plagued Rockets welcomed center Dwight Howard back to the court Saturday, and guard Patrick Beverley told Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle he expects a smooth transition. “I don’t see anything but good things to happen with Dwight,” Beverley said. “I’m excited. Our team is excited. Our coaching staff, they’re very excited. I know our fans are excited. We’re starting to get some healthy guys back. That’s a big key right now.”

There’s more Western Conference news:

  • Rockets guard Troy Daniels has always been a sharpshooter, but Feigen writes that his shot is suffering due to a shortage of playing time. Daniels has connected on just 25.6% of his three-pointers this season as he battles for minutes. He was able to sink a pair of threes Thursday in a comeback victory over the Kings“Nobody wants to sit on the bench and just watch your teammates,” Daniels said. “At the end of the day, it’s part of being a young guy. I’ve been learning since I’ve been sitting over there, so it was a great opportunity for me to get out there and just do what I do.”
  • The Mavericks shouldn’t be taken seriously as Western Conference contenders until they start beating other contenders, opines Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. The Mavericks have an impressive 17-8 record, but Saturday’s loss to Golden State left them 0-6 against the other teams currently in the West’s top eight. “We’ve got a lot of work to do,” guard Devin Harris said. “We’re beating the teams we’re supposed to, but we need to elevate the team as a whole. We need to grow as a team.”
  • Despite a 5-17 start, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor can see a brighter future, writes Charley Walters of The St. Paul Pioneer Press. Minnesota is likely to miss the playoffs for the 11th straight season, but with young talent like rookies Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine, Taylor believes better days are coming. “This year, knowing that I have [coach Flip Saunders], knowing we have some really good resources, I just understand we’re going to go through part of our growing process,” Taylor said. “For some reason, I’m more accepting of it. I haven’t found myself feeling terribly sad or terribly uncomfortable. I’m more patient.”

Western Notes: Edwin, Bjelica, Christopher, Kerr

December 13 at 8:44am CST By Eddie Scarito

Through the first eight games of the D-League season Fuquan Edwin has averaged 17 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game, and according to a representative for Edwin, these numbers are garnering him interest from the NBA, Chris Reichert of Ridiculous Upside writes. Edwin’s representative told Reichert, “Three teams proactively called in the last three days regarding Fuquan, and several others have inquired with preliminary interest.” Edwin was in training camp with the Spurs this year prior to being waived.

Here’s more from out west:

  • Serbian forward Nemanja Bjelica, whom the Wolves own the draft rights to, could be looking at making the jump to the NBA either next season, or in 2016/17, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune reports (Twitter link). The 2010 second-rounder had inked a deal with the Wasserman Media group back in September.
  • Patrick Christopher, who was recently signed by the Jazz, credits his time overseas for allowing him to pursue his dream of making it to the NBA via the D-League, Jody Genessy of The Deseret News writes. “I got some experience over there [Europe]. I was able to put a few coins away and give myself an opportunity,” Christopher said. “Because when you play in the D-League, it’s somewhat of a sacrifice. That’s why you do take that opportunity, and it’s paid off.”
  • Steve Kerr had a difficult task ahead of him in taking over as coach for Mark Jackson, who was very popular with the Warriors‘ players, Marcus Thompson II of The San Jose Mercury News writes. Kerr’s first move upon being hired was to reach out to the team’s star, Stephen Curry, who was one of Jackson’s most fervent supporters, Thompson notes. When asked how Kerr won him over, Curry said, “How he’s handled the whole situation. He understood the fragileness of that whole transition. He was never arrogant, never saying ‘I’m the best coach in the world, and I’ll take you guys to the promise land.'”
  • With Wilson Chandler off to a solid start to the season, Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari is finding playing time difficult to come by thus far, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post writes. I think he’d [Gallinari] be the first one to say it’s tough for him because he’s used to playing the role that he’s always played,” coach Brian Shaw said. “The guy was out 19 months. He understands that if Wilson wasn’t playing as well as he is playing at that position, then maybe I’d let him out there and try to play through it a little bit more. But Wilson is playing well, and he’s not, so that’s why Wilson is out there.”

Western Notes: Wolves, Brewer, Lakers, Pelicans

December 11 at 11:08am CST By Chuck Myron

Corey Brewer, a trade candidate, admits that he’s not enamored with the idea of going through a youth-focused rebuild with the Timberwolves, as Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune writes. Brewer can become a free agent at season’s end if he turns down a $4.703MM player option, and the Cavs, Rockets, Clippers and Heat have reportedly held interest in trading for him this season.

“It’s tough for me, I’m not going to lie,” Brewer said. “When I came back here, I wasn’t expecting this, to rebuild again. It comes with the territory. It’s business. It’s basketball. It’s what I love to do. So I wake up every day and I come to work.”

Still, the Wolves are relying heavily on Brewer for now, as we detail amid the latest from around the Western Conference:

  • The NBA has granted the Wolves a second 10-day period to keep a 16th roster spot via hardship, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Minnesota is holding on to Jeff Adrien, whom it signed to fill that spot the first time around, even though the team has a need a point guard, too, where Brewer, a swingman, is playing as the backup. “Let’s face the facts: Corey’s not the ideal point guard,” coach/executive Flip Saunders said. “But if something, heaven forbid, happened to Gorgui [Dieng], we have no center on our roster at all.”
  • The Lakers are still considering the addition of a wing player to the roster, and they’re still keeping a close eye on Roscoe Smith, according to Shams Charania of RealGM. Smith, who’s playing for the Lakers D-League affiliate, was one of several players whom the Lakers worked out last month.
  • The Pelicans have once more assigned Russ Smith to the D-League, the team announced via press release. It’s the second time this season that the team has sent Smith to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. His first assignment was a three-day stint that ended Monday.

Western Notes: Christopher, D-League, Mavs

December 10 at 9:26pm CST By Eddie Scarito

One area that the Jazz are always looking to improve upon is their outside shooting, which is the primary reason that Utah signed Patrick Christopher earlier today, Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune writes. “That’s an area we want to continually upgrade at the guards, wings, bigs,” Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey said. “If you can shoot the ball, there’s a good chance we’re going to take a look at you. He’s [Christopher] someone that [coach Quin Snyder] knew from his overseas experience. There was some familiarity there. He made it to our open gym and mini camp so there was some corporate knowledge. And we notched that he’s been shooting the ball very consistently over the last three years.”

Here’s more from out west:

  • Christopher’s deal with the Jazz is a two-year, non-guaranteed minimum salary arrangement, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweets. The player is scheduled to make $379,010 for this season, and $845,059 during the 2015/16 campaign, Pincus adds.
  • The Thunder have re-assigned Mitch McGary and Grant Jerrett to the Oklahoma City Blue, their D-League affiliate, the team announced. This will be Jerrett’s fourth trip of the season to the D-League, and McGary’s third.
  • Tuesday night’s loss to Memphis exposed the Mavs‘ most glaring weakness, which is a lack of interior depth behind Tyson Chandler, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes. While no move to add another big man is imminent, Dallas is considering its options, notes Sefko.
  • If the Wolves change their focus this season from retooling to rebuilding, it would open up permanent playing time for the team’s younger players like Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Anthony Bennett, Shabazz Muhammad and Gorgui Dieng, which could benefit Minnesota’s outlook for next season, Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune writes.