Minnesota Timberwolves Rumors

Wolves Sign Glenn Robinson III

September 17 at 1:03pm CDT By Chuck Myron

1:03pm: The deal is official, the team announced.

WEDNESDAY, 8:28am: The contract will cover just the coming season, Wolfson tweets, adding that no move involving Barea is imminent.

TUESDAY, 11:02pm: Robinson’s deal is partially guaranteed according to Wolfson, who also hears that the Michigan product is no lock to make the roster out of training camp (Twitter link).

2:58pm: The Wolves have agreed to a guaranteed deal with Glenn Robinson III, the 40th overall pick in this year’s draft, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). The deal will be the 16th fully guaranteed pact for Minnesota, but the team has reportedly sought to trade J.J. Barea, and the Wolves are also open to allowing the veteran guard to buy his way out of his fully guaranteed contract, as Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities hears (Twitter link).

The terms of Robinson’s deal aren’t immediately clear, and the Wolves have $1.555MM left on their mid-level exception to make it worth more than the minimum salary and extend the length of the deal beyond two years. Minnesota had held out hope of creating a roster spot for Robinson as the Kevin Love trade loomed, but that swap left the team with just as many players as it had before. Robinson turned down a partially guaranteed offer a couple of weeks ago, Wolfson tweets.

Robinson averaged 13.1 points and 4.4 rebounds in 32.3 minutes per game as a sophomore for Michigan this past season. The small forward is listed at the same 6’7″ height as his father, former No. 1 overall pick and NBA All-Star Glenn Robinson.

The 20-year-old Robinson will join Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine as 2014 draftees on the Wolves roster, which also features training camp deals with Kyrylo Fesenko and Brady Heslip. Whatever Robinson receives on his deal, that amount plus LaVine’s approximately $2MM salary wouldn’t add up to the more than $4.5MM that Barea is set to make in the final season of his deal this year.

Myck Kabongo To Join Wolves For Camp?

September 16 at 1:22pm CDT By Chuck Myron

SEPTEMBER 16TH: Kabongo failed to impress in his tryout with Södertälje, and the Swedish team has released him, reports Jacob Sjölen of LT.se (hat tip to Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia and translation via SwedishBasketball.com. That presumably clears the path for Kabongo to join the Wolves, though an underwhelming performance at that level of professional basketball doesn’t bode well for Kabongo’s chances in the NBA.

SEPTEMBER 5TH: Point guard Myck Kabongo had been in line to join the Timberwolves for training camp, a source told Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun (Twitter link), but he has a tryout slated with the Sweden’s Södertälje Kings, according to Peter Hegethorn of Hegethorns Basketblogg, as Wolstat translates. It’s not uncommon for players to continue to pursue overseas opportunities even after they secure camp deals with NBA teams as insurance in case they don’t make it to opening night, so perhaps Kabongo is indeed headed to Minnesota, though that remains unclear.

Kabongo, a native of Toronto, was once a highly touted prospect, coming in 10th in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index ratings as he entered college in 2011. An NCAA suspension cost him the second half of his sophomore season at the University of Texas, and he went undrafted after turning pro in 2013. The Spurs signed the Rich Paul client for training camp last year, but he spent the season with their D-League affiliate after San Antonio waived him midway through preseason. The 6’3″ Kabongo averaged 9.2 points, 4.7 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 30.1 minutes per game for the D-League Austin Toros.

The Wolves have agreements with 17 players, 15 of whom have guaranteed deals, as our roster counts show. The team is reportedly shopping J.J. Barea, whose contract is guaranteed, but if Minnesota can’t find a way to unload him without taking back guaranteed salary in return, it would be difficult for camp invitees Brady Heslip and Kyrylo Fesenko to make the opening-night roster. The same would be true for Kabongo if he were to indeed sign with the team for camp, which lends further credence to the idea that he’d turn to the international market for a backup plan.

And-Ones: Rubio, Ayon, Garnett, Karasev

September 14 at 10:07pm CDT By Zach Links

Wolves guard Ricky Rubio told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports that he never tried to talk Kevin Love out of asking for a trade.  “If he wanted to leave, there’s no reason to talk to him about it,” Rubio said. “I really liked playing with him, but I’ll play with the players who want to be there. Kevin wants to win. That’s normal. He’s been there six years without the playoffs. I understand. If I was in the same situation – being one of the best players in the league – and not being able to be in the playoffs, I’d have a lot of frustration, too.”  When asked about his own future, Rubio said that he is “loyal” and wants to give back to the organization.  The guard can be a restricted free agent next summer if he doesn’t sign an extension. Here’s tonight’s look around the Association..

  • The Spurs continue to eye center Gustavo Ayon, tweets Nikos Varlas of Eurohoops.net. Ayon is reportedly on his way to play for Spain’s Real Madrid, but no deal with the team can become official until he comes up with the equivalent of about $376K to pay off Spanish rival FC Barcelona, which holds his European rights, according to Javier Maestro of Encestando (translation via HoopsHype).
  • There has been some retirement speculation surrounding Kevin Garnett but the veteran has been one of “about ten” players who have already been working out at the Nets‘ East Rutherford, New Jersey practice facility, team insiders tell Robert Windrem of Nets Daily.
  • Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily ran down the best pickups made by the Nets this offseason.  Trade acquisitions Sergey Karasev and Jarrett Jack make the list as well as 2011 first-round pick Bojan Bogdanovic.  Bogdanovic, 25, may be an NBA rookie but he comes with seven seasons of international experience and should be ready to hit the ground running.
  • According to his Pistons preview, Adi Joseph of USA TODAY has the franchise improving their win total slightly, but still missing the playoffs.

Wolves Sign Kyrylo Fesenko

September 2 at 7:43pm CDT By Cray Allred

The Wolves have signed Kyrylo Fesenko, according to the RealGM transaction log. There is as of yet no report or team announcement on the details for the deal, but it is likely a non-guaranteed contract for the minimum that won’t ensure Fesenko a roster spot beyond training camp.

Fesenko’s improved physique and solid summer league play had reportedly fueled Minnesota’s interest in the center for training camp. The team already has the maximum of 15 guaranteed contracts on the books for 2014/15, so Fesenko would need more than strong play to earn a role extending into the season. The Wolves would either need to waive or trade away a guaranteed salary to create space for Fesenko or any other training camp invite.

Fesenko has played five seasons in the NBA as a big for the Jazz and Pacers, spending recent years overseas and in the D-League. He has career averages of 2.3 PPG and 2.0 RPG from his time in the league.

And-Ones: Witte, Young, Dragic

August 31 at 5:29pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Sixers director of player personnel, Courtney Witte, is leaving to take a scouting position with the Clippers, Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com reports. According to Lynam’s source, Witte had been told by the Sixers that his contract wasn’t going to be renewed, and that the search for Witte’s replacement has been “ongoing for some time.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The league has trended towards smaller lineups the last few seasons, but John Zitzler of Basketball Insiders takes a look at five centers that are on the rise. Zitzler believes bigger things are in store for DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas, DeAndre Jordan, and Nikola Vucevic.
  • In an interview with Michael Rand of the Star Tribune, Thaddeus Young was asked how the rebuilding process differs between the Wolves and the Sixers. Young said, “I think the situation in Philly is much different. It’s the same process, but this team is much more competitive and it’s a better roster. Philly, they were getting rid of everybody and getting worse. But I think [Philadelphia GM Sam Hinkie] is doing a great job and has made some big moves.”
  • Zoran Dragic has re-negotiated his contract with Unicaja Malaga, reports La Opinion de Malaga (Translation by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Dragic’s contract has a buyout clause that he can exercise next June if he decides to leave for the NBA, Carchia notes. The Pacers are reportedly among the teams eyeing Dragic.

And-Ones: Wiggins, Dragic, Ingles

August 30 at 10:33pm CDT By Cray Allred

While a dark cloud hung over the Wolves franchise from the moment Kevin Love made it known he was prepared to move on, Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press reports that the team’s fan base has been energized by the package Minnesota received in the Love trade. The Wolves just set a team record for most season-ticket packages sold in a week, after netting Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and Thaddeus Young in the franchise-altering move. Here’s more from Minnesota and the rest of the league:

  • Wiggins tells Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune that he is happy to have been traded to the Wolves, where he will be thrust into a much bigger role than he would have carved out with the superstar-heavy Cavs.“I wanted to go to a place where I’m pushed to do a lot and become a special piece for the team. It’ll help me reach my potential,” said Wiggins. “I said I wanted to play for a team that wanted me, and now I’m here and I feel nothing but love.” 
  • The Pacers are one of the teams interested in Zoran Dragic, reports Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. The younger brother of Goran Dragic is under contract in Spain. It is unclear if the guard is poised to exercise any sort of escape clause that would allow him to come stateside, although he’s reportedly eager to someday play in the Association.
  • Joe Ingles is generating interest from multiple NBA teams, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com. Pick says the Australian wing, who spent last season with Maccabi Tel Aviv, will need to perform well at the FIBA World Cup to get a shot.

And-Ones: Flynn, Pistons, Love

August 30 at 10:55am CDT By Eddie Scarito

Former NBA lottery pick Jonny Flynn has signed a contract  with Capo d’Orlando of the Italian League, the team announced (translation by Sportando). Flynn last saw action in the NBA with the Blazers during the 2011/12 season. His career numbers are 9.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG, and 3.9 APG. His career slash line is .400/.338/.809.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • With Greg Monroe likely to sign his qualifying offer, the Pistons‘ frontcourt trio of Monroe, Josh Smith, and Andre Drummond will be together for another season. Coach Stan Van Gundy‘s challenge will be to figure out how to use them more effectively than they were last season, writes Perry A. Farrell of the Detroit Free Press.
  • Kevin Love has essentially traded places with Chris Bosh, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Love is now the third option on the Cavs, much like Bosh was alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with the Heat, Winderman notes, and it’s the statistical sacrifices of the third player that determines if these star trios are successful.
  • With the news that the Spurs are interested in Ray Allen, Nick Borges of ESPN.com runs down the free agent market for the future Hall-of-Famer. Borges notes that if Allen is seeking a title contender and the highest salary, then San Antonio is the best option. The Spurs can offer Allen the $5.3MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception. The Clippers, Mavs, Heat, and Cavaliers can only give Allen a veteran’s minimum contract.

And-Ones: Wolves, Martin, Allen

August 29 at 7:36pm CDT By Zach Links

Wolves president Flip Saunders hopes the Wolves new players’ athleticism will translate into improved defense, Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press writes. Saunders said, “I’m hoping that the biggest change is going to be defensively. Always a key in your ability to guard is your athleticism. The quicker you are, the longer you are, the better chance you have to be a good defensive team.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Doc Rivers was in contact with free agent guard Ray Allen earlier this summer, and Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com (on Twitter) expects the Clippers to make a run at him again.
  • Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is still over the moon about reacquiring Tyson Chandler this summer, as NBA.com’s Jeff Caplan writes.  “It was kind of surprising that we got it done, just because with that many pieces and the fact that no one finds out,” Cuban said of the trade. “I’m glad we got it done. We’re excited. He can kind of quarterback our defense, he makes everybody better defensively and he’ll make Monta [Ellis] better offensively.”
  • Keith Schlosser of The Knicks Blog wonders if the Knicks would welcome back Kenyon Martin.  Martin gave the Knicks one of the most intimidating and physical defensive presences they’ve had in years, but he struggles to stay on the court.  Even though he’s seen just 50 games of action over the last two seasons, Schlosser sees K-Mart as a player who the Knicks could call on midseason if Amar’e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani, or Samuel Dalembert have injury troubles of their own.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Northwest Notes: Love, LeBron, Morrow

August 28 at 10:12pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Earlier today, Utah announced that Toure’ Murry had signed with the team on a multi-year deal. With his pact in tow, the Jazz boast a total of at 18 contracts on their books as training camp approaches. Teams can only roster 15 players once the regular season begins, so Utah will need to decide which guys on partially guaranteed deals are worth keeping around. Here’s tonight’s look at the Northwest Division:

  • Kevin Love recently made comments indicating that he spoke to LeBron James about teaming up while still a member of the Wolves, but such an admission won’t allow the league to hit Cleveland with a tampering penalty, as salary cap expert Larry Coon explains on SiriusXM NBA Radio (audio link via SoundCloud).
  • After being heavily shopped by the Sixers at last season’s trade deadline, Thaddeus Young now feels like he’s “wanted” as a member of the Wolves, as Marc Narducci of the Inquirer details.
  • Although Anthony Morrow isn’t exactly a big name, Susan Bible of Basketball Insiders points out that his presence in Oklahoma City should help bolster the Thunder’s weak shooting. Bible says the decision to bring in the former Pelicans swingman could eventually be considered a great move down the road.

And-Ones: Fesenko, Wolves, Team USA

August 28 at 6:25pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Free agent center Kyrylo Fesenko made a positive impression on the Wolves during summer league play, and he’s dropped 20 pounds, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link). Fesenko has played for the Jazz and the Pacers, and has career averages of 2.3 PPG and 2.0 RPG over 135 games played.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The package that the Wolves received for Kevin Love is superior to the one that the franchise had gotten for Kevin Garnett, writes Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders. By acquiring Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett from the Cavaliers, Minnesota essentially skipped two years of being in the NBA Draft lottery, opines Koutroupis.
  • Bob Donewald Jr. was hired by the Grizzlies to be the head coach of their NBA D-League team, the Iowa Energy, the team announced (Twitter link). Donewald most recently served as the head coach of the Chinese National Team, and he has also worked as an assistant coach for the Cavs and Pelicans.
  • With each game that passes for Team USA, so does the horror of Paul George‘s injury, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. In regards to how the team is coming to terms with what happened to George, Anthony Davis said, “That was a gruesome injury (to George), and it kind of affected all of us, even guys who weren’t playing. Basketball players around the world and people around the world got affected by it. But now we know that he’s doing fine and we’ve got to keep moving forward and try to win this gold for him. … I’m hoping that (this experience) makes me take a leap coming into the season next year.”