Minnesota Timberwolves Rumors
May 21 at 9:38pm CST By Alex Lee
We gave you the pre-Lottery links and the Lottery results, so with the 2013 NBA Lottery in the books, it's only fair that we round up for you the draft news and notes from around the league:
- Despite winning the lottery, the Cavaliers will still explore potential trade scenarios for the top selection, tweets ESPN's Brian Windhorst. The Cavs, who own the first, 19th, 31st and 33rd picks in June's draft, also have cap space and a hunger to win as soon as possible.
- If the Cavs, or whoever else, don't select Nerlens Noel with the top selection, the former Kentucky center could fall out of the top three, tweets Yahoo's Marc Spears.
- If not Noel, ESPN's Chad Ford tweets that Otto Porter could be a dark horse candidate to go first overall. According to Ford, Cleveland loves Porter because he is a perfect fit who is NBA-ready and can therefore help right away.
- The Mavericks will look to trade the No. 13 pick in an attempt to preserve cap space for a run at Dwight Howard, tweets ESPN's Chad Ford. Ford adds that the No. 13 pick will make $1,655,300 in 2013/14.
- With a roster ready to win now and a draft thin on impact talent, look for the Blazers to dangle their No. 10 pick in an attempt to move up or acquire veteran help for Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum, writes Chris Haynes of CSN Northwest. Mike Tokito of the Oregonian agrees, writing that unless the team can acquire a legitimate center to guard the paint, look for Portland to be active in trade talks.
- The Timberwolves secured the No. 9 pick, which leads Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune, via Twitter, to guess that the team will take the best big man available with their first pick and then take a flyer on a shooting guard with their second first rounder at No. 26.
- Here is an assortment of mock drafts published immediately following the lottery results: ESPN via Chad Ford, Draft Express via Jonathan Givony, HoopsWorld, and Sheridan Hoops via Joe Kotoch.
May 21 at 11:16am CST By Luke Adams
The NBA's draft lottery is set to take place tonight, with the league's 14 non-playoff teams vying for a chance at the first overall pick and the opportunity to select a player from a crop of prospects that includes Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, and others.
The odds at landing the first overall pick are cited frequently, from the Magic's 25% all the way down to the Jazz's 0.5%. But what chance does each team have to land a top-three pick? Listed in the chart below are the odds each lottery team has at the first, second, and third overall picks, as well as each team's overall odds at landing in the top three.
May 17 at 9:06pm CST By Chuck Myron
A Northwest Division team has appeared in the Western Conference Finals four of the last six seasons, but with the top-seeded Thunder on early summer vacation after their loss to the Grizzlies, that trend has come to an end. The focus now shifts to offseason movement, and we've got the latest on a pair of Northwest teams here:
- New Timberwolves executive Flip Saunders served as an adviser to Celtics coach Doc Rivers last year, but even if Boston elects to waive Paul Pierce, a source downplays the notion that Pierce could join the Wolves, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
- Wolfson, in his roundup of Minnesota items, hears that former Wolves GM David Kahn told friends he thought he'd assume the same position with the Sixers, who instead hired Sam Hinkie as their new GM.
- The minimum salary contract of Chris Johnson, the backup big man the Wolves signed when they were short on bodies this season, is fully guaranteed for next season, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports (Twitter link).
- Kevin Martin hesitated before issuing the standard player line about wanting back with his team next season, and Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman interprets that as a sign he's ready to move on. She thinks the Thunder would be hard-pressed to bring him back on even half of his $12.4MM salary from this season.
- Of course, the Thunder wouldn't have a decision to make on Martin if they hadn't pulled the trigger on the James Harden deal, a move Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com chalks up as a blunder.
May 17 at 2:52pm CST By Luke Adams
2:52pm: Here are a few more updates out of Chicago:
- In a series of tweets, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune lists a number of the prospects the Timberwolves have talked to or will talk to in Chicago. Among those we hadn't already heard about: Alex Len, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tim Hardaway Jr., Ricky Ledo, Archie Goodwin, Reggie Bullock, and Vander Blue.
- The Trail Blazers will meet with Caldwell-Pope today, according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian (via Twitter). Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com adds (via Twitter) that the Blazers met with Ledo yesterday.
- Ryan Kelly has met with the Mavericks, Celtics, and Clippers, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com.
- Dennis Schroeder will work out for the Bucks, Jazz, and Rockets, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (via Twitter).
- Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio tweets that there's some speculation at the combine that this could finally be the year the No. 1 pick is traded.
11:44am: It took us multiple posts yesterday to round up all the tidbits trickling out of Chicago, where the NBA is holding its draft combine this week. We'll see if today is as busy, but in the meantime, here are the latest updates on the 2013 draft:
- Some NBA executives believe that it's possible Shabazz Muhammad falls out of the top 10 and perhaps even the lottery on draft night, writes Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com.
- In an Insider-only piece, ESPN.com's Chad Ford passes along the official measurements on the players in Chicago, and provides a few thoughts on the results.
- Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link) hears from an NBA source that the Warriors believe they can acquire either a first- or second-round pick in this year's draft, if they so choose. Kawakami adds in a second tweet that a pick would mostly just cost money, but I'm skeptical that the Warriors could pick up a first-rounder without giving up anything of value, or that they'd even want to add a rookie-scale salary, given their proximity to the tax.
- Alex Len met with the Bobcats last night and will meet with the Cavaliers today, according to tweets from Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer and Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon-Journal. David Mayo of MLive.com tweets that Len has nothing set up with the Pistons and "wasn't too enthused" when asked about them -- perhaps that would change if Detroit jumped into the top three in next week's lottery.
- The Pistons will meet with Rudy Gobert today, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
- Steven Adams interviewed with the Magic last night, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Twitter link). Chad Ford heard that Adams was the big winner on the first day of the combine, with "GM after GM" impressed by his showing.
- Kelly Olynyk has met with the Bucks, tweets Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times.
- Myck Kabongo met with the Knicks and Trail Blazers earlier in the week, says Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. Mason Plumlee also expects to meet with the Blazers, tweets Jason Quick of the Oregonian.
May 16 at 9:03pm CST By Luke Adams
9:03pm: We'll post any remaining evening updates from Chicago here:
- Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy tweets that international prospect Mouhammadou Jaiteh will forego Eurocamp and will work out for NBA teams instead, possibly as early as a group workout with Minnesota.
- The Oregonian's Jason Quick reports that the Trail Blazers met with James Southerland yesterday.
2:47pm: More afternoon combine updates from Chicago:
- Ben McLemore has already interviewed with the Cavaliers, Timberwolves, and Pelicans, according to SI.com's Chris Mannix (via Twitter). McLemore expects to meet with the Bobcats, Magic, and Pistons tonight, according to various reports (all Twitter links).
- Victor Oladipo will also meet with the Pistons tonight, tweets Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
- Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (via Twitter) adds Otto Porter to the list of prospects interviewed by the Timberwolves, but says the T-Wolves won't get a chance to meet with Oladipo, who was on the team's wish list.
- Jamaal Franklin tells Jason Quick of the Oregonian that when he met with the Trail Blazers yesterday, the whole meeting consisted of a psychological test (Twitter link).
- Andre Roberson met with the Magic yesterday, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter).
- Shams Charania of RealGM.com has a list of the 12 prospects the Bulls plan to work out on Monday (Twitter link).
- Jeff Withey is "extremely excited" to be meeting with the Sixers, writes Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
1:35pm: We covered the Thursday morning updates from Chicago's predraft camp earlier today, but with so many tidbits surfacing throughout the day, we're starting an afternoon post to round up the latest notes:
- ESPN.com's Chad Ford hears that two international prospects have received first-round guarantees: Dennis Schroeder and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Twitter link).
- Michael Carter-Williams has met with several teams, including the Trail Blazers, Bobcats, Pistons, Timberwolves, and Thunder, according to various reports (all links go to Twitter). Carter-Williams is hearing he could be drafted anywhere between third and 15th overall, tweets Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
- We heard this morning that the Celtics had spoken to Cody Zeller and Glen Rice Jr. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe adds a few more names to the list of Boston interviewees (via Twitter): Mason Plumlee, Rudy Gobert, and Victor Oladipo.
- C.J. McCollum won't meet with the Trail Blazers this week, according to Jason Quick of the Oregonian (Twitter link). However, he will meet with the Pistons tomorrow, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com (via Twitter), and has already interviewed with the Magic, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (via Twitter). SI.com's Chris Mannix (Twitter link) adds the Thunder, Nuggets, and Cavaliers to the list of teams who have spoekn to McCollum, who has 15 total interviews scheduled.
- Robbins notes in a separate tweet that the Magic also met with Myck Kabongo.
- Isaiah Canaan will meet with the Wizards on Friday, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
- Canaan, Andre Roberson, and Grant Jerrett all met with the Pistons last night, tweets Langlois.
- Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (via Twitter) that the Bucks met with Shane Larkin yesterday and will work him out later this month.
- Erik Murphy has interviews lined up with the Grizzlies, Clippers, and possibly the Pacers, tweets Robbins.
- Seth Curry will meet today with the Lakers, Rockets, and Knicks, tweets Bonnell.
May 16 at 11:56am CST By Luke Adams
11:56am: More A.M. updates out of Chicago:
- Nerlens Noel told reporters that he hasn't completed any interviews so far, but that he's "pretty sure" he has one scheduled with the Magic. He's not quite so sure about the Cavaliers (Twitter links).
- Steven Adams and Kelly Olynyk are among the prospects that have met with the Wizards so far and think they'd fit in well in Washington (Twitter links). Mason Plumlee is also on the Wizards' list, tweets J. Michael of CSNWashington.com.
- Olynyk has met with the Bobcats as well, says Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer (Twitter link).
- Gorgui Dieng will work out for the Bucks, who will also interview Rudy Gobert and Plumlee, according to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times (Twitter links).
- A couple notes from SI.com's Chriss Mannix (via Twitter): Cody Zeller has spoken to the Raptors, Trail Blazers, Rockets, and Celtics, while Mike Muscala only has interviews lined up with the Spurs and Hawks, but will do "nine or 10" workouts later. One of those workouts will be with the Blazers, tweets Jason Quick of the Oregonian.
- Shabazz Muhammad and Deshaun Thomas interviewed with the Timberwolves last night, writes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
11:09am: With a number of reporters in attendance at the NBA's predraft camp in Chicago, we're expecting plenty of noteworthy tidbits to trickle in throughout the day. Here's a round-up of the first batch of updates on 2013's draft combine participants:
- According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link), the Cavaliers aren't on Otto Porter's list of teams he's meeting with this week. That's a bit of a surprise, given the rumblings that he's high on the team's big board, though as Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Plain Dealer tweets, the Cavs drafted a pair of players they didn't interview last year.
- Porter is scheduled to meet with the Wizards, who spoke to Victor Oladipo earlier this week, tweets Michael Lee of the Washington Post. Porter will meet with the Pistons as well, tweets Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. The Bobcats, Thunder, and Suns have already met with Porter, according to Lee (via Twitter).
- The Pistons are also prepared to meet with Shabazz Muhammad today, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com (Twitter link). Muhammad interviewed with the Trail Blazers yesterday and felt it went very well, tweets Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com.
- Nate Wolters and Adonis Thomas were among the prospects who have met with the Lakers so far, says Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld (via Twitter).
- Glen Rice Jr., who played in the D-League this past season, has been interviewed by the Bucks, Celtics, Warriors, Sixers, and Spurs, he confirmed to reporters (all Twitter links).
May 14 at 6:35pm CST By Spencer Lund
According to ESPN1500 columnist Judd Zulgad, the new president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves, Flip Saunders, spoke with the Wolves' franchise power forward, Kevin Love, on Tuesday. When asked whether the Wolves needed to do any repair work between the team and Love, Saunders replied, "I don't think so."
Love's 2012/13 season was difficult as he missed all but 18 games due to two separate fractures of his hand and averaged 18 PPG after averaging 26 PPG the year before. His previous career low in games played were the 60 he played in his sophomore 2009/10 season. But Love's antagonism with the Wolves extends beyond his injury-plagued 2012/13 season.
When former head of basketball operations, David Kahn, was in charge of the franchise, and Love's rookie contract was due for an extension in January of 2012, the Timberwolves only offered Love a four-year $62MM extension, with an option for the fifth year, instead of the maximum allowable, which would have paid Love $80MM over five years like fellow 2008 rookie, Russell Westbrook. Westbrook signed a $78.65MM extension for five years earlier the same week that Love signed his.
Not only that, but in an interview with Y! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski in December last year, Love was critical of the Timberwolves' front office, particularly Kahn, with Love wondering at the time, "Is there really a plan here? Is there really any kind of a … plan?"
But Saunders says the rift between the team and Love was largely exaggerated, and from what he's seen, Kevin is on board with what the Wolves are trying to do.
"You hear a lot in the media, and having been in the media, I take everything with a grain of salt. Having been there, too, (when it comes to what's reported) and what's actual. A lot of times when players are actually going through interviews sometimes they are in a situation where the context of the interview, things can be taken a little bit out of context.
"I just know in my conversations with him since I've been here, he's just said that he's on board, he's looking forward to the journey that we're all going to take down the road and he's working hard to get in shape.
"I think in another week-and-a-half he'll be pretty much unlimited in what he can do physically. I don't see anything that's happened in the past that's going to really push him back and he's going to hold anything against the organization."
We'll know for sure in the summer of 2015, when Love can opt out of
the last year of his deal and become an unrestricted free agent.
May 14 at 11:58am CST By Luke Adams
With Mike Conley playing a significant role in leading the Grizzlies to within one game of the Western Conference Finals, Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com looks back at Conley's history in Memphis. As Shelburne writes, Conley was almost dealt to the Bucks for Ramon Sessions before Lionel Hollins took over as the Grizzlies' coach and gave Conley a vote of confidence.
"It was more than a rumor," Conley said. "My dad's also my agent and he
called me to say I wasn't playing this one game. When they tell you
that, you know it's pretty serious."
Conley's place in Memphis is certainly safe these days, and after last night's win, his team has a 3-1 lead on the defending conference champs. As we look forward to seeing whether the Grizzlies can eliminate the Thunder, let's check in on a few other items from around the West....
- Aaron Bruski of NBCSports.com and Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com (Sulia link) each provide updates on the Kings saga, with Bruski writing that the aggressive approach employed by the Seattle group in recent weeks isn't going over well with the league. Howard-Cooper, meanwhile, says Vivek Ranadive's influence in India isn't as big a factor in the NBA's decision as has been portrayed.
- New Timberwolves president Flip Saunders tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link) he's still confident that Rick Adelman will return to coach the team next season.
- Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic examines the Suns' search for a head coach, which will likely be completed within the next two weeks.
- Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com attempts to debunk the myth that top free agents aren't interested in signing with the Mavericks
May 11 at 8:38pm CST By Chuck Myron
Last week, the Wolves changed the man in charge of their basketball operations, replacing David Kahn with Flip Saunders, but that hasn't altered their plans with Nikola Pekovic. The Wolves still "have every intention" of re-signing the restricted free agent this summer, tweets Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The Wolves have appeared likely to bring back the 27-year-old center since March. That stance may have more to do with owner Glen Taylor, who last month expressed his desire to keep Pekovic around, than Kahn.
Taylor, in spite of his affinity for Pekovic, reportedly won't go as high as a $12MM salary to re-sign him. When I profiled the Montenegro native's free agent stock in March, I speculated that the Wolves might be engaging in gamesmanship regarding that figure. I think Pekovic seems likely to command offers in the $12MM range, so perhaps they're floating that number to entice other teams to make an offer of about that much, with plans of matching it. Otherwise, rival suitors might feel as though they'd have to offer the max — around $15MM — to scare off the Wolves. That's just my speculation, of course. Either way, committing $15MM a year to Pekovic would put a serious crimp in the Wolves' flexibility going forward, with Ricky Rubio eligible for an extension next summer.
Pekovic averaged 16.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 31.6 minutes per game for the Wolves this season, all career highs. His 20.2 PER displays his efficiency on offense, though he's never averaged as much as a block per game on the other end of the floor. According to NBA.com, the Wolves gave up 102.9 points per 100 possessions as a whole this season, and 104.0 when Pekovic was on the floor, illustrating his defensive shortcomings. Still, teams routinely overpay for size, and it's not inconceivable that someone would decide to give him the max. Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com recently speculated that the Mavs could target Pekovic if the Wolves prioritize their pursuit of O.J. Mayo over their own free agent.
May 11 at 7:33pm CST By Chuck Myron
In a twist, the Western Conference playoff game preceded the Eastern Conference tilt on today's schedule. The Grizzlies beat the Thunder to claim a 2-1 series lead, while the Knicks and Pacers are under way in Indiana. The Eastern matchup prompted rare non-Sunday coverage from ABC, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of intriguing storylines out west, where the latest Kings developments are threatening to steal the show. Here's more from the conference that won this year's All-Star Game:
- Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com suggests (via Twitter) that Francisco Garcia could be an offseason target for the Lakers. The Rockets currently hold a $6.4MM option on Garcia, but Houston is extremely unlikely to exercise it, so the 31-year-old appears ticketed for unrestricted free agency.
- The next head coach of the Lakers' D-League affiliate could be a familiar face for Lakers fans. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Mark Madsen is finalizing an agreement to become the D-Fenders' new coach.
- Will Conroy, a close friend of Brandon Roy, began the season on Minnesota's playing roster, but he finished the season as a Timberwolves scout. Flip Saunders fired Conroy and another scout with ties to Roy this week, notes Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. The Wolves waived Roy on Friday.
- The only way the Jazz can hold on to assistant coach Jeff Hornacek, a candidate for head coaching jobs elsewhere, would be to replace Tyrone Corbin with him, and that's not going to happen, writes Gordon Monson of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.