With the trade deadline passed the Timberwolves‘ focus is on seeing which players fit into their long-term plans, Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune writes. “It’s an evaluation time for some of these guys, for where they’re at,” president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said. “But also for what they have to work on, once the season ends and they start getting ready for next year, what they need to do to become solid rotational players. So it’s a little of both.”
Here’s more from the Northwest Division:
- The first-round pick the Jazz netted in their trade of Enes Kanter is Oklahoma City’s 2017 choice, and it’s lottery-protected every year through 2020, as RealGM shows. If it doesn’t convey by then, the Thunder will send their 2020 and 2021 second-round choices.
- Thaddeus Young‘s representatives had asked the Timberwolves to trade him prior to Thursday’s deadline, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities reports (Twitter link). Young was dealt to the Nets for Kevin Garnett.
- Joffrey Lauvergne‘s contract with the Nuggets is for three years and $5.2MM, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). The big man will earn $1.89MM the first year, and then $1.7MM in each of the two remaining years, with the third season non-guaranteed, Pincus notes. Denver used part of its mid-level exception to sign the big man, Pincus adds.
- Nuggets GM Tim Connelly was critical of Ty Lawson, whose relationship with the team has reportedly deteriorated, Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post reports (Twitter links). Speaking about Lawson, Connelly said, “He needs to grow up. The organization, top to bottom, can’t be anymore supportive. It’s time for, not just Ty but for several of our guys to be pros or it’s time to take a hard look at our roster.“
- As a result of their deadline dealings the Blazers now have an empty roster spot, something president of basketball operations Neil Olshey is in no hurry to fill, Joe Freeman of The Oregonian writes. Olshey believes that the Blazers’ player rotation is set and the organization believes that it has enough talent and depth to be a contender in the Western Conference, Freeman adds.
- With the Nuggets reportedly set to waive him, Victor Claver‘s representatives are working to find the player a spot on an NBA roster, Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype.com relays. “The priority would be to find a new NBA deal even if it has to be a 10-day contract,” a league source told Sierra. “That would not be a problem, especially considering it may be too late for a deal in the Euroleague at this point.“