Timberwolves Rumors

Ball, Edwards, Haliburton Head All-Rookie Team

LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, Jae’Sean Tate and Saddiq Bey comprised this year’s All-Rookie First Team, according to an NBA Communications tweet.

Ball, who was named Rookie of the Year on Thursday, led first-year NBA players in assists (6.1 APG) and steals (1.59 SPG) and ranked second in scoring (15.7 PPG) and rebounding (5.9 RPG) for the Hornets. Edwards, the No. 1 pick in the draft by the Timberwolves, averaged a rookie-high 19.3 PPG.

The Kings’ Haliburton ranked third among rookies in scoring (13.0 PPG) and second in assists (5.3 APG).  Bey, the 19th overall pick, made a rookie-high 175 three-pointers for the Pistons.  Tate, who went undrafted in 2018 and played in Australia last season, averaged 11.3 PPG and 5.3 PPG for the Rockets.

The All-Rookie Second Team consists of Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley, Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane, Pistons center Isaiah Stewart, Cavaliers forward Isaac Okoro and Bulls forward Patrick Williams.

Draft Notes: Mamukelashvili, Carr, Champagnie, Figueroa, Cockburn, Sims

Seton Hall’s Sandro Mamukelashvili is scheduled to work out for the Pistons on Thursday, Adam Zagoria of the New York Times tweets. The 6’11” Mamukelashvili already worked out for the Jazz, Thunder and Hornets. He’s currently listed as the No. 56 overall prospect on ESPN’s Best Available list.

We have more news and insights on this year’s draft:

LaMelo Ball Named NBA Rookie Of The Year

6:55pm: Ball’s victory has been confirmed by the NBA in a press release. He received 84 of 99 first-place votes, with the others going to Edwards.

Overall, Ball had 465 points, while Edwards was second with 309. Haliburton was third with 114 points. The Pistons’ Saddiq Bey was the only other player to receive votes, garnering three third-place selections.


1:53pm: Hornets guard LaMelo Ball has won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award for the 2020/21 season, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). According to Wojnarowski, an official announcement from the league is expected soon.

Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards and Kings guard Tyrese Haliburton were the other finalists for the award. I’d expect Edwards to finish second in the voting, with Haliburton coming in third, but we’ll have to wait for the official breakdown from the NBA.

The third overall pick in the 2020 draft, Ball had a breakthrough rookie year in Charlotte, averaging 15.7 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per games in 51 contests (28.8 MPG). There were questions about the 19-year-old’s jump shot entering his first professional season, but Ball put up a respectable shooting line of .436/.352/.758, emerging as the Hornets’ starting point guard despite the presence of veterans Terry Rozier and Devonte’ Graham.

A fractured right wrist sidelined Ball for over a month in March and April, but he returned to the court down the stretch to help the Hornets clinch a spot in the play-in tournament. The club was bounced in the first game by Indiana, but Ball’s performance in 2020/21 bodes well for the long-term future in Charlotte.

Taylor Responds To Orbach Complaint; A-Rod Vows To Keep Wolves In Minnesota

Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has filed legal documentation responding to a complaint filed recently by minority shareholder Meyer Orbach, writes Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Orbach, who says he owns approximately 17% of the franchise, argued that his “tag-along rights” were violated, since he didn’t get the opportunity to cash out his stake in the team when the sale agreement with Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore was finalized.

Taylor contends that Orbach is not entitled to be bought out at this point because Rodriguez and Lore won’t assume majority control of the Timberwolves for two more years. For now, the duo has only agreed to purchase 20% of the club — full majority control will be subject to further investment and further league approval over the next two years.

While the legal battle between Taylor and Orbach may ultimately have little-to-no impact on Timberwolves fans, Dane Moore of Blue Wire Podcasts (Twitter link) points to an Instagram comment that made be of more interest to fans in Minnesota.

As Moore writes, Rodriguez replied to a comment asking him to keep the Timberwolves in Minnesota by replying, “We will!” There has been speculation that the new ownership group might want to relocate the franchise, but A-Rod’s first public statement on the topic suggests that’s not the plan.

Beasley Writes To Fans From Jail; Newman-Beck Won't Return As G League Coach

  • The Timberwolves won’t bring back Sam Newman-Beck as head coach of their G League affiliate in Iowa, tweets NBA writer Dane Moore. Newman-Beck was hired at the same time as former Wolves coach Ryan Saunders, but coach Chris Finch wants to build a new coaching staff all the way to the G League.
  • Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley, who is serving a 120-day jail sentence for a gun incident last year, posted a letter to fans on his Instagram account this week, relays Jeff Wald of Fox 9. “I’m not looking for sympathy or anything like that, just to understand I could easily fold and I won’t,” Beasley wrote.
  • The Timberwolves won’t bring back Sam Newman-Beck as head coach of their G League affiliate in Iowa, tweets NBA writer Dane Moore. Newman-Beck was hired at the same time as former Wolves coach Ryan Saunders, but coach Chris Finch wants to build a new coaching staff all the way to the G League.

Timberwolves Targeting Micah Nori?

  • Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link) identifies Micah Nori as a name to watch as a potential addition to Chris Finch‘s Timberwolves coaching staff. Nori has spent the last few years with the Pistons on Dwane Casey‘s staff.

Pacers Rumors: Turner, Budenholzer, Shaw, Bjorkgren, More

Prior to the 2021 trade deadline, J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star reported that the Hornets, Lakers, Clippers, Knicks, and Pelicans were among the teams to express interest in Pacers big man Myles Turner. With Turner possibly available again this summer in trade talks, many of those teams could renew their interest in the NBA’s shot-blocking leader.

Exploring that possibility, Michael tweets that the Hornets and Timberwolves are the teams that seem to “really” want Turner. Michael speculates (via Twitter) that Charlotte would be the team most likely to make an aggressive trade offer for the 25-year-old if the Pacers are willing to move him.

Here’s more out of Indiana:

  • If the Bucks decide to move on from Mike Budenholzer after their season ends, he’d move to the top of the Pacers’ list of potential head coaching candidates, league sources tell J. Michael. Michael adds that G League Ignite coach Brian Shaw, formerly a Pacers assistant, is also expected to be a serious candidate for the job.
  • In a subscriber-only piece for The Indianapolis Star, Michael takes a look at the factors that led to Nate Bjorkgren‘s ouster after just one season. One league executive described Bjorkgren’s coaching style as “fake positivity,” according to Michael, who also provides details on Bjorkgren’s tendency to micro-manage and his failure to hold players accountable. Michael adds that the first-year coach “made sure those beneath him knew their place,” which lines up with a May report that stated Bjorkgren didn’t treat his assistants particularly well.
  • Although the Pacers haven’t ruled out blowing up their roster, team owner Herb Simon may be averse to that idea, according to Michael, who suggests the club seems likely to bring back Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert, Malcolm Brogdon, and T.J. Warren.

Celtics Will Start Coaching Search With Internal Interviews

The first step in the Celtics‘ search for a new head coach to replace Brad Stevens will begin with several internal candidates, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Chris Mannix of SI.com suggested as much earlier today.

Boston’s head coaching position opened up this morning when Danny Ainge resigned as president of basketball operations and Stevens was chosen to replace him.

Weiss notes that Stevens’ staff has several strong candidates. Jay Larranaga interviewed for the Hornets’ head coaching spot before James Borrego was hired, and Scott Morrison and Brandon Bailey both coached at the team’s G League affiliate in Maine. Jerome Allen is a former NBA player with college head coaching experience at the University of Pennsylvania, while Jamie Young has been with the team since 2008.

Among external candidates, the most interesting name is Kara Lawson, who would become the first female NBA head coach if she gets the job. Lawson spent a year as an assistant in Boston before leaving in 2020 to become head coach of the women’s team at Duke. Others to watch, sources tell Weiss, include former Celtics players Sam Cassell, currently an assistant with the Sixers, and Chauncey Billups, who is on the Clippers‘ staff.

Weiss also expects interest in former Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce, Timberwolves assistant David Vanterpool, Lakers assistant Jason Kidd, Nets assistant Ime Udoka, Spurs assistant Becky Hammon and Bucks assistants Darvin Ham and Charles Lee. According to Weiss, another potential outsider is Juwan Howard if he’s willing to leave Michigan.

Sale Agreement Doesn't Include 'Stay Put' Provision

A lawsuit filed by a limited partner regarding the agreement to sell the Timberwolves has revealed that there’s no language in the contract that prevents the team from being moved into a different market, as Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic details. The filing made in district court alleges that team owner Glen Taylor was in breach of contract because limited partner Meyer Orbach, who has a 17% stake in the team, was not given the opportunity to sell his shares before the agreement was completed.

Taylor has repeatedly said he wants the team to stay in Minneapolis. Sources told Krawczynski that Lore and Rodriguez are committed to the Twin Cities market and there haven’t been any discussions about moving the Timberwolves.

Shareholder Files Complaint Over Pending Sale Of Timberwolves

MAY 27: Taylor has issued the following statement, per Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link):I am aware of the story published by ESPN and the litigation that has been filed. As a policy, we do not comment on pending legal matters. I stand by my prior statements and commitment to keeping the Timberwolves and Lynx in Minnesota.”


MAY 26: The Timberwolves‘ second largest shareholder has filed a legal complaint related to the pending sale of the team, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Meyer Orbach filed the document today in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, alleging that Glen Taylor‘s agreement with Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez violates the franchise’s partnership agreement. The complaint charges that Taylor didn’t honor “tag along rights” that would give minority investors the opportunity to sell their interests in the team before Taylor does.

Orbach owns more than 17% of the Wolves and the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. He claims the “tag along” provision should be exercised immediately once the sale is finalized.

Lore and Rodriguez reached an agreement on May 13 to buy the Wolves for $1.5 billion, but the purchase won’t be official until the new owners receive approval from the NBA’s Board of Governors.

Orbach’s complaint reveals that Taylor didn’t include a provision in the sale agreement that would prohibit Lore and Rodriguez from moving the franchise away from Minnesota, Wojnarowski adds. Taylor has spoken frequently of his commitment to the area and his desire for the team to remain in place once he no longer owns it.

Instead, the agreement has a clause that would require the new owners to “present to the Advisory Board for discussion” any plan to take the franchise out of the Twin Cities market, Wojnarowski states. However, there is no language in the deal that expressly prohibits a move.