Robert Covington

Windhorst’s Latest: Beal, Teague, Dragic, Covington, More

After a star-studded group of free agents hit the open market this summer, 2020’s free agent class isn’t expected to nearly as impressive, so front offices expect trades to “take center stage” over the next year, writes ESPN’s Brian Windhorst.

According to Windhorst, Bradley Beal‘s name is the one that keeps coming up when executives around the NBA discuss potential trade candidates, since the Wizards are facing a possible rebuilding – or at least retooling – process. However, sources tell Windhorst that Washington’s front office continues to resist inquiries on its All-Star shooting guard.

Here’s more from Windhorst’s article about possible trade targets from around the league:

  • Jeff Teague (Timberwolves) and Goran Dragic (Heat), two veteran point guards on expiring $19MM contracts, were recently discussed in possible deals, Windhorst confirms. Since Minnesota missed out on D’Angelo Russell and Miami found another way to complete its Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade, Teague and Dragic may end up staying put. Neither the Wolves nor the Heat are especially deep at the point guard spot, so if either club deals its veteran guard, it would need to line up another option at the position, Windhorst notes.
  • The Timberwolves were dangling Robert Covington in an effort to move up in the draft, but eventually dealt Dario Saric instead. Still, league executives wouldn’t be surprised if Covington is back on the trade market at some point in 2019/20, says Windhorst.
  • Windhorst is skeptical that the Grizzlies will be able to get a real asset in return for Andre Iguodala, suggesting that Memphis’ efforts to trade him may still eventually lead to a buyout.
  • The Cavaliers will likely try to move Tristan Thompson or John Henson by the trade deadline, according to Windhorst. Both big men are on expiring deals, with Thompson owed $18.5MM while Henson will make $10.5MM.

D’Angelo Russell Has T-Wolves Atop Wish List

Marc Stein of The New York Times is reporting that Nets’ restricted free agent point guard D’Angelo Russell has the Timberwolves at the top of his free-agent wish list. Stein adds that while the Lakers still have undeniable interest in Russell, Minnesota is increasingly confident they can make the necessary salary-cap moves to land the 23-year-old All-Star.

The T-Wolves are expected to meet with Russell in Los Angeles this evening at the beginning of free agency. The meeting will reportedly feature new president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas, head coach Ryan Saunders, and Russell’s good friend, Minnesota big man Karl-Anthony Towns.

The Wolves currently project to be an over-the-cap team, but the Nets have already indicated that they’d be willing to entertain a sign-and-trade arrangement that would enable Russell to reach a destination of his choosing. The most likely salary-matching pieces, however, are Andrew Wiggins and Jeff Teague, both of whom the Nets have no interest in whatsoever. As such, Minnesota would likely need to throw in some other assets to make the deal worthwhile to Brooklyn.

Minnesota could also attempt to trade some combination of Wiggins, Teague, Gorgui Dieng, and Robert Covington to open up cap space, but it’s unclear at this point what teams, if any, are interested in acquiring one or more of those players.

Wolves Rumors: Draft, Wiggins, McConnell, Harris

The Timberwolves had five players in their top tier for Thursday’s draft, and knew they had no shot at Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, or R.J. Barrett, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Darius Garland and Jarrett Culver were the other players in that group, according to Krawczynski, who says that Minnesota may have preferred Garland to Culver, but didn’t hesitate to nab the Texas Tech wing at No. 6 over Coby White and others.

According to Krawczynski, the Timberwolves might have had an opportunity to move up to No. 4 before the Pelicans made a deal with the Hawks, but Minnesota was seeking the No. 11 pick and Robert Covington and would’ve wanted to dump Solomon Hill‘s unwanted contract on the Wolves.

Even after moving up to select Culver at No. 6, the Timberwolves stayed active, according to Darren Wolfson and Danny Cunningham of Skor North, who report (via Twitter) that the team had discussions about the No. 12 pick with the Hornets. Those talks didn’t seem to get far, per Wolfson, adding that Sekou Doumbouya was the presumed target at that spot for Minnesota.

Here’s more on the Wolves:

  • The Timberwolves have been actively exploring options to move off Andrew Wiggins‘ contract, league sources tell Jake Fischer of SI.com (Twitter link). It’s not clear if Minnesota is just gauging the market or if the club will continue to pursue a Wiggins deal as the offseason progresses.
  • Wolfson (Twitter link) hears that Sixers veteran T.J. McConnell is among the free agent point guards on Minnesota’s radar.
  • John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link) has heard that free-agent-to-be Tobias Harris has interest in the Timberwolves. That looks like a very unlikely pairing though, since Minnesota has no path to cap room and the Sixers won’t be eager to accommodate a sign-and-trade.
  • Bryan Gates is the latest coach expected to join Ryan Saunders‘ staff as an assistant, tweets Krawczynski. Gates, who had a previous stint in Minnesota, has served as an assistant in Sacramento for the past few seasons.

Pelicans Receiving Offers For No. 4 Pick

Several teams are attempting to swing a deal with New Orleans for the fourth pick in tonight’s draft, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said today on the network’s “Get Up!” program (YouTube link). He speculates that Pelicans executive VP of basketball operations David Griffin could wait until he’s on the clock before deciding whether or not to keep the selection.

Wojnarowski singles out the Hawks as a team to watch in the negotiations. They hold picks No. 8, 10 and 17 in the first round, along with No. 35 in the second round. Atlanta also has enough cap space to take on an unwanted contract such as Solomon Hill‘s, which has one more year at $12.76MM.

The Pelicans hope to be playoff contenders next season and are more interested in obtaining players than draft picks, Brian Windhorst said on the same show. He cites talks with the Timberwolves, who hold the No. 11 selection, with Robert Covington or Dario Saric as part of the package.

Windhorst confirms that Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland is the target for most of those teams. The top point guards in the draft are expected to be taken early, so the No. 4 pick is the surest way to get one.

The Hawks have talked to numerous teams, including the Knicks and Cavaliers, in an effort to move up, Windhorst adds. However, Atlanta’s offers to those teams have focused more on picks than players.

Timberwolves’ Covington Undergoes Knee Surgery

Timberwolves forward Robert Covington underwent a diagnostic arthroscopic procedure Monday morning with debridement and removal of loose bodies in his right knee, according to a team press release. The surgery was performed at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. No timetable was released regarding the recovery process.

Covington was dealt to Minnesota from Philadelphia in the blockbuster Jimmy Butler trade in November. In 22 games with the Timberwolves, he averaged 14.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 2.3 SPG. He hasn’t played since New Year’s Eve after being diagnosed with a bone bruise.

Covington has three more years remaining on his contract. He’ll receive approximately $11.3MM next season, $12.1MM in 2020/21 and $13MM in 2021/22.

He has averaged 12.7 PPG and 5.5 RPG in 326 career games.

Wolves Rule Out Covington, Rose, Teague For Season

Robert Covington, Derrick Rose, and Jeff Teague won’t play again for the Timberwolves this season, the club announced today in a press release.

Covington, who hasn’t played for Minnesota since December 31 due to a right knee bone bruise, recently suffered a setback in his rehab process, per the Wolves. The veteran wing will require additional treatment before returning to the court, so the club will plan on getting him back for the 2019/20 season.

As for Rose, the former MVP had already missed four games due to soreness and swelling in his right elbow. An MRI taken this week revealed a chip fracture and a loose body in that elbow, which will sideline Rose for the season. He and the Wolves are weighing treatment options for the injury.

Teague, meanwhile, has also missed Minnesota’s last four games due to a left foot injury. He received an injection designed to treat chronic inflammation and will wear a boot, according to the team. The Wolves added that he’ll be re-evaluated in three weeks, which means he’ll miss the rest of the season too.

While Covington – a key piece in the package for Jimmy Butler this season – figures to remain a part of the Wolves’ core for the next few years, it’s possible Rose has played his last game for the team. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and is expected to draw interest around the league after a nice bounce-back season in which he averaged 18.0 PPG and 4.3 APG on .482/.370/.856 shooting in 51 games (27.3 MPG).

Teague’s place in Minnesota’s future is somewhat unclear. He has one more year left on his current contract, but may not be in the club’s long-term plans. It’s possible that the Wolves will look to shed his $19MM salary for 2019/20 this summer.

With Covington, Rose, and Teague out and Taj Gibson and Luol Deng also banged up, the Timberwolves will lean on Karl-Anthony Towns and their youngsters down the stretch — Tyus Jones, Andrew Wiggins, Josh Okogie, Dario Saric, Keita Bates-Diop, and Cameron Reynolds all figure to see plenty of action.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 3/2/19

Here are Saturday’s G League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Timberwolves recalled Robert Covington from their Iowa affiliate, the team announced on Twitter. Covington, who is recovering from a bone bruise on his right knee, has already been ruled out of tomorrow’s game against the Wizards.
  • The Spurs recalled first-round pick Lonnie Walker from Austin, according to a press release. After suffering a meniscus tear in the preseason, Walker has appeared in just six NBA games, but is averaging 16.0 PPG in 20 games with Austin.
  • The Clippers recalled first-round pick Jerome Robinson from Agua Caliente, the team tweeted.
  • The Grizzlies recalled Jevon Carter from the Memphis Hustle.
  • The Hornets tweeted that they assigned Dwayne Bacon to the Greensboro Swarm so he could play in tonight’s game against Long Island.

NBA G League Assignments/Recalls: 2/27/19

Here are Wednesday’s assignments and recalls from around the NBA G League:

  • The Timberwolves assigned veteran forward Robert Covington to their Iowa affiliate as he works his way back from a bruised knee he suffered in late December, the team announced on Twitter. Covington has played just 22 games for Minnesota since being acquired from the Sixers in November.
  • The Hornets assigned guard Devonte’ Graham to the Greensboro Swarm, according to a press release. Graham has posted a 23.8/4.5/4.8 line in in 10 G League games.
  • The Jazz assigned guard Grayson Allen to Salt Lake City, the team announced in a release. Allen is averaging 15.7 PPG in seven games with the Stars.
  • The Grizzlies recalled guard Jevon Carter from the Memphis Hustle, the team tweeted. Carter was active for tonight’s game against the Bulls.
  • The Sixers recalled center Justin Patton from Delaware, tweets Derek Bodner of The Athletic. Patton will join the team for tomorrow’s game at Oklahoma City.

Timberwolves Notes: Sichting, Covington, Wiggins

The Timberwolves are finalizing a deal with veteran assistant coach Jerry Sichting, who is poised to join Ryan Saunders‘ coaching staff, according to Jon Krawczynski and Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). This will be Sichting’s third stint with the Wolves — his first came from 1995-2005, when he was part of Flip Saunders‘ coaching staff in Minnesota for a decade.

As Krawczynski notes (via Twitter), there’s a lot of familiarity between Sichting and Ryan Saunders, making it a logical hire for the Timberwolves. Sichting will fill the hole on the staff created by Andy Greer’s departure, Krawczynski adds. Greer was dismissed earlier this month along with Tom Thibodeau, given his close association with Thibs.

Here are a few more notes from out of Minnesota:

  • Timberwolves forward Robert Covington, who is on the shelf with a bone bruise, said today that there’s no timetable for his return to the court, tweets Krawczynski. “I haven’t pressed the issue just yet,” said Covington, who hasn’t done any substantial on-court activities.
  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report explores whether the Timberwolves might be able to find a realistic – and favorable – trade involving Andrew Wiggins, whose maximum-salary contract runs through 2022/23.
  • With Jimmy Butler poised to face the Timberwolves for the first time since the club traded him to Philadelphia, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer previews the showdown and relays some comments Butler made to Kevin Garnett during a recent appearance on TNT’s KG Area 21. Butler’s response when asked if his issues in Minnesota were more with management or his fellow players: “Maybe a little bit of both.”

Robert Covington Discusses Sixers, Being Traded

Robert Covington, who is now a member of the Timberwolves, heard the trade rumors surrounding his name over the summer. He was aware that the Sixers were in the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes and asked Brett Brown about the possibilities of him getting dealt.

“I was told over the summer that there was no chance that I would be traded,” Covington said (via Sarah Todd of the Philadelphia Inquirer). “But things happen. I talked to Brett numerous times. At the same time, you saw everything that transpired with Kawhi and DeMar [DeRozan, the main principles in the trade that sent Leonard from San Antonio to Toronto], so anything can happen.”

Covington added that he didn’t find out about the trade from the Sixers.

“I found out on social media,” he said. “It was like five minutes before the team meeting, then Brett [Brown, the Sixers’ coach] called me and EB [general manager Elton Brand] called me, but I already knew. By then it was already out there. That’s how I found out.”

Covington added that the conversation with Brown was “clear-cut and dry.” The small forward was merely told he going to Minnesota in a package for Butler.

“As far as having that respect level, and for how much we’d been through, I would have thought it had to be completely different, but it wasn’t. Considering how much time relationship-wise and everything that went down. … It was weird,” Covington added.

Brown and Covington have been in contact via text since the deal. Brown recently learned about Covington’s feelings on the communication of the trade and indicated that he will reach out to the 28-year-old about it.

Brand and Covington haven’t spoken since the day of the trade. The two have known each other since Brand was a member of the Sixers (Todd notes that the two players had adjacent lockers) and they had a close relationship. Brand acknowledged that things are different now.

“It probably was cold,” Brand said of trading Covington. “I would talk to those guys about anything and everything … and now we don’t talk anymore. With my new role and my new job, it’s tough to make those decisions. The relationship is real, but it’s tough because it becomes transactional. I can see how he would think it was cold, for sure.”

Covington told Todd that he doesn’t hold any grudges. The Sixers will host the Timberwolves on January 15. “I think it’ll be warm, but you never know with Philly,” Covington said of the response he’ll get from the Philadelphia crowd. “One minute they love you and the next, you never know.”