Timberwolves claiming Blazer deception?
Jerry Zgoda at the Strib brings us some curious news:
According to a league source, the Timberwolves have asked the NBA to look into whether Portland knowingly traded them an injured player when the Blazers dealt Martell Webster to Minnesota for the 16th overall pick in last summer’s draft.
Webster on Monday underwent surgery to repair a disk in his back and is expected to miss about six weeks. He said the injury dates to last spring’s playoffs, when he was undercut and fell hard in a game against Phoenix.
The Wolves are likely looking for a draft pick as compensation.
Over at Truehoop, Henry did some work of his own (including unsuccessfully getting either the Wolves or the league to comment and concludes, essentially, that there is very little chance of the Wolves could actually proving that they were knowingly deceived. Here’s the best/worst part:
However, everybody I talked to says it’s unlikely the Timberwolves could prove information was withheld.
“We’re all laughing about it,” says one front office executive, who expressed no sympathy for Minnesota’s reported position. “You can’t watch the freaking playoffs? That was a pretty obvious incident, right on national TV.”
Wow, that is just exactly what the Wolves need: more reasons for people to make fun of their front office. Because, as you probably know, lots of folks have that covered already and we’ve only played one game. At Fanhouse, Tom Ziller points out that after Kevin Love was removed in the 4th quarter of Wednesday’s game, the Wolves allowed 18 points on 16 possessions, including 12 by the Kings’ frontcourt. Further confirmation that the Tolliver/Beasley/Darko frontline experiment went on at least five minutes too long. Then Ziller drops an intense interpretation of it all:
There’s a really weird vibe with the Wolves, and Rambis in particular. It’s his second season on the job, and his roster has been remade by GM David Kahn completely … for better or worse. Yet it’s almost as if Rambis is searching for excuses. By benching the player almost everyone agrees is the team’s most polished if not most talented asset, Rambis is detaching himself from this version of the Wolves. Most coaches in Rambis’ situation — at the head of a completely overmatched, young roster — would embrace the heck out of Love, an altogether likable, hard-working player. But on Wednesday, Rambis looked like he was distancing himself from Love and the Love era.
He then starts to sharpen the knives, calling the decision “gonzo” and referring to the “vast problems within the franchise.” As you may know, this isn’t my particular interpretation of the situation but I completely understand why an outside observer would take a quick peak and then conclude that the Wolves have gone all Fear and Loathing. As a close follower of the team, this kind of stuff is painful to read; it really voices our worst fears for the team. Simply for my own sake, and yours too, I’m hoping the Wolves prove Ziller wrong.