Archives For 2012 Offseason

Mark Remme of Timberwolves.com tweeted this afternoon a photo of Ricky Rubio running during the Wolves’ practice.

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With Ricky running now and eventually starting up some light basketball drills, we should be able to find out just how realistic our dreams of a late December return as a Christmas present to us really is.

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Kevin Love showed off his gold medal today during a press conference at the Target Center. He broached many topics from what the experience meant to him this summer to how he feels about the team heading into this year, Pekovic’s new look, and his nerves for throwing out the first pitch of the Yankees-Twins game at Target Field Wednesday night.

As per usual with Kevin, he was incredibly candid and had no problems expressing his thoughts on the subjects he was asked about. Here is my transcription of today’s presser and discussion afterwards along with some photos from myself and Steve McPherson (guess which ones are taken with his nice camera and which ones are taken with my iPhone):  Continue Reading…

Oh well now this is getting hilarious. Just as we embark on an epic conversation regarding the meaning of the Wolves very whiteness, “the intensifying agent in things the most appalling to mankind,” the team goes ahead and signs olde Lou Amundson to a one-year deal at the veterans minimum, reports Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports.

Although I argued last week that the Wolves racial makeup ought to be seen as an outgrowth of the new poly-cultural, multi-stylistic NBA, I must admit that there the weirdness of the situation resurfaces with every white dude the Wolves acquire. On the other hand, I like Lou Amundson. He’s an athletic, energetic forward who loves to stir things up on the court and was at the heart of the Suns incredible run of playoff success and positive vibes of two seasons ago.

On the other other hand, this means that the Wolves will likely not resign Anthony Tolliver, and I liked him a lot too.

Update:

Here’s what the Wolves had to say about the Amundson signing:

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed free-agent forward/center Lou Amundson. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“Lou is an active defender and rebounder who will give us plenty of hustle and energy when he is on the floor,” said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “We feel Lou is a good complement to our existing roster.”

Amundson, 29, is a six-year NBA veteran who spent the 2011-12 season with Indiana, averaging 3.5 points and 3.7 rebounds in 60 games. In 288 career games (7 starts), the 6-9 forward/center has averages of 4.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 13.2 minutes per game. His best season came in 2009-10 with the Phoenix Suns when he finished with averages of 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds. In addition to playing for Indiana and Phoenix (2008-10), Amundson also saw action for Philadelphia for parts of  the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons, and played in one game for Utah in 2006-07. He has appeared in a total of 29 playoffs games for Philadelphia, Phoenix and Indiana, averaging 2.7 points and 3.0 rebounds in 10.3 minutes per game.

 

Have you ever thought if coach had just played you more in high school then you’d probably have had to drive work harder and get a shot at playing pro basketball in some form? Have you been drinking enough to actually believe that?

Well then do I have the basketball opportunity for you!

In all seriousness, the Sioux Falls Skyforce — the Wolves’ D-League affiliate — is hosting tryouts for their team on Sunday, September 23rd. Tryouts go from 9am to 4pm with registration beginning at 8am. You’ll be playing and working out at the Target Center all day on Sunday.

If you’re from outside Minneapolis and need lodging, you can stay at 900 Washington Ave N in the North Loop and receive a discounted rate when you mention “Skyforce Open Tryout.” There will also be a free shuttle from there to the arena, or you can run the mile distance to get a little cardio in before your workout.

If you were really good in high school and played some type of basketball in college that didn’t involve fraternity bros and/or intramurals, this is a great opportunity to finally get noticed and get in the mind of smart people guiding basketball careers. Players from the area and surrounding states should make the trek to Minneapolis to get a shot at impressing some D-League scouts. The D-League scours the country to find players worthy of getting a shot and if you can play at the D-League level, there’s no reason for them to keep you out.

Their job is to find talent that is capable of playing in the NBA and developing it. Here’s all of the information in a more official format, including the number to call for lodging.

Who knows? This could be your big break for someday getting Ben Polk to write something beautiful about you and for me to tweet about how you actually kind of suck. Oh the possibilities!

Poor Robbie Hummel. Torn meniscus isn’t that bad of an injury and he should be back in about a month, but I do feel bad for someone that keeps getting setbacks every time he’s moving forward with his career.

It’s not nearly as bad as him tearing his ACL multiple times, which is good. I just hope he’s able to move on from this injury and get a good season in with Blu:sens Monbús in Liga ACB in Spain. If he can be healthy, Hummel definitely can play in the NBA. With guys like Steve Novak and James Jones making long careers for themselves by shooting the ball from outside, it’s hard to imagine Hummel can’t find a role.

Hoping for a speedy recovery for Robbie, and that we get a chance to see him on an international court real soon.

Ricky Rubio was recently on a Spanish talk show called “El Hormiguero,” which my iPhone translator app tells me means “The Anthill.”

This would explain why there were creepy muppet ants in the middle of the studio. Ricky got challenged to a Connect Four basketball version in carnival game form by the host, and he gladly competed.

(Via Fabulous Dan Devine at Ball Don’t Lie)

Rubio made all of his shots and played the strategic angle perfectly. Either that or the host had no idea what he was doing because it looked like he was just shooting at any hoop until he realized there was some strategy to the game. And while Rubio has the stigma of being a bad shooter in the NBA (because of possibly his shooting percentages), we forget that these guys can mess around on a basketball court and make just about everything.

He was even playing defense! RUBIO CAN’T BE STOPPED!

UPDATE: What’s that? You were wondering if this show could get weirder? Click the link and watch the video with the giant piano, ala Big.

There were reports about a week ago that the Wolves were working out Hassan Whiteside for one of their final two roster spots. They’ve also been linked to trying to bring back Anthony Tolliver or reaching out toward veteran Mehmet Okur to bring in some much needed depth to the interior.

My initial thoughts are I really want Tolliver back. I loved the presence he provided for the team both on and off the court last season and think his talents, skill set and knowledge of the game greatly benefit the team. He can guard multiple positions, is a threat to knock down outside shots, and is more than willing to give up his body.

He’s the cliché that every coach wants in their reserve guys.

But Tolliver is looking for some money right now, and you can’t really blame him. The Wolves are capped out and exception-free after their flurry of moves this offseason to retool the players surrounding a promising core. The best they can offer Tolliver is the veteran’s minimum. For a player with his experience (four seasons), that’s a contract for roughly $915,000. That may seem like a good enough chunk of change to you and me, but he may be trying to fit into a room or mini mid-level exception somewhere to more than double that amount.

The Wolves simply can’t offer him the money he desires unless they make a trade to free up some cap room. The Wolves are about $2.3 million over the cap right now. Unless they trade Luke Ridnour ($4 million this season) or J.J. Barea ($4.4 million) for a draft pick or non-guaranteed deal, they can’t create the room to sign Tolliver. And really, trading one of those guys to bring in room for AT would be a nonsensical move.

Unless the market for Tolliver dries completely up and he decides to come back to the Wolves for the vet’s minimum, the Wolves will have to move their full attention to Whiteside and Okur. Okur is reportedly (Insider) looking for money that exceeds the veteran’s minimum ($1.3 million for his 10-year service), which means the Wolves are basically out with bringing him in too.

Honestly, I’m fine with that because while Okur may be a decent player still, he’s not the type of guy the Wolves need on their roster. He hasn’t been a decent rebounder in three years and he can’t defend the way the Wolves would need him to.

That leaves us with Hassan Whiteside, who may actually be interested in playing for the minimum salary (roughly $850,000 for his two years of experience).

Whiteside is… well… interesting, to say the least.  Continue Reading…

As some of you made have read on RandBall Monday, Michael Beasley had an estate sale. Instead of moving his stuff from Minneapolis to Phoenix, he decided to put that new $18 million contract to use and just buy new stuff for his new home. After moving just a couple of miles at the beginning of this month, I can’t say that I blamed him.

After Dan Murphy live-tweeted his excursion to Orono to Beasley’s current/soon-to-be-former estate, I decided I had to get in on the action for Day 2 of the Beasley Estate Sale. My lady friend and I were hosting Spurs blogger Graydon Gordian for the weekend while he was in town for business, and he couldn’t have been more excited about the idea of heading to Michael Beasley’s place and rifling through his stuff. Continue Reading…

Since there is nothing happening in the NBA world for about another month (when training camps will open their doors), a lot of people are now projecting how the NBA standings will finish up for the 2012-13 season.

Personally, I’m not huge into preseason predictions because so many things can change throughout any moment of the year. This is something we saw on March 9th when Rubio went down for a surging Timberwolves team. But with that said, there is a valuable tool in seeing these predictions: you get to see how others view the prospects of your team.

There are three different projections (all from ESPN.com) that I’d like to look at.  Continue Reading…

We’re all wondering when Ricky Rubio will be back for the Timberwolves to throw inspirational bounce passes back into our collective hearts.

It’s pretty improbable that he’d be back for the start of the regular season, considering he hasn’t started doing many exercises with heavy impact (i.e. – running and basketball related workouts/drills). That would have put him just under eight months from the injury in a rehabilitation window that usually spans anywhere from six to twelve months.

Charley Walters recently talked to Glen Taylor about Ricky’s recover and Taylor had this to say (via ProBasketballTalk):

“The doctors said he was progressing faster than normal, and normal was supposed to be in January,” Taylor said Tuesday, Aug. 14, a day before heading to China on a two-week charity mission. “Faster than normal would be December. He’s going to start running and stuff in a few weeks.”

I’ve said this before and I’ll say this again. Just about everybody with a knee injury as severe as this one is ahead of schedule before they do impact exercises. When those begin, we start to see just what the actual schedule for returning to the court is. But that doesn’t mean Ricky won’t be back before the new year is born.

My guess on the schedule would be December 20th for his 2012-13 debut. That’s the first big time nationally televised game for the Wolves, when they face the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Target Center on TNT. It’s late enough into December to be a realistic return date, and would generate an immense amount of buzz for the team and the telecast.

Of course, that’s just a guess on my part. Perhaps he’ll be back sooner or maybe they’ll be cautious with him and keep him out until January. I know there seems to be a lot of pressure to win now and make the playoffs this year, but I’d rather see him fully recovered and continue to be handled in a responsible manner over rushing him back to the court to feel better about the Wolves chances this season.

Until then, we have the YouTube machine: