Archives For Transactions

Exit Brandon Roy

Benjamin Polk —  May 11, 2013 — 19 Comments

Pretty much immediately upon assuming office as Timberwolves’ President of Basketball Ops, Flip Saunders excised David Kahn’s final boondoggle. As should probably have happened halfway through last season, Brandon Roy has been waved. Here’s Flip waxing sentimental on the end of the Brandon Roy era: “We wish Brandon and his family all the best in the future.” Your desk should be cleaned out by 5:00, please. Also, we hope you enjoy this nice watch (and the $5 million you made last year).

Kahn has a few majestic failures to his name, but most of his moves were mediocrities of this sort. Easily defensible moves with relatively low risk that simply didn’t pan out. Many of these shone with Kahn’s signature grandiose faux-humility, which made it easy to relish their failure–thinking here of the Beasley and Anthony Randolph trades and the Darko experiment. But the Brandon Roy story was sadder and more poignant. Roy is an incredibly good basketball player who, at 28-years-old, would be in the heart of his prime right now if he had any cartilage left in his knees. Kahn’s gamble would have paid off if Roy would have been able to access even a shred of the talent his body surely still possesses. But he couldn’t. His stat line from last year is almost cruel: Five games; 5.8 points; 4.6 assists; 2.8 rebounds in 24.4 minutes per game. Brandon Roy deserves better.

 

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The first A Wolf Among Wolves zip-up hoodie is now available.

Have $40 to spend? Want to avoid being cold while we wait for the snow to thaw and the mercury to rise? Need something swaggeristic (made it up) to wear to Wolves games? Then the AWAW zip-up hoodie is perfect for you!

It comes in black with white print or heather grey with blue print. There is a design on the left sleeve that may look familiar to you, a standard zipper down the middle of the front, and our AWAW lettering on the hood of the sweatshirt. They run a little big for their size, but will also shrink a bit if you wash them on warm.

There are still a few issues in getting up a store on the site right now (stupid plugin coding I don’t understand), so until that gets resolved we’re going to have to go through a much more archaic manner of ordering the hoodies.

Supplies are limited until we print more, so you’ll need to act fast if you want one. Here’s how the ordering process will be until the store can be implemented into the site:  Continue Reading…

RickAdelKahn

The trade deadline is schedule for 2pm CT on Thursday and the Wolves are said to be buyers right now by enticing prospective trade partners with Brandon Roy’s salary relief and a future first round pick. This makes sense for the team if it means they’re adding a piece they can take into next year that helps balance out the roster without taking on too much money. While I don’t believe Glen Taylor to be a cheap owner by any means (when the team is good and producing, he historically spends the money and even flirts with the luxury tax), the Wolves do need to be cognizant of cost right now (more on that in a bit).

So what could the Wolves be targeting?  Continue Reading…

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Reserves are headed the Wolves’ way.

The team announced today that they’ve signed both F/C Chris Johnson and G/F Mickael Gelabale to 10-day contracts, following the expiration of Lazar Hayward’s 10-day contract and a hardship exception granted by the NBA to allow a 16th member of the roster on a 10-day contract. Here are the press releases for both:  Continue Reading…

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I hadn’t posted on the Brandon Roy news from earlier this past week because I didn’t really know what to say about it.

He’s looking for alternative methods to keep his comeback going. He was looking good practicing with the team and had a chance to play this past Saturday if his back-to-back practices went well. The problem was the back-to-back practices never happened. His knees didn’t allow it.

We can get into debating whether or not the signing was the correct move but I’m not sure what comes out of such a discussion. It was a low risk, medium reward type of deal. If he’s able to find a way to come back again (and I really hope he gets that chance), I think he’ll have a few moments in which he can provide a little spark to the team and the rest of his contributions will come from being a veteran voice in the locker room. If he can’t come back and has to retire again, I still think a name (even if he’s battered) choosing to sign with this team is just some nice credit for the organization to build around the league. It shows players want to come here, especially if Rubio comes back to full health (many players last season whispered about wanting to play with Rubio last season).

It can be looked at as another swing and a miss by Wolves’ management and it sort of is. But a move like this could have better long-term potential than many of us realize, and I refuse to believe you can have bad contracts on deals of two years or less. It’s a one year test to see if the guy fits and if not, it’s an expiring contract that can be moved at the trade deadline the next season. It’s financially responsible to give out those deals for guys you’re taking a risk on.

But the real point of this post isn’t about Brandon Roy right now.  Continue Reading…

Timberwolves sign Lazar Hayward

Zach Harper —  December 31, 2012 — 1 Comment

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With the final roster spot vacated because of Josh Howard’s torn ACL, the Timberwolves have settled on Lazar Hayward to provide some depth on the wing. After working out James Anderson, Joey Graham and Hayward this past week (according to the Star Tribune), the Wolves have settled on Hayward after James Anderson went to the Houston Rockets.

As many of you may remember, Hayward scored 160 points in 42 games as a rookie for the Wolves in the 2010-11 season before being dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder last December. Personally, I would have preferred James Anderson because he does more offensively and would fill more of the shooting guard role the Wolves need when they decide to go small or even just to have backup for Shved at times. Anderson can also play the 3 in a pinch. However, Hayward will most likely provide a few minutes here and there to save Andrei Kirilenko’s legs and back and allow Adelman to not lose too much size at the backup small forward position, if he decides to keep Derrick Williams more at the 4 when he plays him.

The deal is non-guaranteed, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he was only here for a week or two as they try to acquire or sign someone else to fill in for the rest of the season.

So yeah… that’s pretty much all there is to this story.

Oh wait, there is one more thingContinue Reading…

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It turns out that Josh Howard’s knee is worse than originally expected and reported. We all thought he had a hyperextended knee from his injury against the New Orleans Hornets. He actually has a torn ACL and because his deal is non-guaranteed, the Wolves have waived him from the roster to open up space to bring someone else in.

What’s weird about this is there were thoughts Howard would play Tuesday against the Miami Heat. Maybe it was a partial tear or it tore during his warmups the other day, but it seems odd that he could have a torn ACL and think he was capable of possibly playing on that knee. The Wolves did tests on his knee this morning and discovered the ACL tear.

The roster stands at 14 and it’s likely the Wolves will try to sign a wing player to give Andrei Kirilenko some rest and give them some decent minutes at both the small forward and shooting guard positions. Some available free agents include Michael Redd, Chris Douglas-Roberts, and Ime Udoka. Personally, I’m hoping for a Ricky Davis comeback tour that begins at the Target Center.

Other options could come from the D-League. Travis Leslie is an athletic wing player that was waived by the Clippers before the season started. He jumps out of the gym and has been scoring well with the Santa Cruz Warriors. From the Wolves’ D-League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce, Andrew Goudelock is a combo guard leading the team in scoring and Demetris Nichols is the second leading scorer on the team and a 6’6″ wing player.

James Anderson was also recently waived by the San Antonio Spurs to make room for Kawhi Leonard (H/T: @yowhatupT). He’s the best of the lot.

Regardless of where the player comes from, Wolves could use some depth there really soon.

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…

OKAY!

A lot has happened over the couple days and now we’re getting a better idea of the way this roster could look heading into next season. After missing out on Nicolas Batum (when evil Paul Allen wouldn’t let him go despite Neil Olshey wanting to let him go or at least work out a sign-and-trade), the Wolves were left with a plan B. Only nobody really seemed to know what the plan B was. The team missed out on Courtney Lee because… well… let’s just say negotiating issues, and it left the team without many options.

So here are the four transactions that have gone/will go down:

1. Greg Stiemsma signs with the team.
2. Wayne Ellington is dealt to the Grizzlies for Dante Cunningham.
3. Wes Johnson and a 1st round pick are part of a 3-team deal that brings back Brad Miller’s contract (CJZero corrected me that he’s going to Phoenix), Jerome Dyson, and a couple of picks.
4. The Wolves sign Andrei Kirilenko for two years and roughly $20 million.

Let’s look at these in order of importance:  Continue Reading…

It’s officially official that Darko Milicic is no longer a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The team used it’s one time amnesty provision during the life of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement to rid themselves of his cap number and roster space so they could have the room to make the 4-year, $46.5 million offer sheet to restricted free agent Nicolas Batum.

Darko Milicic has been somewhat of a lightning rod for some reason. When he was blocking shots two years ago and missing left-handed hooks, there were Wolves fans that wanted to believe he was a defensive stopper for this team. There were those that thought people were too critical of David Kahn and wanted to find the good in this insane contract that was given to a big man that had rarely shown any desire to improve his game and matter for good reasons in this league. There were people that wanted this team to be good so badly, they were willing to look past the warts to appreciate any positives he gave the team.

I don’t necessarily fault fans for doing this. We want to see the good in a player. We want him to realize his potential. We hope the Wolves’ players all come together and figure out how to win while playing their best. It’s part of wanting this team to be good. And Darko wasn’t completely useless a couple seasons ago. He DID block shots and he was okay on defense, overall. He can pass the ball, although not with the ability and proclivity that David Kahn once told Chris Webber. However, that’s where the “production” ended and where his true story begins.

Darko is not a good NBA player. Part of the reason he’s so noticeable in his awful play is because of where he was drafted and how he was hyped. This is unfair because Darko didn’t make the Pistons draft him ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. He didn’t write the encouraging scouting reports pre and post-draft that made you wonder if he’ll be an All-Star big man. He didn’t really have anything to do with his popularity, other than possessing a certain agility, size, and skill set that GMs looking to save their jobs pray for drafting.

And it’s not his fault that David Kahn gave him an unwarranted four-year, $20 million contract two summers ago.

However, Darko Milicic is guilty in appearing to not really care whether he’s good or not. There is a certain work ethic and determination that is expected with this job and he seems to possess none of it. He sets himself up for failure by appearing to not have passion for getting better. Of course, that’s me assuming what’s inside his head and that may not be a fair assessment. Maybe he’s tried as hard as he’s capable of trying and has just hit a ceiling that was completely misjudged.

Actually, it’s that line of thinking that keeps giving him a pass in some respect. Some people have been making minor excuses for Darko for quite a while, trying to minimize the trouble and maximize the “what-if” factor. Darko Milicic is a horrible NBA player and mostly everybody has known it for years  He’ll still get chances in this league if he wants them because he’s tall. People will talk themselves into him being a decent backup big man and say, “you can do worse than Darko as your backup.”

Let me tell you that you can’t. I can throw out stats like his 54.1% in the restricted area (tied for 61st amongst centers) or his WS/48 of .003 last season or his assist percentage of 6.2% that was good for 34th amongst centers during 2011-12. I could tell you about the time he got injured on jump balls twice or how he injured himself during his conditioning test. But it’s unnecessary to waste our time breaking down his game.

Darko is apathy incarnate. I don’t mind if other teams take a chance on him. That actually helps the Wolves. And while I’ve been somewhat remorseful over the departure of certain disappointments over the years (Beasley being the most recent), there isn’t an iota of regret in seeing Darko having the exit held open for him.