TWolves Making Fireworks? TWolves Daily News 7.5.10

Blockbuster 3-Way MIN/GS/NYK Trade?
From JSteinmeyer at Howlin’ T-Wolf:

Right after finishing up the Wolf Track on David Lee and how it may be impossible to actually get him here, I found an article on Slam Online (Via Howlin’ T-Wolf’s twitter page) that proposes a trade between the Knicks, Wolves and Warriors that was first leaked by the New York Post. The potential deal deal would send Big Al to the Warriors, Monta Ellis to the Knicks and David Lee to the Wolves.

– I’ve seen this popping up all over the net lately, but who knows how legit it is (see next Daily News item.)  However, it does make sense.
Warriors Not Interested in Al Jefferson

From Real GM:

The Warriors are not interested in acquiring Al Jefferson in a trade with the Timberwolves, sources tell Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times.
–  Well… that throws a wrench into the above trade now doesn’t it?  Personally, of the three players rumored above, I’d prefer Monta Ellis on the Wolves anyways.  He’ll have the lowest yearly contract, and can be an alpha scorer that can absolutely take over games at times.  The Wolves don’t have that right now, (nor have they ever… but lets not go there.)  We need someone that can step up at crucial times, and just take over stretches of games.  Monta can do that.  Is he the best player in the world?  No, clearly not.  But warts and all, I think he’s a good fit at SG considering what the Wolves team currently consists of.  So it could be something to the effect of Jefferson to the Knicks, Lee to GS, and Monta to the Wolves?  Lee fits better on Golden State than Al, and Jefferson on the Knicks could be alright too.  Especially if/when the Knicks strikeout in free agency.
Recapping David Lee’s Free Agent Visit to Minnesota
From JSteinmeyer at Howlin’ T-Wolf:

Mark Bartelstein said his client “had a great visit” and was “really impressed” by the pitch put on by team president David Kahn, coach Kurt Rambis and the rest of the Timberwolves.

David Kahn and the Wolves spent the afternoon touring David Lee and his agent around town. Not only was Lee impressed with the city, but also he took a liking to Kahn’s pitch about our rebuilding process.

Kahn did a good job of getting Lee in for this meeting. Rudy Gay’s cancellation with the Timberwolves had fans believing that Kahn and the Wolves will never be able to get a higher-tiered free agent to town. But bringing Lee in had fans speculating that Kahn’s plan is for real, even though it fails to follow any conventional way of rebuilding.

– We don’t need David Lee… nor do I want us to sign or trade for him.  However, it’s definitely not a bad thing that a high-profile free agent came in for a visit and liked what Kahn was selling.  That can only help this franchise going forward.  Now let’s just hope Kahn smartly utilizes (or saves) our remaining $7 million in cap space.


Wolves Only Team That Can Make David Lee an Offer ‘Right Now’ Amongst Prime Suitors

From Howard Beck at the NYTimes:

Lee has met with Minnesota, Chicago and Miami, has spoken with the Nets and remains on the radar of the Knicks, his team for the last five seasons. Of that group, only the Timberwolves can offer a contract now.

– Ok, I guess.  The other teams could make an offer if they wanted to. I guess that just goes to show that Lee isn’t a top free agent.  And everyone’s waiting on LeBron anyways.


For more on David Lee’s visit and NBA Free Agency, please click “Read More” to continue…


T-Wolves Make Their Pitch To Lee
From the Pioneer Press:

Free-agent New York Knicks forward David Lee spent about nine hours in the Twin Cities on Saturday, meeting with the Timberwolves.

Lee met with the Wolves’ front office and attended part of the Twins-Rays game at Target Field with coach Kurt Rambis and team president of basketball operations David Kahn.

Lee’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, would not say if an offer was made but did say he and Lee will talk things over in the next few days.

Bartelstein said his client “had a great visit” and was “really impressed” with the Timberwolves, but if they are to do a deal with Lee, it likely will require a sign and trade to make it happen.

– As detailed above, it seemed to have went well.


David Lee Impressed

From Jerry Zgoda at the Star Tribune:

Just got back from MSP airport after catching David Lee as he walked through security headed home to St. Louis after spending 10 hours in Minnesota visiting the Timberwolves today.

The unrestricted free agent and 6-9 power forward arrived with his girlfriend on a Delta flight from O’Hare about 9:20 this morning after meeting with the Bulls and Heat in Chicago yesterday.

He spent the day with David Kahn and Kurt Rambis and met owner Glen Taylor.

He also toured Target Center, got to see some of Minneapolis’ lakes and suburbs and attended this afternoon’s Twins-Tampa Bay game for a few innings.

“Beautiful city,” he said. “Really nice people.”


Why Are The Wolves Meeting With Lee?

From Matt Moore at

So you’re David Kahn. You’ve just signed Darko Milicic for $20 million. You drafted a 23-year-old combo wing the same night you traded for Martell Webster (and drafted another small forward). You have one significant trade chip, Al Jefferson, who’s a phenomenal young player that for some reason you don’t want and who has great trade value, except you’ve buried it because you’ve tried offloading him too hard. So what’s your next move after locking up all your cap space?

Inviting David Lee for a meeting, of course!

– Unfortunately, I have to lean with Matt on this one.  I realize it’s “good business” to meet and woo big name free agents, as that could definitely help the club down the road… I just hope the Wolves aren’t serious about acquiring Lee.


Biggest Surprises So Far

From Susan Bible at HoopsWorld:

MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES, i.e., DARKO MILICIC/NIKOLA PEKOVIC – Say your goodbyes to Al Jefferson.  The Timberwolves and Milicic reached a four-year deal worth around $20 million.  What a huge turn-around given Milicic’s indication just a few months ago that he had enough of the NBA and was headed back to Europe.  After seven years in the league, Milicic’s career averages of 5.6 points per game, 4.1 rebounds at 17.5 minutes aren’t exactly stellar, but the Wolves seem to believe in him.  For NBA-untested 6’11” Pekovic, the team agreed to a $13 million, four-year deal.  Both of these deals now leave the team with less than $5 million in cap space.


Dallas Mavericks Interested in Al Jefferson?  And Dirk Resigns for $80 Million Over 4 Years

From Marc Stein at

Sources say that the Mavericks have identified Minnesota’s Al Jefferson and Charlotte’s Tyson Chandler as potential trade options, but those are secondary targets given Nowitzki’s need for someone on the wings who can consistently occupy defenses, create his own offense and open things up for him.

– Ok, I guess.  Not sure what they would give us though.  And although I’m not a Jefferson fan, it would be pretty discouraging if we simply moved him in a pure salary dump.


New Orleans Hornets Will NOT Trade Chris Paul

From the AP via

WESTWEGO, La. — Hornets president Hugh Weber said Saturday there is “no question” that Chris Paul will still be with New Orleans when next season begins.

Weber made the assurances a day after Paul, while hosting his CP3 Foundation golf outing, said that while he considers New Orleans his adopted hometown and loves the city, he would not be interested in remaining with the Hornets long-term if the club fails to demonstrate an immediate commitment to winning.

Weber said the Hornets will be active in free agency and will continue to consult Paul on roster moves, as they have been.

“We know what we need to do and Chris knows and has been collaborating with us on all the moves and changes we’ve had,” Weber said while he and Paul attended a community relations event to promote reading at the club’s suburban New Orleans training headquarters.

– Oh well, not a huge surprise there.  He’d look great on the TWolves, especially if we could move Jefferson + Flynn + Filler for him.  Presumably we’d have to take back a bad contract like Okafor, but at least he can still play and would be great alongside Love.

Joe Johnson Max Extension a… Good Move???

From Ian Thomsen at

Joe Johnson‘s acceptance of the Hawks’ six-year offer worth nearly $120 million keeps Atlanta in deep-playoff contention while taking another big name off the board. With his friend Amar’e Stoudemire expected to sign with the Knicks, the list of big-money stars still in play is down to four: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer.

The Hawks made a pre-emptive move to keep Johnson by offering him close to $30 million more than he could find on the open market. The deal, to which he verbally committed Sunday, will be criticized as too much money for a player who isn’t viewed among the top 10 in the league.

But it is a smart play by Atlanta, which couldn’t afford to lose him. The presence of their four-time All-Star and team leader enables the Hawks to approach next season with confidence of reaching the second round of the playoffs for a third straight year. Johnson’s raise next season will amount to not quite $2 million, so for the short-term he won’t have a disastrous impact on the Hawks’ payroll structure.

Had they lost their 29-year-old shooting guard, the Hawks would have surrendered the momentum they’ve developed around him while improving their record each of the last five years. Consider this an example of a team spending money in order to make money. Apart from the calf injuries that cost him 25 games in 2006-07, Johnson has been a durable star who — like Ray Allen and other stars in their 30s — could be moved to a contender over the latter half of his contract, if necessary.

– I typically love Ian Thomsen’s stuff, but I just can’t agree here.  I don’t care what the rationale is, resigning Joe Johnson for $120 million over 6 years is just terrible in every facet.  He’s nowhere near worth that kind of money, and my guess is they’ll be regretting that deal within three years, max.  Sometimes it’s better to just let players walk.  No use deluding themselves and their fanbase.

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