From Jon Krawczynski at AP:
The Minnesota Timberwolves acquired the former lottery pick from Portland in a trade for the 16th overall pick on draft night last week. Many players would sulk after getting traded from a playoff contender to the second-worst team in the league, but Webster welcomes the change.
“It’s a crazy feeling. It’s kind of surreal,” Webster said during his introductory news conference Monday. “New place. New setting. New culture. I’m excited.”
Webster was one of the highest-rated high school players in the country during his senior year at Seattle Prep in 2005 and was the first prep player drafted that year when the rebuilding Blazers took him sixth overall, ahead of Andrew Bynum.
Jonah Ballow at Timberwolves.com has an Article About Martell Webster
Martell Webster’s “Second Chance”
From Brian Murphy at Pioneer Press:
Martell Webster joined the NBA in 2005 as one of the last 18-year-old overachievers to become draft-eligible and a first-round enigma.
He arrived in Minnesota on Monday as the newest face of the Timberwolves’ 2010 reformation, a process that figures to accelerate when free agency commences late Wednesday night.
Webster, a 23-year-old swingman and three-point sharpshooter, already has five seasons of pro experience with the Portland Trail Blazers. He also is a father, a husband to-be and grateful for the chance to compete for minutes on a team desperate to add scoring and athleticism.
Not to mention reverse its status as a perennial loser.
Young Vet Eager to Show Us His [Stuff]
From Jerry Zgoda at Star Tribune:
“Not a fresh start,” Webster said. “Not to say that I didn’t have one in Portland, but now I get more of one. The opportunity is a little bigger. For me, something bigger means a lot more. It’s trying to change the identity and make this a winning organization, which I was part of in Portland. My early years there, that was fun, to tell you the truth.”
He entered the NBA directly out of a Seattle high school, which makes him a grizzled veteran on a team filled with players 21 and 23 years old even though he missed the 2008-09 season because of a broken foot.
“It’s the craziest thing,” Webster said. “Corey Brewer and all those guys, that’s all my class. It’s kind of surreal when you think about it. I’m a young vet. I just want to come here and bring my knowledge and definitely spread it on this team. … It’s like getting a new bike: You can’t wait to get out there and test ride it.”
Kahn will still contact Rudy Gay
Jerry Zgoda at Star Tribune:
The Timberwolves will target Memphis restricted free agent Rudy Gay when the NBA’s free agency period begins Wednesday night, according to a league source.
Wolves boss David Kahn on Monday said he will call at 11 p.m. Wednesday two agents he wouldn’t identify and seek to arrange for their clients to visit Target Center and meet with team personnel, including owner Glen Taylor.
– Wait, what? WTF Kahn? You just acquired 3.5 new SF’s during the draft. Why the heck would you overpay for Rudy Gay? This makes no sense.
An Appreciation for the Awesomeness That is Ryan Gomes
From Ben Polk at Wolf Among Wolves:
On top of that, Gomes is an famously generous, open and friendly guy. He’s one of the only players I’ve met who seems to enjoy shooting the breeze about basketball as much as pasty nerds like me; he was routinely the last player in the locker room after a painful loss, patiently humoring reporters. Being a 5’10″ white dude in an NBA locker room can be a little intimidating; discovering that there was a player willing to look you in the eye and have an actual human conversation made things feel a lot less daunting. I appreciate that.
Amazingly, he seemed able to relate to his teammates even better than he did to reporters. Over and over I saw Gomes seek out frustrated or disgruntled players and, with his funny, rapid-fire banter, bring them back into the fold. Anyone wondering why, during three years of constant, punishing futility, the Wolves never devolved into a churning, fractious mess should look no further than Ryan Gomes.
– I will miss you. But hopefully you can move on to bigger and better things. You are finally(!) free from the evil clutches of this inept organization. Hopefully a veteran team like SA or Boston signs you, where you can fit in and contribute. At least much more so than being forced to start for our squad.
Kahn is Really Trying to Sign Nikola Pekovic
From a Greek Newspaper (I presume):
Πετούν για Βαρκελώνη
Ο Ζέλικο Ομπράντοβιτς και ο Δημήτρης Ιτούδης θα ταξιδέψουν σήμερα στη Βαρκελώνη προκειμένου να λάβουν μέρος στο ετήσιο προπονητικό σεμινάριο που διοργανώνεται από την Ευρωλίγκα.
Ο “Ζοτς” μαζί με τους Ετόρε Μεσίνα και Αϊτο Ρενέσες θα είναι οι βασικοί ομιλητές στο σεμινάριο. Ο Ομπράντοβιτς θα διδάξει το pick ‘n’ roll σε άμυνα κι επίθεση, την οργάνωση του πλάνου αγώνα και την άμυνα σε όλο το γήπεδο. Το σεμινάριο θα ολοκληρωθεί το Σάββατο 26 Ιουνίου.
Κατά τη διάρκεια της παραμονής του στην Αθήνα ο Ζέλικο Ομπράντοβιτς συναντήθηκε με τους συνεργάτες του (τον μάνατζερ της ομάδας Μάνο Παπαδόπουλο, τον Δημήτρη Ιτούδη και τον γυμναστή του Παναθηναϊκού Σάββα Αρώνη) προκειμένου να καταστρώσουν το πλάνο προετοιμασίας της ομάδας εν όψει της νέας αγωνιστικής περιόδου.
– Apparently Pekovic wants 3 years, $21 million from the Wolves. Kahn offered 3 years, $15 million… after originally offering 3 years, $9 million. Uh-oh. The Rockets have said that if the Wolves trade them Pekovic, they’ll pay him the 3 years, $21 million. Intriguing?
– So, do we pay Pekovic $7 million per year?
– If not, do we trade with the Rockets?
– If trade, for what? Kevin Martin? Anything else?
– Personally, I think anything over $5 million per year is too much for Pekovic. He’s unproven, plus we are apparently going to sign Darko as well. Darko and Pekovic would use up ALL our cap space. That would royally suck.
For more Wolves/NBA/Draft News and Notes, please click “Read More” to continue…
– Hahahahahaha. Sigh. (insert sad face here.)
Jerry Zgoda Wolves News/Notes/Random Stuff:
David Kahn introduced Martell Webster as a Timberwolf this afternoon at Target Center and said he plans to call the agents for two players at 11 p.m. Wednesday — the start of the NBA’s free agency period — to try to sent up visits for their clients.
Kahn wouldn’t say who. I’m betting one is Amare Stoudemire. If he’s really aiming at the sky, the other could be Chris Bosh, but perhaps even Kahn might know how high is too high to aim.
As I wrote in a story for Sunday’s paper, look for the Wolves to aim high and target not a shooting guard, but a power forward whose length and athleticism could upgrade the frontcourt. Al Jefferson — and even Kevin Love, depending on how high they can realistically aim — likely included if it’s a sign-and-trade deal.
“We won’t be one of these teams that shows up on somebody’s door step,” Kahn said. “We’ll invite one, maybe even two people to come visit us. I very much want people to come here and see the upgraded facilities, to meet Glen, to have a feel for the entire organization. There are a lot of quality people who work here and are connected to this organization.
Wolves Want Nemanja Bjelica This Season?
From Tom Ziller at AOL Fanhouse:
You know how the joke goes: The Timberwolves, replete with point guards and power forwards, decide the settle in on small forwards on draft day, and ended up with four of them. And, to get a little more mileage out of the ha-ha, one of them happens to be a European prospect who could pull a Rubio and stay in the Old World a while.
But that last quip may not apply after all, as Serbian forward Nemanja Bjelica, acquired in a pick swap with the Wizards, really wants to be in the NBA next season. According to Tom Power of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Wolves GM David Kahn hasn’t yet decided whether to keep Bjelica, the 6’10 22-year-old who spent two seasons with his hometown Red Star Belgrade in the Adriatic League, with the Wolves or “allow” him to sign a short European contract. Spanish teams including Unicaja are reportedly interested in borrowing the forward if the Wolves decide he isn’t NBA-ready.
– Interesting. I hope KAHN knows what he’s doing, because Darko + Pekovic + Bjelica = no more cap space.
NBA Draft Blog’s Awesome Analysis of the NBA Draft (Part II)
From Ed Isaacson at NBADraftBlog:
Minnesota Timberwolves Grade: C
1st Round – Wesley Johnson, SF,
2nd Round – Namanja Bjelica, SF,
Analysis – I thought the draft started out really well for the TWolves. I sincerely think Johnson is going to be a star in the NBA and he filled a team need. He is a great rebounder, is very athletic and is an underrated shooter. He needs to become more aggressive looking for his shot and using his athletic ability to create on the offensive end. With two more first round picks, I figured they could add some more key pieces to improve the team, but things went horribly wrong.
The second round was filled with international players, neither who is close to being ready for the NBA. Bjelica is another small forward who plays a typical European game. In other words, he is soft, prefers to play on the perimeter at 6’10, though he does have a good, consistent shot. Prestes is the player with more of a shot of being a NBA player, with a solid body and power game, though he is still very raw on the offensive end.
Thrown into the mix was the acquisition of Martell Webster, another small forward, from
Wolves Summer League Roster
From Ridiculous Upside:
Minnesota Timberwolves Summer League Roster (Source)
PG – Jonny Flynn, Jeremy Pargo
SG – Wayne Ellington
SF – Wesley Johnson, Lazar Hayward, Mo Charlo
PF – Cedric Simmons, Deon Thompson,
C – Greg Stiemsma
Minnesota Timberwolves Summer League Schedule – 7/12 vs San Antonio, 7/14 vs Sacramento, 7/16 vs Memphis, 7/17 vs Portland, 7/18 vs Atlanta
The “Big Three” Free Agent Summit is ALIVE!
From Chris Broussard and Marc Stein at ESPN.com:
A modified version of the ballyhooed free-agent summit that was initially suggested and then downplayed by Dwyane Wade has indeed taken place, ESPN.com has learned.
Sources close to the situation said Monday night that three of the biggest names in basketball — Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James — met over the weekend in Miami to seriously discuss their futures, with a focus on the increasingly plausible possibility of those three teaming up with Wade’s Heat.
One source did label Miami as the new frontrunner to land James in a package deal with Bosh and a re-signed Wade but also cautioned that James was “non-committal” with the start of free agency fast approaching.
– Hahahahaha suck it Stern!
2010 Free Agency Draft Primer
From Ian Thomsen at CNNSI.com