Archive for the ‘ Minnesota T-Wolves Blog ’ Category

Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio played all 82 games last regular season, averaging 9.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 8.6 assists and 2.3 steals per game. Enjoy these video highlights of some of Rubio’s best plays:

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on the Timberwolves:

Timberwolves hope to establish an identity

Seven years after they traded away a star with the same first name, the Timberwolves did so again on Saturday, finally sending away discontented Kevin Love to Cleveland in a three-way trade before he could leave.

A pre-emptive strike before Love could walk away free next summer, the deal is intended to change the identity of a franchise that hasn’t made the playoffs since that other Kevin — the one named Garnett — played at Target Center long ago.

It brings the first player selected in each of the past two NBA drafts — this summer’s No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins and 2013’s Anthony Bennett — as well as Philadelphia veteran power forward Thaddeus Young and a $6-plus million trade exception the Wolves can use within the next year to add a player without salary-cap limitations.

In return, the Wolves sent Love to Cleveland, where he will play beside superstar LeBron James and pal Kyrie Irving on a team that now becomes an instant title contender, if it already wasn’t before. The Wolves also shipped to Philadelphia veteran forward Luc Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved and Miami’s 2015 first-round pick received from the Cavaliers.

Kevin Love’s entire six-year NBA career has been with the Minnesota Timberwolves. But that ended Saturday when he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a deal that had been anticipated for weeks. Enjoy these video highlights of some of K-Love’s best plays during his time with the Wolves:

Here’s the Philadelphia Daily News with an update on what the expected Kevin Love trade may wind up looking like:

Eventual Kevin Love to Cavs trade will reportedly involve 76ers

While news came out yesterday that Minnesota and Cleveland had agreed in principle to a trade that will send All-Star Kevin Love to the Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round draft pick, the Daily News has learned that the Sixers will, indeed, be involved in the deal.

A source informed the Daily News that the Sixers will be sending veteran forward Thaddeus Young to Minnesota for a package that will include Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

The deal, which two sources have confirmed to the Associated Press, will not be official until Aug. 23, when Wiggins, this year’s No. 1 draft pick, becomes eligible to be traded.

Enjoy this video of Timberwolves rookie Zach LaVine’s summer league highlights:

Here’s the St. Paul Pioneer Press reporting on the Minnesota Timberwolves:

Timberwolves likely to trade Kevin Love in late August

The Timberwolves say now that they expect to trade disgruntled all-star Kevin Love and that a deal is expected Aug. 23 or Aug. 24.

“I’m saying it’s most likely because Kevin has made it pretty clear that that’s what he wants to do,” Wolves owner Glen Taylor told the Pioneer Press.

Taylor’s preference, though, is that Love remain in Minnesota. The August dates for a trade are because that’s when the Cleveland Cavaliers officially can deal their first-round draft pick, Andrew Wiggins, to the Wolves.

Cleveland remains the strong bet for Love to join LeBron James. But the Wolves continue to listen to offers from Chicago and Golden State, with Philadelphia expected to be part of a three-team deal.

Timberwolves sign Mo Williams

Timberwolves sign Mo Williams

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed guard Mo Williams.

“We are excited to bring Mo into the fold this season,” said Timberwolves head coach Flip Saunders. “His veteran leadership and excellent three-point shooting ability will be a valuable addition to our team.”

According to Yahoo Sports, it’s a one-year deal for $3.75 million.

Williams, 31, appeared in 74 games for Portland last season, averaging 9.7 points and 4.3 assists in 24.8 minutes per game. He shot 36.9 percent from three-point range, including a 42.2 percent clip over a two-month stretch from January through February. Williams appeared in eight games during the postseason with the Blazers, averaging 7.4 points per game before missing the final three games of the playoffs due to a groin strain.

The 11-year veteran was originally selected by the Utah Jazz in the second round (47th overall pick) of the 2003 NBA Draft. Minnesota is Williams’ sixth NBA stop, previously spending stints in Utah (2003-04, 2012-13), Milwaukee (2004-08), Cleveland (2008-2011, L.A. Clippers (2011-12) and Portland (2013-14). He has averaged 13.3 points and 4.9 assists per game while connecting on 38.5 percent from three-point range over his 709-game career. His best season came with the Cavaliers in 2008-09, when he averaged 17.8 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting (43.6 percent from three-point range) to earn an All-Star appearance.

Kevin Love withdraws from Team USA

Kevin Love has withdrawn from this summer’s USA Basketball roster because of his uncertain NBA status, leaving the Americans without one of their most experienced international players.

Team USA announced the decision on Saturday. Love, who won gold medals at the 2012 Olympics and 2010 world championship and was one of the first players to commit to play this summer, told USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo that he would be unavailable for training camp that starts Monday.

– Associated Press

Timberwolves re-sign forward Robbie Hummel

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has re-signed forward Robbie Hummel.

“We are excited to have Robbie back with us this season,” said Flip Saunders, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “He proved that he can be a key contributor off the bench and finished the season strong. Robbie’s ability to stretch the floor with his shooting range is a valuable asset for our team.”

Hummel, 25, played in 53 games (five starts) in his rookie season for the Wolves last year, averaging 3.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per contest. The 6-8 forward shot 36.0 percent (36-for-89) from three-point range for the season, including connecting on 17 of his final 32 attempts (53.1%). Hummel scored in double-digits four times last year, netting a season-high 12 points at Orlando on April 5. He grabbed a season-high nine rebounds in the season finale vs. Utah on April 16.

Hummel was the 58th overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Timberwolves. He spent the 2012-13 season with Obradoiro CAB in the Spanish League where he averaged 10.1 points and 7.2 rebounds in 30 games. Hummel averaged 14.0 points and 6.8 rebounds in 127 games over his four-year collegiate career for the Purdue Boilermakers.

Report: Kevin Love interested in Cavs

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Cleveland Cavaliers, who LeBron James announced today that he’ll be signing with:

Report: Kevin Love interested in Cavs

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love is “intrigued” by the idea of being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers and would commit long term to the team, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

The Cavaliers have opened talks by offering guard Dion Waiters, forward Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick to the Timberwolves in exchange for Love, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.

Love said during a June 11 appearance on ESPN’s “SportsNation “that it “burns me and hurts my heart” that he hasn’t made the playoffs in six seasons in the NBA.

Wolves sign first round draft pick Zach LaVine

The Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday announced the team has signed 2014 first-round draft pick Zach LaVine. LaVine, a 6-5 guard out of UCLA, was the 13th overall selection in this year’s draft.

All first round draft picks are guaranteed to receive a contract, assuming the player wants to come to the NBA right away. This signing is standard routine, and was expected.

LaVine appeared in all 37 games, making one start, as a freshman at UCLA this past season. He averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game, earning Pac 12 All-Freshman honors. He connected on 37.5% from three-point range, finishing the year with 48 made three-pointers, the second-highest made three-pointers by a UCLA freshman in school history. LaVine scored in double figures in 17 games, including nine of his first 10 contests.

LaVine will make his Wolves debut at the Samsung NBA Summer League 2014, which takes place in Las Vegas from July 11-21. Minnesota’s first game is against Dallas on July 12 at the Thomas & Mack Center at 5:30 p.m. CT.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced Ryan Saunders as an assistant coach, joining David Adelman, Sidney Lowe and Sam Mitchell on head coach Flip Saunders’ staff.

“Ryan brings a unique skill set of player development, analytics and team preparation to our team,” said general manager Milt Newton. “He played a key role in the development of Washington’s rising stars John Wall and Bradley Beal, and he served as the primary scout last season as the Wizards won their first playoff series since 2004-05. His ability to develop young talent, as well as his statistical analysis and game preparation techniques, will be an extremely valuable addition to our team.”

A University of Minnesota graduate, Saunders spent the last five seasons as an assistant with the Washington Wizards. In Washington, he was instrumental in assisting with the preparation for upcoming opponents with extensive scouting reports and statistical analysis. Prior to his time with the Wizards, Saunders was as an assistant for a season on Tubby Smith’s staff at the University of Minnesota, where he helped lead the Golden Gophers to an NCAA tournament appearance. In addition to his on-court work, Saunders helped players with their academic and social development off the court.

As well as his coaching experience, Saunders brings an analytical background to the Wolves coaching staff. He is the co-founder of an in-game analytical program, Gametime Concepts, which focuses on in-game analysis and statistical probabilities. Gametime Concepts is used by a number of NBA and NCAA teams.

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on the Timberwolves:

This time last year, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders flew out to Los Angeles for separate late-night rendezvous with free agents J.J. Redick and O.J. Mayo.

It was the start of several frenetic days in which he began a $120 million summertime spending spree by first signing Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger and Corey Brewer instead.

This time around, the NBA’s annual free-agency period begins at 11 p.m. Monday and Saunders plans to stay home to work the phones while many other NBA teams woo free agents LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.

This time around, Saunders predicts he’ll be relatively quiet — and certainly more frugal — than a year ago.

That’s because the Wolves soon will have 14 players under guaranteed contracts and because he believes he has better balanced a roster that once was lopsided with point guards and big men.

Warriors still have Kevin Love in mind

Here’s the San Jose Mercury News on the Warriors and their continued interest in Timberwolves star Kevin Love:

Warriors still have Kevin Love in mind

His name was never uttered officially and certainly not by the Warriors on this night.

That would be tampering! Kevin who?

Yet … the shadow of Kevin Love hovered over all Warriors thinking and analysis during the NBA draft on Thursday.

And maybe the Warriors crept a little closer to Love by staying patient, sticking to their plotted course and waiting another day …

All this on a night when the Warriors had no draft picks and made no trades but stayed in the thick of the NBA chatter.

They didn’t trade for Love on Thursday, but that doesn’t mean they won’t at some point.

Timberwolves hire Sam Mitchell as assistant coach

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced Sam Mitchell as an assistant coach on head coach Flip Saunders staff.

“We are excited to add Sam Mitchell to our coaching staff,” said head coach Flip Saunders. “As a player, Sam was always one of our more vocal leaders in the locker room and was a great influence on our team. Additionally his coaching experience, both as an assistant and as a head coach in Toronto, will make Sam a valuable member of our coaching staff.”

The 2006-07 NBA Coach of the Year, Mitchell brings four-plus seasons of head coaching experience to the Wolves bench, previously serving as head coach of the Toronto Raptors from 2004-2008. Mitchell led the Raptors to two playoff appearances as head coach, including a 47-35 record in 2006-07, a 20-game improvement from the previous season. Mitchell has also served two stints as an assistant coach, coaching under Avery Johnson in New Jersey during 2010-11 and George Karl in Milwaukee from 2002-04.

As a player Mitchell spent 13 years in the NBA, originally selected by the Houston Rockets in the third round of the 1985 NBA Draft. He played a couple of seasons in the minor leagues and overseas before finally landing in the NBA with the Wolves in 1989-90. Mitchell spent 10 seasons in Minnesota, including averaging 12.7 points in 80 games for the Wolves during the inaugural season. He appeared in 757 games with the Wolves in his career, averaging 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. He also played three seasons with Indiana, making an Eastern Conference Finals run with the Pacers in 1994-95.

Mitchell finished his career appearing in 994 regular season games and 59 postseason contests, missing just 40 games to injury or illness throughout his career. He finished his career with averages of 8.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.

Timberwolves hire Sidney Lowe as assistant coach

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced Sidney Lowe as an assistant coach on head coach Flip Saunders staff. This will be Lowe’s fourth time coaching alongside Saunders, previously serving as an assistant under him in Minnesota both from 1999-2000 and 2003-05, and in Detroit from 2005-06. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not announced.

“We are excited to add Sid Lowe to our coaching staff,” said head coach Flip Saunders. “I have great respect for Sid. He has a great basketball mind and an extensive coaching background as a head and assistant coach in both the NBA and collegiate levels, which will be extremely valuable on our staff. Sid relates well with players and will play an important role in the development of talent on our roster.”

Lowe’s ties with Minnesota originally began in 1989-90 as a player with the organization in its inaugural season, appearing in a career-high 80 games and averaging 21.8 minutes per game. He retired after the season, remaining with the organization as the team’s television color analyst for the 1990-91 season. He became an assistant coach the next season under then-head-coach Jimmy Rodgers, eventually being promoted to head coach midway through the 1992-93 season and remaining in the position through the 1993-94 season.

Prior to re-joining Saunders’ staff, Lowe served three seasons (2011-14) as an assistant with the Utah Jazz on former Timberwolves teammate Tyrone Corbin’s staff after previously serving as the head coach at North Carolina State University (2006-11). In his first season on the sidelines, he became just the third NC State coach to win 20 games and defeat the other three North Carolina institutions in the ACC (Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest). He is one of only four NC State coaches to have coached in the ACC Championship game in his first year.

Following five seasons as an assistant with Cleveland (1994-99) and one season with Minnesota (1999-2000), Lowe was named head coach of the Vancouver Grizzlies in June of 2000, eventually moving with the team to Memphis before stepping down shortly into the 2002-03 campaign.

As a player, Lowe was originally selected by the Chicago Bulls with the first pick of the second round (25th overall) in the 1983 NBA Draft, whom immediately traded his rights to Indiana, where he spent the 1983-84 season. In 1984-85, Lowe spent time with both the Pistons and Atlanta Hawks. Over the next three years, Lowe was a point guard in the Continental Basketball Association, leading his teams to three consecutive CBA titles. He started the 1988-89 season with the Rapid City Thrillers before signing with the Charlotte Hornets. In 1990, Lowe joined the expansion Timberwolves.

The rest of Saunders’ staff will be announced at a later date.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today named Flip Saunders as the franchise’s head coach. Saunders served as head coach of the Timberwolves from 1995 to 2005 leading the team to its most successful years, highlighted by a trip to the 2004 Western Conference Finals. Saunders will remain as the team’s President of Basketball Operations, a position he assumed in May of 2013.

“After an exhaustive process and several thorough discussions with Flip, we came to the conclusion that he was the stabilizing force needed to lead our team,” Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said. “Flip led us to our most successful seasons; he knows what it takes to win in the NBA as his track record speaks for itself. He is widely known as one of the most creative basketball minds and I believe he is the right coach to lead our team. Flip and Milt Newton provide our front office the synergy needed to put our franchise in the best position to succeed now and in the future.”

As head coach of the Timberwolves from 1995-96 to 2004-05, Saunders led the club to eight consecutive playoff appearances and a Western Conference-best and franchise-best 58-24 record in 2003-04 — a season that concluded with a berth in the Western Conference Finals. During his tenure in Minnesota, Saunders won NBA Western Conference Coach of the Month honors four times (April ’04, Feb. ’03, Jan. ’01, Jan. ’00) and coached the Western Conference squad during the 2004 NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles. Saunders is the Wolves’ all-time winningest coach, posting a winning record in six of his eight full seasons as head coach and compiling an overall record of 411-326 (.558).

“In talking to Glen, we came to the decision that this outcome would be the best for our franchise,” Saunders said. “I will work tirelessly to bring back the success our franchise experienced in the late ’90s to early 2000s. To that end, I will assemble a diverse, experienced coaching staff that will bring out the best in our players. Milt and I will continue to make the necessary moves that we believe will help our franchise return to the playoffs.”

After a successful stint with the Timberwolves, Saunders took the coaching reins of Detroit where he led the Pistons to three consecutive Central Division crowns from 2005 to 2008. In three seasons at the helm, Saunders finished with a record of 176-70 (.715), including finishing with the best record in the Eastern Conference twice (2005-06, 2006-07). Saunders most recently spent two-plus seasons (2009-10 - 2011-12) as the head coach of the Washington Wizards. Overall, Saunders has seven 50-win seasons to his credit as an NBA head coach, with four Conference Finals appearances in 11 trips to the postseason. Saunders is one of three NBA coaches to make at least four Conference Finals appearances over the last 10 seasons (Popovich, Spoelstra) and his 638 coaching wins rank 20th on the all-time list and third among all active NBA head coaches.

Prior to his time in the NBA, Saunders directed three different teams to seven consecutive seasons of 30 or more victories in the CBA, two CBA Championships (‘90, ‘92) and earned a pair of CBA Coach of the Year honors (‘90, ‘92). Saunders’ CBA experience includes stops with the Rapid City Thrillers (1988-89), La Crosse Catbirds (1989-94) and Sioux Falls Skyforce (1994-95). Saunders also served as the general manager of the Catbirds from 1991-93.

Saunders’ coaching career also includes stops at Golden Valley Lutheran College, the University of Minnesota and the University of Tulsa. Saunders was an All-America basketball player at Cuyahoga Heights High School in Cleveland. He continued his basketball career at Minnesota, where he started in 101 of his 103 career games.

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune with some Timberwolves news:

Flip Saunders will become new coach of Timberwolves

Flip Saunders will be the next Timberwolves coach and will be introduced Friday in a news conference.

He confirmed in a text message this morning that he will coach the team but declined further comment until tomorrow.

As far as I know, there is no specified length of time that he’ll coach, although he has suggested before it would only be for a season or two if he did decide to coach.

When it’s all sorted out, Flip’s staff is expected to include former Wolves players Sam Mitchell and Sidney Lowe, although I’m not certain yet if either is a coach-in-waiting to take the job next.

The Minnesota Timberwolves will return to Cedar Rapids, Iowa this fall to host a preseason game, marking the franchise’s first trip back to the area since 2002. The Wolves are scheduled to take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 6 at 10 a.m.

“We’re looking forward to an incredible event in Cedar Rapids this October. This off-site game is a great opportunity to connect with our phenomenal fans and partners in Iowa and bring the excitement of NBA basketball right to their front door,” said Timberwolves President Chris Wright. “We are thrilled that this game will give back to the community by supporting the important work and programs of the United Way of East Central Iowa.”

Flip Saunders says he expects Timberwolves to keep Kevin Love

During a weekend trip to Boston, All-Star forward Kevin Love has been taking pictures with fans and seeing the sights, leading Celtics fans to speculate that he’s going to follow in the footsteps of Kevin Garnett as the next Minnesota star to come to town and turn around a struggling franchise.

Not so fast, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said.

“The last I knew Kevin was under contract with us, and I expect him to be playing for us next year,” Saunders said Sunday after a workout of draft prospects. “I don’t really dictate where guys go on vacation or what they do. They can go wherever they want to go.”

Love can opt out of his contract after next season, and the three-time All-Star has yet to make the playoffs in six years with the Timberwolves. He was also angered when former executive David Kahn refused to give him a full, five-year extension and instead gave him a four-year deal with a player option after three. That’s led many to believe that he will leave next summer to play for a contender in a bigger market.

– Associated Press

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