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Timberwolves waive J.J. Barea

Timberwolves waive J.J. Barea

Timberwolves waive J.J. Barea

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has finalized its 2014-15 Opening Night roster by waiving guard J.J. Barea. 

“We’d like to thank J.J. for his three years in Minnesota,” said Timberwolves Head Coach Flip Saunders. “J.J. made our decision incredibly difficult with his play this preseason, highlighted by sparking a 13-point fourth quarter comeback against Chicago on Friday. In talking with J.J. and his representatives over the past few days, we came to the conclusion that this was the best outcome for both parties. He was a consummate professional throughout his time in Minnesota, and we thank him for his leadership both on and off the court. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Barea has already proven himself worthy of being on an NBA roster. It seems likely he will find a new home in the league soon.

Barea, 30, averaged 10.1 points and 4.1 assists in 21.7 minutes per game in 194 games (14 starts) with the Timberwolves. For his career, the eight-year veteran owns averages of 8.3 points and 3.4 assists in 509 games.

Timberwolves waive Brady Heslip

Timberwolves waive Brady Heslip

Timberwolves waive Brady Heslip

The Minnesota Timberwolves waived guard Brady Heslip today, bringing the team roster down to 16 players. The regular season starts Tuesday, and the maximum number of players a team can have on their roster is 15, so at least one more cut is coming.

Heslip, 24, appeared in four preseason games for the Wolves, tallying five points, two steals and one rebound in nine minutes of play. The 6-2 guard saw action in five games (two starts) for the Wolves entry in 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, shooting 61.1% from the field and 70.0% from three-point range. Heslip wrapped up his college career at Baylor as the best shooter in school history as well as one of the best shooters in Big 12 history, finishing his career with 1140 career points (20th in school history) and his 43.7% three-point percentage was the highest in school history and third-best in Big 12 history.

The Wolves begin their 26th NBA season this Wednesday, October 29, playing on the road in Memphis against the Grizzlies. The Timberwolves home opener will be the following night, Thursday, October 30, vs. the Detroit Pistons.

Vanilla Ice to perform at Timberwolves home opener

Ice, ice, baby.

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that multi-platinum recording artist Vanilla Ice will perform at halftime of the team’s regular season home opener against the Detroit Pistons on Thursday, Oct. 30.

Back long, long ago, Vanilla Ice topped the charts for 16 weeks with his multi-platinum breakthrough album To The Extreme, which became the fastest selling hip-hop album of all time. Featuring the smash hit “Ice Ice Baby,” To The Extreme , peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and sold 17 million copies worldwide.

A two-time American Music Award winner, Vanilla Ice currently stars in “The Vanilla Ice Project” that recently aired its 4th season on the DIY Network.

We know that you care. You do. It’s Vanilla Ice. Whether you want to sing/rap along, laugh or whatever, you are fascinated by this. And we’re happy to inform you of it.

Kyrylo Fesenko waived by Timberwolves

Kyrylo Fesenko waived by Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has waived center Kyrylo Fesenko.

Fesenko, 27, appeared in one preseason game for the Wolves, tallying one rebound and one steal in three minutes of play. The 7-1 center saw action in five games (three starts) for the Wolves entry in 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game. Fesenko, originally drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round (38th overall pick) of the 2007 NBA Draft, has averaged 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game over his five-year NBA career.

The Wolves preseason roster now stands at 17 players, so two more need to be cut before the start of the regular season.

Enjoy these video highlights of rookie Andrew Wiggins from a recent Minnesota Timberwolves late-night public scrimmage:

Wolves hire Mike Penberthy as shooting coach

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the hiring of Mike Penberthy as the team’s shooting coach and Jason Hervey as scout. In addition, Derek Pierce is being promoted from general scout to advance scout.

Penberthy will work on player development, specializing in shooting. Penberthy played collegiate basketball for The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, Calif., from 1993-97 where he was a two-time NAIA All-American and set the school record for most career points. Penberthy held the NAIA record for consecutive games with at least one three-pointer made, with 111, until it was broken in December of 2005. Penberthy played in 53 games with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000-01, averaging 5.0 points, 1.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists and shooting 39.6 percent (55-for-139) from three-point range as the Lakers won the NBA Championship. He also played in three games for the Lakers in 2001-02 before being waived. Penberthy’ professional playing career spanned from 1997–2008, including numerous stints overseas and in the NBA and ABA.

Hervey will serve as a college and NBA personnel scout for the Wolves. He comes to Minnesota from the Detroit Pistons where he held the title of director of basketball operations for the past two seasons. Prior to that, Hervey held positions of advance scout and video coordinator for the Washington Wizards from 2009-2012. He began his NBA career with the Detroit Pistons where he was the team’s assistant video coordinator from 2005-09.

Pierce will scout Wolves upcoming opponents to assist the coaching staff with game preparation. He served as both a college and NBA personnel scout for the Wolves over the previous five seasons. Before joining Minnesota, Pierce spent three seasons as advance scout with the Washington Wizards and two seasons as advance scout with the Golden State Warriors. Pierce also spent five seasons with the Indiana Pacers as video coordinator.

Timberwolves interested in Eric Bledsoe

Talented guard Eric Bledsoe is still unsigned, which comes as a surprise. But then you factor in his reported quest for a maximum-level NBA contract, and his availability becomes more understandable. Here’s ESPN.com with the latest:

Timberwolves interested in Eric Bledsoe

With just days before the start of training camp, the Minnesota Timberwolves are making a final push to acquire restricted free-agent guard Eric Bledsoe in a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns, sources told ESPN.com.

The Wolves are offering Bledsoe the four-year, $63 million maximum level contract that he has been seeking, sources said, but because of cap restrictions, the only way he can join the team as currently constructed is through a sign-and-trade deal. Bledsoe and the Suns have been in a stalemate all summer after the team offered him a four-year, $48 million deal in July.

This is a renewal of talks that have stretched over the past several months. The teams had discussions involving a Kevin Love trade that would involve Bledsoe but never made serious traction on a deal.

Glenn Robinson III on board with Wolves

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on Timberwolves rookie Glenn Robinson III:

Glenn Robinson III on board with Wolves

Robinson finally signed a partly guaranteed contract this week, and has been at Target Center with a group of players taking part in informal workouts. Wolves General Manager Milt Newton said Thursday that team officials felt it was important to let Robinson “know he’s in our plans,” before adding that “it’s a situation where he’s going to have to earn it.”

Robinson plays the No. 3, or wing, position that is the deepest spot on the Wolves’ roster. Veterans Corey Brewer, Chase Budinger, Shabazz Muhammad and Robbie Hummel are returning wings, and Wiggins, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, is a natural wing.

“I wouldn’t say it’s daunting,” Robinson said. “I’d definitely say, it is a lot of wings.”

Robinson said he thinks he has something in his favor in his quest to make the 15-man roster when training camp starts Sept. 29.

“I think it’s the little intangibles,” he said. “I’m a smart basketball player, I believe my IQ is pretty high … Even though I’m a rookie, it’s going to be playing like a veteran, trying to help guys out.”

timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed center Kyrylo Fesenko and guard Brady Heslip.

Fesenko, 27, appeared in five games (three starts) for the Wolves entry in 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 8.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 17.6 minutes per game. The 7-1 center’s best game came in Minnesota’s win over the Phoenix Suns, a 17-point, 8-rebound performance in 26 minutes. Fesenko, originally drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round (38th overall pick) of the 2007 NBA Draft, has averaged 2.3 points and 2.0 rebounds per game over his five-year NBA career.

Heslip, 24, appeared in five games (two starts) for the Wolves entry in the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. The 6-2 guard averaged 6.2 points per game in Vegas, including connecting on 61.1% of his shots and 70.0% from three-point range (7-for-10). As a senior with Baylor this past season, Heslip connected on 118 three-pointers (T-2nd in Big 12 history) at a 46.5% clip, the ninth-best single-season three-point percentage in Big 12 history. He finished his four-year career at Baylor first in school history in three-point percentage (.437) and second in made three-pointers (301).

Timberwolves sign second round draft pick Glenn Robinson III

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed 2014 second round draft pick Glenn Robinson III. Robinson III, a 6-6 forward from Michigan, was selected 40th overall in this year’s draft.

Robinson III played for the Wolves entry in the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 7.7 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in six games (four starts). His best performance came in the summer league finale, totaling 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting (2-of-6 from three-point range).

Robinson III started all 76 games in his Michigan career, averaging 12.0 points on 52.5% shooting and 4.9 rebounds per game in his two-year career. He was a two-time honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by the media, leading the Wolverines to appearances in the National Title game and Elite Eight in his two season at Michigan. Robinson III is the son of former NBA forward Glenn Robinson Jr., who was the first overall pick in the 1994 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer blog reporting on Thaddeus Young, whose time on the 76ers is over as he starts fresh with the young Minnesota Timberwolves:

Thaddeus Young happy for new start with Timberwolves

Young, who will earn $9.1 million this season and has a $9.7 million player option for the 2015-2016 season, can’t wait to get started in his new setting.

“It feels great,” Young said. “They came after me and they sent two guys and a pick over to get me so that says a lot about what the organization wanted and they went and got me. I’m very happy, very excited.”

Young, who averaged 17.9 points and 6.0 rebounds, is expected to be one of the Wolves leaders. He is just 26 years old but is entering his eighth NBA season.

“It’s a great thing for the younger guys, it’s a great thing for me,” Young said. “I can step into a situation were I already kind of know some of the concepts and I can help the young guys get better.”

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.

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