Archive for the ‘ Minnesota T-Wolves Blog ’ Category

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.

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.

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