Archive for the ‘ Minnesota T-Wolves Blog ’ Category

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting:

Officially, open season for finding a new Timberwolves coach began nearly a month ago, when the team announced Rick Adelman’s retirement.

In reality, it won’t truly start until Tuesday night.

That’s when the NBA holds its annual draft lottery, its annual game of luck in which the Wolves have less than a 1 percent chance to leap from their 13th overall draft position into the top three or lose their pick altogether to Phoenix because of a prior trade arrangement.

By then, Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders will know if his team finally has beaten the lotto odds — and very long ones at that — for the first time in the franchise’s 26-year history.

By then, he also will know much better just what kind of roster he will have to offer a prospective coach … or himself.

kevin love

Throughout most of last season, Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders and owner Glen Taylor remained steadfast in their stance that they would not consider trading Kevin Love.

They were determined instead to convince the All-Star forward that he should sign an extension to remain after next season.

With the NBA draft lottery coming up this week and an increasing concern that Love will leave for another team after next year, that stance has softened, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

The Timberwolves are now open to the idea of trading Love if the right deal comes along.

The people requested anonymity because the team has not made any final decisions on Love’s future in Minnesota. A likely asking price would include a high first-round pick in this year’s draft and a solid veteran or two who would come in and contribute right away to a team that is lacking in veteran leadership.

– Associated Press

Flip Saunders is a former coach himself, so he knows how coveted a head coaching job in the NBA can be.

The Timberwolves’ president of basketball operations may also soon find out how difficult filling an opening can be as well.

Saunders started the search for a new coach in earnest on Tuesday, one day after Rick Adelman announced his retirement. It’s a move that has been expected for some time, and Saunders has no doubt been kicking around possibilities. As a former coach, and a well-respected basketball mind, Saunders has a vast reservoir of contacts in the coaching fraternity, contacts that he will need to tap during a delicate search for a new leader.

Hanging over the process is Kevin Love’s uncertain future in Minnesota. Love can opt out of his contract after next season. The possibility of losing the face of the franchise, one of the best power forwards in the game and a relentless worker who has improved every summer could give some coaches pause when considering Minnesota.

– Associated Press

Rick Adelman retires from NBA coaching

Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman today announced his retirement from coaching in the NBA after 23 seasons as a head coach. Adelman will remain with the Wolves in a consultant role.

“I think it’s time for me to step aside,” said Adelman. “When I came here, we really tried to see if we could turn some things around and we made some strides. Not as much as we would have liked, but I think it’s time for me to step aside and let someone else come in with this group. We’re not that far away. I really enjoyed my time here. I thank Glen so much. He’s the best owner I’ve ever been around. Not only as an owner, but as a person and everything. It’s been an enjoyable experience, but I’m ready and my wife’s ready to move on to another phase. We’re looking forward to that.”

Adelman ranks eighth all-time in NBA coaching wins with a 1042-749 (.582 winning percentage) career record in 23 seasons as a head coach. Adelman took over a Wolves team prior to the 2011-12 campaign that had won 15 and 17 games the previous two seasons, and won 26, 31 and 40 games under his leadership. With a win over Detroit on April 6, 2013, Adelman became the eighth NBA head coach to record 1,000 wins in a career. By reaching the milestone in his 1,703rd NBA game, Adelman became the fifth-fastest NBA head coach to win 1,000 NBA games.

“On behalf of the Minnesota Timberwolves, I would like to thank Rick for all he has done for our organization,” said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. “Under Rick’s leadership, our team has improved each of the past three seasons. It has been a pleasure getting to know Rick and his wife Mary Kay, and I wish them the best in retirement.”

“Coach Adelman is truly one of the greatest coaches in our game’s history, and he has helped restore credibility and respectability to the Timberwolves franchise through what he stands for both on and off the court,” said Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders. “He has impacted the NBA with his offensive vision and influenced the philosophies of many coaches in the league. I wish Rick and Mary Kay the very best in their future, and look forward to his continued contributions to the Timberwolves organization.”

Adelman, 67, served as head coach of five NBA teams: Portland (1988-94), Golden State (1995-97), Sacramento (1998-2006), Houston (2007-11) and Minnesota (2011-2014). Some of his coaching highlights include: two NBA Finals appearances (1990 and 1992 with Portland), four Western Conference Finals (1989-90, 1990-91 and 1991-92 with Portland and 2001-02 with Sacramento) and four division titles (1990-91 and 1991-92 with Portland; 2001-02 and 2002-03 with Sacramento).

“Rick Adelman established himself as one of our game’s great coaches, manning the NBA sidelines for the better part of a quarter century,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “One of only eight coaches in our history to amass 1,000 victories, Rick’s versatility and rapport with his players ultimately led to that legacy of success. On behalf of the NBA, I would like to thank Rick for his extraordinary service to the league.”

Adelman’s teams reached the NBA playoffs in 16 of his 23 seasons as a head coach, and he holds an all-time playoff record of 79-78 (.503 winning percentage). He is one of only five head coaches in NBA history to win 60+ games in a season with two different teams (Portland and Sacramento). Adelman has been runner-up for the NBA Coach of the Year award four times.

Adelman’s trademark offenses have finished among the top five in the NBA in scoring on 14 occasions over his head coaching career. He has had four additional teams rank in the top 10 in points per game.

Adelman began his coaching career at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon, where his teams amassed a 141-39 record over six seasons (1977-83). Chemeketa won or shared in three Oregon community college championships and one regional title.

As a player, Adelman spent seven seasons in the NBA with the San Diego Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Jazz and Kansas City-Omaha Kings. Selected by the Rockets in the seventh round (79th overall) of the 1968 NBA Draft, the 6-2 guard averaged 6.7 points, 3.1 assists and 2.7 rebounds in two seasons as a reserve in San Diego. Adelman was taken by Portland in the 1970 NBA Expansion Draft and was made the first team captain in Trail Blazers history. Traded by the Trail Blazers to the Bulls prior to the 1973-74 campaign, Adelman was again dealt to the Jazz early in the 1974-75 season. Looking for veteran leadership in their run to the 1975 NBA Playoffs, the Kings made a late-season acquisition to obtain Adelman. He retired in 1975 with career averages of 7.7 points, 3.5 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 462 regular season games.

Adelman began his playing career at St. Pius X High School in Downey, California, before attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he was named MVP of the West Coast Athletic Conference as a senior in 1967-68.

A native of Lynwood, California, Adelman and his wife, Mary Kay, who have been married for more than 40 years, enjoy playing golf and tennis, as well as spending time with their six children: Kathy and her husband, John, R.J., Laura and her husband, Chris, David and his wife Jenny, Caitlin and her husband Jeff, and Patrick; and eight grandchildren: Mary Kay, Anna, Mackenzie, Emilie, Madison, Zachary, Tyler and L.J.

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on flashy Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio:

Rubio’s representatives and Flip Saunders, the Wolves president of basketball operations, can begin July 1 discussions on a contract extension of the rookie deal he signed in May 2011.

The two sides have until the end of October to reach an agreement, otherwise Rubio will play next season under his current contract and become a restricted free agent in July 2015. That’s the same time teammate Kevin Love will opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent.

Expect Rubio’s side to push for a contract closer to a maximum salary than the four-year, $44 million extension Golden State’s Stephen Curry received, which the Wolves just might view as beyond their limits.

“No, it’s something I’m not worried about,” Rubio said Wednesday. “It’s something my agent is going to talk with Flip. It’s something I don’t have to be worried. I just worry about playing. I just want to have it being on a team that’s winning and I think this team is growing up and we can do it and I want to play in a playoff, you know?”

The Minnesota Timberwolves aren’t going to make the NBA playoffs, but at least they got to enjoy a win over the league-leading San Antonio Spurs Tuesday night. Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting:

Four months later, under far different circumstances, and in front of a relatively sparse crowd announced at 10,117, the game was finally played.

Tuesday’s game between the Timberwolves and San Antonio at Target Center was originally scheduled for Dec. 4 in Mexico City, an international experience that went sour when a malfunctioning generator filled the arena with smoke, sending both teams home early. So, all these weeks later?

“It was worth the wait,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said.

Getting contributions from just about everywhere the Wolves put a 110-91 pasting on the Spurs.

Kevin Love and Gorgui Dieng each had double-doubles. From Love, that’s not news. But from Dieng it’s an emerging story that added a chapter Tuesday, when he got the better of Spurs star Tim Duncan (10 points on 4-for-11 shooting).

“I dreamed of playing against those guys,” said Dieng, who didn’t shoot the ball terribly well but scored 12 points and got 15 rebounds. “Tim Duncan, he’s going to be a Hall of Famer. A great player. When I got the chance I didn’t want to let it go. Because you never know when you’ll get a chance again.”

Here’s the St. Paul Pioneer Press with the latest in the Dante Cunningham saga:

Second arrest in three days for Dante Cunningham

After posting bail for a felony domestic assault charge, Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham is now accused of sending his girlfriend messages that were “direct and rose to a terroristic level,” said Ed Belland, Medina’s director of public safety.

Medina police responded to a call on a violation for an order of protection at Cunningham’s home at about 3 a.m. Sunday. Cunningham then turned himself in at about 11:45 a.m. Sunday. He is in Hennepin County jail facing a new possible charge of terroristic threats, jail records show.

Cunningham posted $40,000 bail Friday night on a felony domestic assault charge from an incident Thursday morning. Cunningham then had 12 points, six rebounds and played 33 minutes in the 100-92 loss Saturday in Orlando.

Magic push past banged-up Timberwolves

The Timberwolves are going to miss the playoffs. With a 38-38 record, they are a full seven games behind the Phoenix Suns. Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on the latest Wolves loss, which came with multiple key players missing:

Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio sat slumped at his locker after Saturday’s 100-92 loss at Orlando that in every conceivable way did not resemble a double-overtime victory at Miami the night before.

Two large ice bags covered his knees while he soaked his feet in ice. A smaller ice bag wrapped his right shooting hand.

Not him, too?

“Well,” he said, looking up, “It has been a long season.”

It grew noticeably longer for at least one evening when the Wolves on Saturday turned the clock back to a season ago and a time when they regularly played with as few as nine healthy players.

On Saturday, they began without starters Kevin Love, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic — just their three leading scorers — as well as Shabazz Muhammad and then lost Chase Budinger a minute into the game when he turned his ankle after he was fouled on a dunk attempt.

AJ Price

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that the team has waived guard A.J. Price. The Wolves roster stands at 14.

During the 2013-14 NBA season, Price appeared in 28 games with the Timberwolves and averaged 1.6 points, 0.5 assists and 0.4 rebounds in 3.5 minutes per game. Playing in his fifth season out of Connecticut, Price has averaged 5.9 points and 2.2 assists in 15.3 minutes over a 235 game career.

Minnesota Timberwolves owner and printing company billionaire Glen Taylor has signed a letter of intent to buy the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the newspaper announced Tuesday.

Details of the cash offer weren’t announced, and Taylor wouldn’t elaborate in an interview with The Associated Press. He said he expected the deal to close in May following due diligence.

“I think it’s going to be a good business decision and also because it’s a Minnesota type of asset,” Taylor said. “I just think it’s something we can do very well in the state and get it back to private ownership and I think the challenge of it is something that just excites me.”

The sale would put Minnesota’s largest newspaper in the hands of one of the state’s richest men.

– Associated Press

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting:

Timberwolves center Nikola Pekovic had his list of answers mentally prepared when he returned to action and the starting lineup Friday after six games away injured.

“No, no, let me figure,” he told reporters. “Yes, I will play tonight. No, I don’t know if they limit me to minutes or not. Yes, I still feel pain. What else?”

Pekovic played for the first time since March 16 because of a lingering condition that the team once called bursitis and now just lists as “sore.” He scored a game-high 26 points in 21-plus minutes as the Wolves blew out the Los Angeles Lakers 143-107.

When asked why Friday was the proper night for his return, Pekovic replied: “Why not? I still got some pain there, maybe a little less than before so I said I’ll just try to play until the end of the season.”

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting on the father of Timberwolves rookie Shabazz Muhammad:

A federal judge sentenced the father of former UCLA basketball player Shabazz Muhammad to 37 months in prison Thursday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas.

Ron Holmes pleaded guilty in December in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with a $2.5-million mortgage fraud scheme.

Holmes, who played basketball at USC from 1981 to 1985, was also sentenced to five years of supervised release and must pay $1.7 million in restitution. He’s been under house arrest in Las Vegas since late May.

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on the Timberwolves, who are 34-35 this season and now 7 games behind the Phoenix Suns, who are 9th in the West.

Timberwolves star Kevin Love’s frustration over another loss and his team missing the playoffs for a 10th consecutive season became the stuff of Internet chatter Tuesday, the day after he delivered a down and distracted interview following a loss at Memphis.

Deadspin.com linked the video and concluded with a headline that “Kevin Love Is a Broken Man.” It also theorized these could be Love’s final days as a Timberwolf and suggested the team’s fans are enjoying this part of the season more than Love is.

While that is uncertain, it is certain that Love is not alone in his irritation.

“It’s always frustrating when things don’t go your way,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said before Monday’s 109-92 blowout loss. “But it also tells you about people when you’re going through frustration. How do you react to that? In this league you have to be resilient. You have to react. I know Kevin’s frustrated. I am, too. When I take him out of the game, it seems like we can’t find too many answers. That’s just the way it is right now.

‘‘I’m frustrated I haven’t been able to find a more consistent rotation. But I don’t know, you just keep trying things.”

Here’s the St. Paul Pioneer Press reporting on the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have to suddenly play amazing basketball and get lucky on top of that if they still hope to somehow qualify for the playoffs:

The Timberwolves’ playoff hopes already were on life support even before they tipped off Sunday against the Phoenix Suns in their only home matinee game of the season.

With the end of the season drawing near, the Wolves were in 10th position in the Western Conference playoff chase five games behind Phoenix, which sat just a game behind Memphis for the eighth and final berth.

A Wolves victory would have sent pulses skipping a bit and renewed enthusiasm for the final weeks.

But only Phoenix moved in a positive direction.

The Suns essentially pulled the plug on the Wolves’ faint playoff hopes with a 127-120 victory in front of 17,866 at Target Center. Markieff Morris scored 25 points and Eric Bledsoe had 21 and P.J.

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on the Timberwolves, who are a good team but due to the toughness of this season’s Westerrn conference face an uphill battle to qualify for the playoffs:

The way things are going, Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman and his players won’t have to wait 20 games until the season’s conclusion to know whether they are anything more than a team that loses one for every game that it wins.

That answer it being determined nightly. The latest answer, Sunday night’s 111-104 loss to Toronto, silenced the team’s dressing room afterward.

The Wolves have lost two of their past three games at home to Eastern Conference opponents, after returning to Target Center from the season’s longest road trip having won six of seven games.

On Sunday, the Wolves fell back to .500, at 31-31. They remain five games out of the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot with 20 games to play.

“There’s 20 games left, anything can happen,” Wolves star Kevin Love said. “We obviously have to go on some sort of run. If those other teams keep winning and keep pulling games out of their you-know-what, we’re in trouble. We need to have a little bit of luck, too.”

Here’s the Washington Post blog reporting on Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love, who is a brilliant talent on offense, but still in need of improvement as a defender:

The intrigue surrounding Love begins with his unique offensive prowess. In averaging a career-high 26.5 points per game, good for fourth in the NBA, Love is shooting 37.7 percent on three-pointers and has already recorded a career-high 14 games with at least four three-point baskets. His efficiency from behind the arc makes him tough for opponents to guard and would stretch the floor for a team like the Knicks or Lakers, who already feature capable post players.

The UCLA product also has a knack for getting to the foul line. Of the top 10 scorers in the league, only Kevin Durant (9.9) and James Harden (8.7) attempt more free throws per game than Love’s 8.6 through Wednesday, according to NBA.com/stats.

Many of those opportunities stem from Love’s rebounding proficiency, which has helped him record a league-high 50 double-doubles. At 13.1 rebounds per game and 19.6 rebound chances per contest, Love ranks second in the league, according to NBA.com’s player tracking stats. Of those rebound chances, Love grabs 66.8 percent of them and 37.8 percent of those that were contested by other players.

kemba walker

Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Tuesday, Feb. 18, through Sunday, Feb. 23.

Walker led the Bobcats to a 4-0 week behind averages of 22.5 points (tied for seventh in the conference), 8.8 assists (second in the conference) and 5.5 rebounds. His 40.5 minutes per game ranked third in the East. Walker tallied 20-plus points three times and eclipsed the 30-point plateau once. He scored 24 points, handed out a career-high 16 assists and added five rebounds on Feb. 19, during a 116-98 win over the Detroit Pistons.

kevin love

Love helped the Timberwolves to a 2-1 behind a league-best 36.7 ppg and 12.7 rpg (fourth in the league). He recorded a point-rebound double-double in all three contests, and notched one triple-double with 37 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists on Feb. 22, during a 121-104 win over the Utah Jazz. Love leads the NBA with 47 double-doubles on the season.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Charlotte’s Al Jefferson, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Indiana’s Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers’ Jamal Crawford and Blake Griffin, Miami’s Chris Bosh, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and Washington’s John Wall.

Wolves center Ronny Turiaf out with bone bruise in knee

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced that Ronny Turiaf underwent an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image) this morning at TRIA Orthopedics in Bloomington, Minn. that revealed a right knee bone bruise. He will be sidelined indefinitely.

The injury happened at the 7:15 mark of the fourth quarter of last night’s 104-91 win over the Indiana Pacers.

The 6-10 center has appeared in 23 games, 10 starts, this year for the Wolves, averaging 4.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 20.9 minutes per game.

No clues to the future of Kevin Love

Here’s the New York Post reporting on Timberwolves star Kevin Love, who for now is… on the Timberwolves.

future of Kevin Love

Love’s name has made the speculation rounds, and with his ability to join the free-agent ranks in 2015, that is not changing. He would be a hit, with his talent, personality and flair. When asked about his future and if he ever gives a thought to New York, he replied with a straight-faced deadpan.

“New York? Right now, I’m thinking about Derek Jeter’s decision. How about that?” Love said.

His standard line is “I want to win” and he’ll think about what he wants to do in 2015 in, well, 2015. He is sharp enough to realize it is a no-win situation.

“If I say that I like Charlotte or ‘Charlotte is a great city, I love spending time there,’ then all of a sudden I’m going to Charlotte,” Love said. “Anything I say is going to be a misconception or be some sort of a headline. It’s silly.”

Here’s the St. Paul Pioneer Press reporting on the Timberwolves, who for now aren’t expected to make any trades. Of course, most teams don’t exactly admit it in advance. Still, here:

Don’t expect the Timberwolves to make a trade before the deadline February 20.

Flip Saunders, the Wolves president of basketball operations, told Wolves Now that he has talked with representatives of teams to gauge interest, “but I’m not hearing anything imminent.”

Saunders said there is a reluctance to deal around the league because of the perception that this year’s draft class is strong. Buzz has centered on possible top picks being Kansas’ Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, Duke’s Jabari Parker, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart, Kentucky’s Julius Randle and Dante Exum of Australia.

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