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Bulls trade Jimmy Butler to Timberwolves

Bulls trade Jimmy Butler to Timberwolves

The Minnesota Timberwolves tonight acquired forward Jimmy Butler and the draft rights to center Justin Patton, the No. 16 selection in this year’s draft from the Chicago Bulls, in exchange for guards Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn and the draft rights to forward Lauri Markkanen, the No. 7 selection in this year’s draft.

Butler, a 6-7 forward, has played six seasons in the NBA, all with the Bulls. The three-time NBA All-Star (2015, 2016 and 2017) averaged career highs with 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game this past season en route to earning 2016-17 All-NBA Third Team honors. Butler scored 30+ points 14 times in 2016-17, including a season-high 52 points vs. Charlotte on Jan. 2.

Butler, 27, owns career averages of 15.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 399 games. The Houston, Texas, native has been named to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team three times (2014–2016) and was named the NBA’s Most Improved Player after the 2014-15 season after increasing his scoring average from 13.1 ppg to 20.0 ppg and his rebounds from 4.9 rpg to 5.8 rpg while averaging the same minutes in each season. Chicago originally drafted Butler with the 30th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft out of Marquette University.

Patton, 6-11, played in 35 contests over one season at Creighton, averaging 12.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 0.9 steals per game en route to earning Big East Freshman of the Year honors. Patton, 20, led the Big East and ranked second nationally with a field goal percentage of 67.6%, which stands as the highest field goal percentage of any freshman from a major conference in NCAA history. The Riverdale, Georgia, native also shot 53.3% from the three-point during his line season as a Bluejay. Patton sat out the 2015-16 season as a redshirt.

Dunn (6-4, 205), selected fifth overall by the Timberwolves in the 2016 NBA Draft, appeared in 78 games and averaged 3.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 17.1 minutes per game last season. Dunn won back-to-back Big East Player of the Year awards while at Providence (2014-15 and 2015-16). He averaged 15.6 points and 7.5 assists in his junior season, and finished with 16.4 points and 6.2 assists in his senior season.

Bulls trade Jimmy Butler to Timberwolves

LaVine (6-5, 185), picked 13th overall by Minnesota in the 2014 NBA Draft, averaged 18.9 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 47 games last season. LaVine shot .459 from the field, .387 from long range and .836 from the foul line. For his career, LaVine is averaging 13.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 206 games and shooting .445 overall, .378 from 3-point range and .821 from the stripe. After his first year in the league, LaVine was named to the 2014-15 All-Rookie Second Team.

Markkanen (7-0, 230), the seventh overall selection in this year’s Draft, averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in his one season at Arizona. Markkanen posted shooting marks of .492 from the field, .423 from distance and .835 from the foul line. The Finland native was named Third-Team All-American by the Associated Press, Sporting News and the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and First-Team All-Pac-12 last season. Over the last 25 years, Markkanen and Kevin Durant are the players to record at least 69 3-pointers and 266 rebounds in their freshman year.

Report: Bulls will trade Jimmy Butler to Timberwolves

After 14 months of relative inactivity, Tom Thibodeau made what may be the biggest splash in Timberwolves history on Thursday night.

Minnesota acquired all-star forward Jimmy Butler and the No. 16 pick, which it used to select Creighton center Justin Patton, in Thursday night’s draft in exchange for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the No. 7 pick, a source confirmed.

Chicago used the No. 7 pick on Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen, who was a likely candidate to land in Minnesota prior to the trade.

– St Paul Pioneer Press

Timberwolves waive Nikola Pekovic

Timberwolves waive Nikola Pekovic

The Minnesota Timberwolves have waived center Nikola Pekovic, who has been battling lingering injuries. His NBA career may be over.

Pekovic appeared in 271 games for the Wolves, averaging 12.6 points, on 51.8 percent shooting, and 6.7 rebounds. He was drafted by Minnesota in the second round (31st overall) of the 2008 NBA Draft.

The Minnesota Timberwolves and the NBA Development League today announced the final sale of majority ownership in the Iowa Energy to Glen Taylor.

More information regarding management of the team and an introduction to team ownership will be forthcoming at a future announcement in Des Moines.

The Timberwolves are now one of 25 NBA teams to own or operate a Development League affiliate team.

It’s assumed that eventually, all 30 NBA teams will own their own D-League squad.

New Timberwolves logo revealed

The Timberwolves unveiled a new team logo tonight at halftime of their final home game of the season against Oklahoma City. The new logo will be implemented beginning with the 2017-18 season.

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this new era of Timberwolves basketball than with the unveiling of our new logo, in front of our dedicated fans, on Fan Appreciation Night,” said Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson. “This new logo embodies the emerging culture of our franchise, a solid mark that grounds us in our heritage while adding bold new hues that light an exciting path forward. This mark will bind our fans as a pack and together we will focus on growing and building something special at this turning point in Timberwolves history.”

The logo was created over the past 12 months as part of a collaborative effort between the Timberwolves ownership, team executives, the NBA and Mississippi-based design expert Rodney Richardson of RARE Design, whose resume includes recent identity designs for NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, New Orleans Pelicans, Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings and various brands across the world of sports and entertainment.

“It was an honor to work with the Timberwolves on creating this new identity and I’m glad to finally share a piece of our work with the public,” said Richardson. “I learned so much about this great state through the process and my team worked hard to create a logo that Minnesotans could be proud of, one that reflects the hard working, progressive and innovative people of this state.”

The colors include midnight blue, aurora green, lake blue, moonlight grey and frost white.

“From the motion and vibrant hues of the Northern Lights, to the depths and reflections of a midnight forest, to the rich contrasts of this great frozen city of the north, the palette is the perfect representation of modern sport colors inspired by the story of Minnesota’s landscape,” said Richardson. “It’s color with a sense of place.”

New Timberwolves logo coming April 11

The Minnesota Timberwolves begin a new chapter in their franchise history by unveiling a new team logo as part of Fan Appreciation Night at Target Center on Tuesday, April 11. The Wolves will conclude the home portion of their regular season schedule that evening by hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7 p.m.

The logo will be unveiled during a special halftime show and all fans in attendance will receive a commemorative t-shirt with the new identity featured.

While the new identity won’t fully take effect until the 2017-18 season, the unveiling marks only the fourth identity in the franchise’s 28-year history. The announcement is also the beginning of an eventful summer as the Wolves brand continues to evolve. There will be several future announcements regarding the unveiling of the new team uniforms, new court designs and additional events throughout the coming months.

“We are incredibly excited to share the new logo with our fans. This is but the first of many changes that fans will see that reflect our growing relevancy at home and abroad,” said Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson. “These are exciting times for our state and our franchise, and this new logo embodies the hunger, drive and passion that will define us in this new era of Timberwolves basketball.”

Timberwolves sign Omri Casspi

The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the team has signed forward Omri Casspi.

Casspi, 28, joins the Wolves after playing in 23 games with Sacramento and New Orleans this season, totaling season averages of 6.1 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 46.0 percent from the field, including a 39.4 percent mark from the three-point line. Casspi, 6-9, appeared in 22 games with Sacramento before being acquired by New Orleans on February 20, where he played in one game before suffering an injury. He was waived by the Pelicans on February 25.

Casspi has played parts of eight seasons in the NBA with Sacramento, Cleveland, Houston and New Orleans. Originally drafted by the Kings with the 23rd overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, he owns career averages of 8.4 points and 4.2 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game over 486 contests, 138 starts. Casspi is a career 44.2 percent shooter, including a 36.9 percent mark from the three-point line. His best season came in 2015-16 with Sacramento when he averaged 11.8 points, on 48.1 percent shooting and 40.9 percent shooting from the three-point line, and 5.9 rebounds while making 69 appearances, 21 starts.
Casspi will wear No. 18 with the Wolves. With the signing, Minnesota’s roster now stands at 15 players.

Timberwolves putting up wins lately

Like that mythical guy pushing the boulder, the Timberwolves still have lots of uphill work to do before they reach the playoffs this season, but Wednesday’s 107-91 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers showed again that they’re beating the rock, step by step.

The Wolves won for the seventh time in 11 games, and they did so against a Clippers team featuring Chris Paul and Blake Griffin back in the lineup together.

The last time these teams played, the Clippers played without either superstar and the Wolves prevailed by a mere three points in L.A. in January. This time, the Wolves won in both measurable and immeasurable categories, starting with the lopsided scoreboard, of course, but also including rebounding (50-36) and points in the paint (62-40).

– Minneapolis Star Tribune

The NBA announced today that the March 6 game between the Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves, which was postponed due to unsafe playing conditions on the arena floor, has been rescheduled for Monday, April 3 at 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET at Target Center.

Timberwolves sign Lance Stephenson to second 10-day contract

The Minnesota Timberwolves signed guard Lance Stephenson to a second 10-day contract today.

Stephenson, who was originally signed to a 10-day contract by the Wolves on February 8th, has appeared in four games for Minnesota this season averaging 4.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game.

Stephenson’s NBA career has taken a nosedive in recent seasons. He’s trying to get himself back on the map. Using this 10-day deal to earn a rest-of-season contract would be a good start.

Here’s the St. Paul Pioneer Press reporting that the Timberwolves frontcourt is about to get a bit deeper:

Adreian Payne was back participating in practice Tuesday after he was medically cleared to play.

Payne has been out since early February with a low platelet count. He is officially questionable for the Wolves’ home game against the Clippers on Wednesday. Thibodeau said Payne has a long way to go conditioning-wise but added it was good to have him back on the floor.

“It’s very nice,” Karl-Anthony Towns said. “You always worry about his health, and just to see him out here playing with us, working out, everything is a huge bonus. It’s been definitely a journey for him recently, but just glad to see he’s getting healthy and he’s ready to play.”

The NBA game scheduled for this evening between the Portland Trail Blazers and Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center in Minneapolis, MN has been postponed due to unsafe playing conditions on the arena floor.

The game will be rescheduled at a later date.

Timberwolves may want Derrick Rose

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune on the Timberwolves and Knicks PG Derrick Rose:

Timberwolves may want Derrick Rose

The Timberwolves are among several teams that have talked to New York about acquiring point guard Derrick Rose before Thursday’s trade deadline, ESPN.com reported Monday night.

Rose played for Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau in Chicago for five seasons, and his contract with this season’s $21.3 million salary expires this summer

Zach LaVine undergoes ACL surgery

Zach LaVine undergoes ACL surgery

Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine underwent surgery today to reconstruct the torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his left knee. The surgery was performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Neal ElAttrache of Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in collaboration with Timberwolves Team Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Diane Dahm of Mayo Clinic. Timberwolves Director of Athletic Therapy Matt Duhamel accompanied LaVine.

The injury occurred during the Timberwolves vs. Detroit Pistons game on Friday, February 3.

A timeline for his return to activity will be established at a later date, but he is expected to be out at least for the rest of the season.

Timberwolves sign Lance Stephenson to 10-day contract

Lance Stephenson is trying to get back on the basketball map.

The Timberwolves, who recently lost guard Zach LaVine to a season-ending injury, signed Stephenson to a 10-day contract today.

Stephenson, 26, played in six games for the New Orleans Pelicans this season, averaging 9.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists before being waived on November 7.

The 6-5 guard played his first four seasons (2010-14) with Indiana after being drafted by the Pacers in the second round (40th overall) of the 2010 NBA Draft. His best season came in 2013-14 when he averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 78 games and led the NBA in triple-doubles with five.

In addition to Indiana and New Orleans, Stephenson has also played with Charlotte, LA Clippers and Memphis. He has career averages of 8.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 346 games. Stephenson has appeared in 46 playoff games, posting averages of 10.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists.

Stephenson will wear uniform No. 7.

It’s been a rough season for the Timberwolves. At 19-33, they have yet to live up to their potential, and are currently on a 4-game losing streak. Though with a young squad and new head coach,  there’s still hope they will show improvement in the second half of the season.

Timberwolves putting up wins lately

Here’s the Minneapolis Star Tribune reporting on the Timberwolves, who are only 16-28 this season but taking a step in the right direction lately:

Timberwolves putting up wins lately

They’ve won two straight and five of their last seven games overall and for the fourth straight at home. For the second straight game the Wolves won a game decided by four or fewer points. This after going 0-for-10 to start the season in that category.

“We’re trying to establish a home court,’’ Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We want to make it tough for people to come in here. We have to understand, you don’t win because you’re at home, but because of what you put into winning.’’

They did tonight. Denver shot 51.2 percent for the game, but 45.5 percent in the second half, 40.0 percent in the fourth quarter, and just 3-for-12 after taking a nine-point lead with 6:06 left in the game.

The Wolves responded with a 20-8 run.

Dallas Mavericks guard/forward Justin Anderson has been fined $25,000 for striking Minnesota Timberwolves guard Kris Dunn in the head, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident, which was called a Flagrant Foul 1 on the floor and upgraded to a Flagrant Foul 2 upon league office review, occurred with 10:45 remaining in the second quarter of the Timberwolves’ 101-92 victory over the Mavericks on Jan. 9 at Target Center.

Timberwolves waive John Lucas III

The Minnesota Timberwolves waived guard John Lucas III today.

Lucas III, originally signed by the Wolves on August 24, 2016, appeared in five games this season while averaging 0.4 points in 2.2 minutes per contest.

The Timberwolves roster now stands at 14 players.

Giannis

Antetokounmpo and Towns might be different players. But both represent where the NBA big man is going.

Antetokounmpo plays the point-forward position for the Bucks while Towns is more of a traditional big man in terms of his play in the post. But both can stretch the floor, score off the dribble and find their teammates. Towns had his first triple-double in Denver. Antetokounmpo has two triple doubles this season.

“I’m playing catch-up,’’ joked Towns.

Said Thibodeau: “I think you’re seeing that’s the way of the league, versatility. It’s hard to, or harder to, put a particular player in a particular box.’’

Now, the point-forward isn’t exactly new. Thibodeau threw out old-school names like Paul Pressey, the former Bucks player, as an example, and Oscar Robertson.

– Minneapolis Star Tribune

Quick Take: Giannis this season is averaging 23.4 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 5.9 apg, 2.0 spg and 1.8 bpg. Towns is putting up 22.0 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 0.6 spg and 1.4 bpg. Both are worth watching every night.

Andrew Wiggins putting up huge stats

Andrew Wiggins a dominant offensive player lately

Andrew Wiggins is starting to become the player everyone expected him to be. Dubbed a prodigy in high school, the Timberwolves wing was always supposed to be an NBA superstar, the type of player who can carry the weight of a franchise.

Now, at the tender age of 21, yet two years into his professional career, he appears to set fulfill every expectation.

Wiggins has averaged 33 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists in his past six games, shooting 51 percent from the floor and 53 percent from three-point range. He ranks eighth in NBA scoring at 27.4 points a game, and is the league’s leader in three-point shooting at 54 percent…

Wiggins has been aggressive nearly every night, as shown by his 94 free-throw attempts, ninth-most in the NBA.

St Paul Pioneer Press

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