Archive for the ‘ Minnesota T-Wolves Blog ’ Category

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.

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.

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