Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Celtics press conference

The Pioneer Press has a transcript of the press conference.

Click here to watch the press conference.

You can listen here.

From the Boston Globe:
The newly acquired big man kissed his No. 5 Celtics jersey as he, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen were posing for photographs. He was slightly teary. His emotion was genuine.

This is probably been the hardest 72 hours I've dealt with since I've been in the NBA, said Garnett. Initially I had no interest in leaving Minnesota. After [Timberwolves owner] Glen Taylor shared his views about the future, they contradicted mine.

On draft night when Boston traded for Ray Allen, the whole situation changed for me. I didn't say anything to anyone. But I contemplated. I really tried to be comfortable in seeing myself in a Celtic jersey.

I thought this was probably my best opportunity of winning a ring.

Garnett wore his emotions on his sleeve during the press conference. He looked visibly upset when talking about leaving Minnesota, and given his reputation for loyalty, it was hard to question him. He nodded feverishly when Danny Ainge shot down any comparisons to The Big 3.

"I'm a very passionate player, but the one thing that hurts more than anything is losing," Garnett said. "Knowing that going into a game and knowing that you have a slight chance of winning is difficult. It feels good to have two big guns on the side of me. It feels real good."

Garnett said he was frustrated with Minnesota's youth movement.

"I can't do young. You need veterans in this league to win."

He also dispelled any notion of not wanting to come to Boston. While admitting he had interest in Phoenix and Los Angeles, he said he was leery of Kobe's contract situation and just didn't feel the same passion in those two cities...

Garnett to wear #5


Marc Stein/ESPN on Garnett's new number:

I'm told it's almost certainly going to be No. 5.

If there's a more superstitious player in the NBA than Garnett, I'm struggling to picture him. But Garnett, remember, is about to join the franchise that has retired 21 numbers, including KG's trademark No. 21. He's going to have to change numbers whether he wants to or not.

Word is Garnett's first three choices with his new team were Nos. 21, 1 and 2. But all three have been retired by the Celts: No. 21 for Bill Sharman, No. 1 for franchise founder Walter Brown and No. 2 for Red Auerbach.

So why No. 5?

It's about to be vacated by Gerald Green . . . and Garnett, don't forget, was the No. 5 overall pick in the 1995 draft.

And if there's another reason, I'm sure we'll hear it from KG himself by Wednesday at the latest.

Another Wolves/Celtics conspiracy theory

Today marks the first time that I wish my windows at work didn't overlook the Target Center. It's just another bitter reminder. Shouldn't the flags over there be at half-mast?

Staring at the desolate arena isn't half as bad as the front page of the Celtics site or the fact that Boston is already asking people to "get your big ticket." (Via True Hoop)

In any case, the letter on the left is one I found at this year's draft party at the positively dreadful bar that for some reason calls itself NBA City in spite of the fact that

1) on the night of the NBA draft lottery, my party had to plead with them for several minutes to convince them to televise the lottery instead of the Twins game

2) the bar shut the volume off during the first round of the actual NBA draft to set up for a (poorly attended) dance night.

Regardless, I found the letter amusing so took it home because its owner was nowhere to be found. I forgot all about it until yesterday when I read the columns from Simmons and Steve Aschburner. If ever Wolves fans needed a reason to laugh, it's now. Click on the letter to read. Obviously, this is to be taken with several grains of salt.

T-Hud's contract bought out

Something that will offer at least some consolation...

From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
Meanwhile, Bill Neff, the agent for point guard Troy Hudson, said he had reached a verbal agreement with the Wolves to buy out his contract for approximately 80 percent of the $12.256 million owed him over the next two seasons.

"It's bittersweet for Troy," Neff said. "Because this is the team that signed him. He felt strongly about Mr. Taylor and about the fans. He felt strongly about Kevin Garnett, too, but he's leaving. But he was stuck in jail here and this is the get-out-of-jail-free card."

Deal is official

From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
The Timberwolves have traded Kevin Garnett to the Boston Celtics for Al Jefferson, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, two first-round picks and cash considerations.

The two picks are Boston's 2009 first-round draft choice and the selection Minnesota had traded to Boston in January 2006.

From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
"I am excited to become a Celtic," Garnett said in a statement released by the Celtics. "It's wonderful to have the opportunity to play with players the quality of Paul [Pierce] and Ray [Allen]. The Celtics have had a proud tradition and now I hope that we can add to the legacy."

From the Wolves site:
A press conference and media availability with Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale and newly acquired players will be held Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. in the skyway level of Target Center. All interview requests will be deferred until Wednesday's press conference.

Garnett press conference

Via Celtics Blog

Letter from Glen Taylor

The following is a letter from owner Glen Taylor sent out to season ticket holders. It's finally starting to feel real...

Dear Sonia,

I write to you today with some momentous news. Earlier today, we decided to fundamentally change the direction of our team and trade Kevin Garnett. We acquired Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff and two first-round draft picks from Boston. We're excited about the new players that we have acquired and the potential that the new draft picks represent.

As with any great change, I am filled with mixed emotions. Sadness in seeing our franchise player depart but also great excitement in what the future holds. Our team is definitely young, but also extremely talented. Our core group of Randy Foye, Craig Smith, Rashad McCants, 2007 NBA Draft picks Corey Brewer and Chris Richard and the newly acquired players plus two future first-round picks have me energized about our long-term future.

Yes, I'll miss Kevin Garnett. For 12 years Kevin has been the face of our franchise. We have all watched him grow and mature from "The Kid" into "The Big Ticket" right before our very eyes. I appreciate everything he has done for this franchise; the blood, the sweat and the tears that he has shed on our behalf. I wish only the best for Kevin and his family.

However, this move was made in the best interest of the Minnesota Timberwolves and regaining our place among the best teams in the NBA. During the past three years, we have struggled unsuccessfully to assemble a team around Kevin that could bring us back to the playoffs. These years have been hard on all of us. During this time it has become increasingly apparent to me that given the complicated formulas needed to move and acquire players, we needed greater flexibility. To move our team forward, we will need the flexibility this trade provides.

This past spring, I sat down with the team's top executives and drafted a plan on how we wanted to rebuild our team. We evaluated our successes and failures over the years and looked to other franchises on how they built winning teams. The result of this reflection was the "Blueprint for the Future" that I shared with many of you. This plan outlined how we planned to rebuild our team. It was our acknowledgment that we had strayed from building a team that didn't just speak of character, but rather lived it. A team more focused on working as a team than seeking individual recognition.

We took that first step today. We know it won't be easy - nothing that is worthwhile ever is. We know that we are embarking on a journey that will be measured in years, not months. We understand that every team in professional sports is in a never-ending cycle of death and rebirth. I wholly believe that it is our time to give birth to a new team that will return our Timberwolves franchise to the elite of the NBA.

I appreciate your continued support as we undergo this transformation and urge you to follow our progress. I am convinced that you will like what you see and believe that it will mean only better days ahead. Please feel free to contact any of my staff with additional questions.

Glen Taylor

Stein: Deal likely to be announced later today

From Marc Stein/ESPN:
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics, who nearly completed a blockbuster Kevin Garnett trade before the June draft, resurrected those talks in recent days and have agreed to a megadeal that is likely to be announced later Tuesday, according to NBA front-office sources.

Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com on Tuesday afternoon that the required trade call has been completed by the league office, which should soon lead to a news conference in Boston that formally brings a blockbuster end to Garnett's 12-year association with the Wolves.

Boston Herald: Deal finalized

From Mark Muphy/Boston Herald:
A league source just confirmed that the Celtics and Timberwolves have finalized a deal that will bring Kevin Garnett to Boston in exchange for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff and two first round draft picks.

Garnett is expected to arrive in Boston this afternoon for a physical.

Garnett has agreed to a three-year extension with the Celtics beyond the two remaining on his contract, guaranteeing that he will be a Celtic for the next five years...

Wolves Updates 7/31

From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
There's whispering that Kevin Garnett already has chatted about the possibility of a jersey number switch from his No. 21 with the Timberwolves to either No. 5 or 45 with the Boston Celtics.

From the Blazer's Mike Barrett:
Just as the league was preparing to unveil the 2007-08 schedule Tuesday morning, the presses were stopped, and the teams were told to hang on a minute. The sole reason for this delay? Of course, the Kevin Garnett trade to Boston.

In an effort to demonstrate "how badly" Ricky Davis and Mark Blount need to be gone, Stephen Litel posts an interview with Davis and describes a late season encounter with a player he now identifies as Blount. The player enters the locker room before a game and responds to Litel's greetings by saying:
“Yeah, I’m loose and feeling good. I mean, what do I have to worry about? When’s the last time I had to work. I’ve never worked a day in my life.”

Miss Gossip has some great limericks about the possible trade for Garnett.

The Star Tribune has a timeline of Garnett's NBA career.

Bob Young/Arizona Republic on why Suns fans should be celebrating:
That's because if the Suns weren't going to get him, they sure didn't want him falling into the hands of the Lakers, Warriors or - heaven forbid - Dallas Mavericks.

Our spies tell us that was exactly what the Suns were worried about, and Dallas was a much bigger concern than anybody realized.

KG trade rumors updates

From Sam Smith/Chicago Tribune:
Even in February teams were being told the same thing, that Garnett was not available. But that all changed dramatically earlier this month when Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor reportedly decided not to offer Garnett an extension. Garnett can opt out of his contract after this season, so an extension is vital to any trade. The most serious talks continued with Boston as Minnesota general manager Kevin McHale apparently wanted to deal with former teammate Danny Ainge.

But Minnesota also went hunting for a bigger prize at the same time, asking for major pieces with several teams, including the Bulls. The requests generally included two of the team's starters, its best young players, draft picks and expiring contracts. So the Timberwolves then went back to the Celtics as the outrageous demands were scoffed at around the NBA.

From Patrick Reusse:
People on the fringe of the Wolves' operation kept telling reporters that Taylor wanted Garnett gone -- not for any personal reason, but because of this:

Garnett could have opted out of his contract after the 2007-08 season...

From Shira Springer/Boston Globe:
League sources added Garnett is now more amenable to playing in Boston, especially since he would be teaming with fellow All-Stars Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, not Pierce, Wally Szczerbiak and a group of young players with largely unrealized potential. As a result, those same sources said both sides are confident the contractual issues will not block completion of the deal. Trade talks resumed in recent weeks and intensified over the weekend.

Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune on the pieces the Wolves will reportedly get in return for KG:
If this all sounds familiar, it is. In the pre-draft frenzy of trade rumors, the strongest had the Wolves dealing Garnett to Boston in a package that would also have included the Celtics' first-round draft pick, No. 5 overall.

Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press on the potential trade.

If the trade happens, there could be 9 players age 24 or younger on the team.
"One thing is for sure," Wolves veteran forward Mark Madsen said. "[If the trade happens] there will be a lot of opportunity for guys to step up. In one fell swoop we'd go from being an older team to being one of the youngest."

Aschburner: It was not supposed to end this way at all

From Steve Aschburner/SI.com:
No, it was not supposed to end this way at all.

The only reason it is, or can, is that the T'wolves so lowered the bar of expectations that they inadvertently prepped their fans for this downer.

On a Celtics team with Garnett, Chris McCosky/Detroit News writes that it's "hard to see them being legitimate title contenders."

Jackie MacMullan/Boston Globe believes the same team is "one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference."

Gerry Callahan/Boston Herald writes that "just like that, your Boston Celtics go from 24-58 to a spot in the NBA Finals..."

From Steve Greenberg/Sporting News:
Let's also pause to give thanks for the friendship of Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge. Without that, this deal never happens.

From Bob Sansevere/Pioneer Press:
The thing is, the Wolves reeked with K.G. the past few seasons. They'll probably reek without him the next few seasons. So, in the overall scheme of things, nothing really would change for Glen Taylor's money pit.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Simmons on the possible trade

From Bill Simmons:
My NBA guide claims that McHale retired from the Celtics in 1993, but apparently that's a misprint. How else could you explain his decision to trade Kevin Garnett to Boston for the Al Jefferson pu pu platter deluxe? Just five weeks ago, McHale and Minnesota couldn't close a potential deal in which they received Jefferson and Boston's No. 5 pick. Now? They're settling for Jefferson (a potential franchise player), Ryan Gomes (an intangibles guy who's useless on a bad team), Bassy Telfair (a year away from signing in Italy), Gerald Green (a homeless man's J.R. Smith), Theo Ratliff's expiring deal, a 2009 lottery-protected No. 1 pick (congrats on picking in the mid-20s) and the return of Minny's future No. 1 that was stupidly included in the Ricky Davis/Mark Blount-Wally Szczerbiak trade.

Fox Sports: Draft picks "may also be included"

(Via KFAN) From Jeff Goodman/Fox Sports:
According to multiple sources close to the situation, Danny Ainge and the Celtics are close to finalizing the deal that will bring the 10-time NBA All-Star from Minnesota in exchange for Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff and his expiring contract, Gerald Green and Sebastian Telfair.

Ryan Gomes and a pair of 2009 first-round picks — including Minnesota's pick it owed the Celtics in the Ricky Davis-Wally Szczerbiak trade — may also be included in the deal to Minnesota.

Updates Part II

KFAN's Doogie said that Troy Hudson's agent Bill Neff told the station the Wolves were talking to the Wizards about a possible trade for T-Hud.

From Euroleague Basketball:
Aris TT Bank remained busy on Monday by announcing that guard Bracey Wright has signed a one-year contract with the team.

Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site on Randy Foye vs Brandon Roy. Sean Meagher/Blazers Blog comments on the comparisons.

Garnett on a cruise

From Shira Springer/Boston Globe:
The Celtics and Timberwolves have agreed on the players to make a Kevin Garnett-to-Boston trade but no deal can be completed until issues with Garnett's contract can be worked out.

As the trade currently stands, Boston will send Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair and two first-round picks to Minnesota in exchange for Garnett.

League sources said that the reworking of Garnett's contract could still be a sticking point...

Springer notes:
Slowing down the trade/approval process is the fact that Garnett is on a cruise until the end of this week.

From the Star Tribune:
The NBA would have to approve the trade, which has complications because of salary cap issues, and that approval would probably not come until Tuesday. An official announcement from either team is not likely before then.

Marc Stein on KG trade kicker

Marc Stein/ESPN explains the following four points in relation to KG's trade kicker.

1) Garnett only has a limited ability to waive his trade kicker. He can't just waive it to make a trade easier -- even if he wanted to -- no matter what you've heard or read...

2) Garnett is one of only a handful of current players whose trade kicker causes such havoc.

3) If a Garnett trade had been completed before July 1, Garnett's trade kicker would have been charged in equal amounts to Boston's payroll last season and next season at $3.375 million each. Completing the deal after July 1 requires Boston to charge the entire $6.75 million to its 2007-08 payroll.

4) The longest extension Garnett can sign with the Celtics is a four-year deal. Garnett has two seasons left on his current contract and the total -- contract plus extension -- can't exceed six years.

Ainge: They can speculate all they want

From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
Boston Celtics executive Danny Ainge refuted a report Monday afternoon that his team had reached an agreement in principal to acquire Timberwolves all-star Kevin Garnett.

The Associated Press, citing an unnamed Boston official, reported that the Celtics who could be traded to the Wolves are Al Jefferson, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green and Theo Ratliff in addition to at least one future draft pick. But Ainge said no deal is in place.

"They can speculate all they want," Ainge told the Pioneer Press.

From Mike Max/WCCO:
WCCO's Mike Max had learned the Timberwolves may have been holding out for a first-round draft pick to go along with the four players.

From Britt Robson/On The Ball:
One reason this deal is likely "rumored" without confirmation for so long is because the Celts want to ensure they get a contract extension with Garnett totally firmed up if not in writing.

Mad Dog: I never thought it would happen, ever.

From Howard Ulman/AP Sports:
The teams still had some things to clarify with the players' contracts, but the official said that would not keep the Celtics from acquiring Garnett, although there could be a change in the players ticketed for the Timberwolves.

Mad Dog reacts to the news:
"I never thought it would happen this offseason. I never thought it would happen, ever," Madsen said, adding: "Even before I entered the NBA, when I thought of Kevin Garnett I always thought of Minnesota. But at the same time in this business, we all know that anything can happen."

#21 retired in Boston

The Celtics retired Bill Sharman's #21 in 1966.

Boston Herald: "Deal will get done"

From Steve Bulpett/Boston Herald:
The last sticking point in the Celtic-Minnesota deal has been identified, and the sides were working this afternoon to clear that final hurdle. The bottom line is that the deal will get done.

According to sources, the Celts are trying to finesse the finances on Kevin Garnett’s trade kicker and extension to avoid the luxury tax, and it is in the best interest of both the team and the player to do so...

AP Sports: "Kevin Garnett is leaving Minnesota"

From CBS Sportline:
Kevin Garnett is leaving Minnesota after the Boston Celtics agreed to acquire the All-Star forward in a multiplayer trade with the Timberwolves, a Celtics official told the Associated Press on Monday.

Among the players who could be headed to Minnesota are forward Al Jefferson, guard Sebastian Telfair, swingman Gerald Green and center Theo Ratliff, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been completed.to acquire the All-Star forward in a multiplayer trade with the Timberwolves, a Celtics official told the Associated Press on Monday.

The official also said the Timberwolves would get at least one draft choice.

Reactions to potential Garnett deal

Dan Shanoff thinks a Garnett to Boston deal would be a "win-win situation."
This team was desperate to move on and equally desperate to launch a youth movement that actually gives its fans hope through the lean times, looking toward a brighter future. Al Jefferson and Randy Foye form one of the best young big-small combos in the league. Gomes is solid. Green has potential. Telfair brings sizzle. Add in T'wolves draftee Brewer and rehabbing McCants, and if nothing else, the T'wolves can adapt to the entertaining up-tempo trend sweeping the league...

From Randball:
Jefferson is obviously the key piece. He averaged 16 ppg and 11 rpg last season. He averaged 19.7 ppg in March and 22.3 ppg in April, and he has the chance to be very, very good. Green is a wild card. He’s only 21 and is extremely athletic. He could be an athletic 15-18 ppg guy or he could fall off the face of the earth. Ratliff has a giant ($11 million) contract that comes off the books after this season; Telfair still has potential but he’s a hype over production guy. All three of the younger guys have reasonable contracts that involve qualifying offers and team options after this season. Gomes? Who cares. Two future No. 1 picks? With KG, Pierce, Ray Allen and Jefferson in the East, the Celtics would at least be middle of the pack. Don’t bet on those picks being in the lottery.

NBA Fanhouse roundtable discussion on a potential trade.

From Wendell Maxey/Hoopsworld:
But what does this mean for Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, and Rajon Rondo if the deal goes down?

Simply put the only thing that would change is their uniform and area code. All three would likely start for Minnesota, a team constantly influx out West. Good, bad, or otherwise, the Timberwolves receive a near All-Star in Jefferson, a one-time shot blocking force in Ratliff, and a young upcoming point guard in Rondo.

From Jeff Clark/Celtics Blog:
I am sorry to see Jefferson have to leave a team that would have included the two best players he’s ever played with (Pierce/Allen) only to have to join one with his old teammates Ricky Davis and Mark Blount. Jefferson took some not-so-subtle jabs at those two on their way out. If he’s lucky, McHale will be able to dump them off for picks and cap room as well.

From Tony Mejia/CBS Sportsline:
Garnett's big ticket out of town has resurfaced. It might not be Phoenix, but there's talent in place and an opportunity to win immediately. Sadly, one of the best power forwards in NBA history has become as much of an afterthought as the most celebrated franchise in the game.

A union might just be enough to make Boston fans look up from the baseball standings as October approaches. Only Garnett's approval stands in the way.

No Garnett pics on Wolves site

From The Wolves Blueprint For The Future on Garnett's role on the team
Any team would love to have this selfless future Hall of Famer as their foundation.

From Sports In Boston:
Earlier today the first picture one would see on the Timberwolves homepage was one of Kevin Garnett. Now on their "True Blue" leaderboard part of the page, Garnett is no where to be found; This is after having reloaded the page about 50 times. Now one finds players such as Randy Foye and Craig Smith being headlined.

Kawakami on Garnett rumors

From Tim Kawakami/Mercury News:
A few websites are reporting that, as part of the deal, the Celtics and Garnett have negotiated a five-year, $125M extension, but I think that’s slightly mis-worded.

Garnett has two years left on his current deal (can opt-out after this season) at $45M or so. You can’t extend five more years after that and it’d be crazy to be paying out until he’s 38.

It’s more likely that Boston is negotiating to tack on a three-year, $80M extension that guarantees Garnett won’t opt-out next summer and puts the full worth of his total package to the same $125M, five-year total.

Boston Globe: Jefferson "back in mix"

Shira Springer/Boston Globe is now saying that Al Jefferson is back in trade talks.

As the trade currently stands, the Celtics would send Jefferson, Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, and two first-round picks to the Timberwolves for Kevin Garnett.

Boston Globe: Jefferson "not included in the deal at the moment"

(Via Celtics Blog) From Shira Springer/Boston Globe:
Kevin Garnett soon could become the newest member of the Celtics, multiple league sources said this afternoon, but two of the sources cautioned that any trade may not be as imminent as some early reports indicated.

As the trade currently stands, the Celtics would send Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, and two first-round picks to the Timberwolves for Garnett.

Al Jefferson is not included in the deal at the moment.

Garnett "more open to opportunities"

From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
Boston Celtics executive Danny Ainge said Monday morning that he is involved in trade discussions to acquire Timberwolves all-star Kevin Garnett. And Garnett is more open to a trade than he's been in the past, his agent said...

Andy Miller, Garnett's agent, said the face of the Wolves franchise is aware of the trade talks.

"I think that he's more open to opportunities in general than he was the first time he heard his name being mentioned in a trade," Miller told the Pioneer Press. "At this point, he's looking at it from a different perspective."

Miller also said:
"Everything that had gone on in the past probably was an awakening for him," Miller said. "He's fiercely loyal, as I've said before. He loves the team and the organization and the state of Minnesota and the fans. But I think everything that happened over the last two months probably was more of an awakening that Minnesota is looking to move in a different direction and it's time for him to look at his options, as well."

From Shira Springer/Boston Globe:
The Celtics and the Timberwolves could reach agreement on a deal that would bring Kevin Garnett to Boston as early as this afternoon, according to league sources. Executive director of basketball operations/GM Danny Ainge would send Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff and Sebastian Telfair to Minnesota in exchange for Garnett. But as of this morning, there still remained issues on the table to negotiate, not least of which is the player option worth $24 million that Garnett holds for the 2008-09 season.

From Jeff Goodman/Fox Sports:
One source said that there could be an official announcement as early as Monday. However, Celtics spokesman Jeff Twiss said that nothing had been scheduled as of 12 p.m. ET, but that Ainge told him "discussions are still ongoing and it hasn't quite gotten to that point."

According to one source, T-Wolves Vice President of Basketball Operations Kevin McHale wanted Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. However, Celtics boss Danny Ainge held out from trading Rondo...

From Steve Bulpett/Boston Herald:
Sources this morning are confirming that the Celtics’ deal for Kevin Garnett is essentially completed.

One involved source said the final package will have the Celts sending Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff and a No. 1 pick to Minnesota to acquire Garnett.

Further word is that the Celts and Garnett have reached an agreement in principle on a contract extension...

From Loy's Place:
WEEI is reporting that the deal is Al, Green, Telfair and Ratliff. The sticking point now is the contract extension for Garnett.

From Bill Ingram/HoopsWorld:
The latest rumor - Boston sending Theo Ratliff, Al Jefferson, and Rajon Rondo to Minnesota - is simply a way to clean house. Jefferson is an emerging talent, but Ratliff has basically been pretending to be hurt so he can collect insurance money. It's his expiring contract, not his expiring NBA career, that the Timberwolves are interested in.

Wolves Updates 7/30

From the Asheville Citizen-Times:
McCants said he wants to stay involved with Bele Chere in the coming years. He also plans to launch a multi-faceted management company, Young, Black and Gifted, Inc.

After leaving town, McCants will play in an upcoming team camp in Las Vegas...

Rumor: Garnett to Celtics deal "back on"

From Jeff Goodman/Fox Sports:
The on-again, off-again deal with the Boston Celtics acquiring Kevin Garnett apparently is back on.

According to sources, the current deal on the table has the 6-foot-11 Garnett heading to Boston and the Celtics dealing away Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff's hefty expiring contract and Rajon Rondo. There may also be other players and draft picks involved.

It's not quite done, but three industry sources — including one close to the Celtics — told FOXSports.com that it's extremely close and could become official within the next 48 hours.

"It's basically done," one source said. "If it does happen, this will make the Celtics relevant again."

From Marc Stein/ESPN:
Sources told ESPN.com on Sunday night that former teammates Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge have revived a deal that would end Garnett's 12-season association with Minnesota by sending him to Ainge's Celtics, with the Wolves getting back two of the assets McHale coveted most last month: Al Jefferson and Theo Ratliff's expiring contract.

The deal, however, depends on Garnett softening his stance on playing in Boston, with sources indicating late Sunday that Garnett could be warming to the idea.

From Eric Weiss/Draft Express:
Multiple sources close to the situation told DraftExpress Sunday that the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves have come to terms on a trade exchanging Kevin Garnett for a package including Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, and Theo Ratliff. The exact details of the trade aren’t known at this point, but it is believed that the deal will be completed shortly with similar parameters.

This deal has been rumored for most of the summer, but according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation, the main hold up had been the negotiation of a contract extension for Garnett. According to this source, Garnett’s camp is asking for a 5 year extension worth 125 million dollars. Whether or not the two parties have altered the initial proposal or agreed to it is not known, but apparently some accord has been reached...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Wolves Updates 7/29

Rashad McCants on the allegations against former NBA ref Tim Donaghy:
“It’s hard to trust in any of the referees nowadays, especially with the allegations and just how they’ve been trying to crack down on this and that,” said McCants, a former standout at Erwin High and North Carolina who is in town this weekend participating in Shoot for the Cure at Bele Chere.

“With the allegations of a referee cheating and betting, it’s no telling who’s doing it. You can’t really say who’s not doing it, you know. And that’s just how it goes right now, is that every call is like, ‘Are you a part of it? Were you a part of it?’ And you really can’t take sides and say who’s not and who is.”

From Ray Richardson/Pioneer Press:
Opening a youth basketball academy fulfilled a long-range goal of former Timberwolves guard Chris Carr. But the joy was marred by the sudden death of his 4-year-old daughter.

From Dime Magazine:
One of our boys who spends a lot of time in Europe on business sent us some crazy e-mails yesterday. The first one read: “Standing next to a wildly dancing Darko Milicic in a club in Belgrade right now.” About three hours later we get this one: “It was Milicic, Marko Jaric and most of the Serbian national team. The night got broken up when a fan of a local team fired 3 shots at a fan of an opposing team and hit him once in the hand, emptying the club at about 4:30 a.m.”

The Timberwolves site has an interview with former player Tony Campbell.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Wolves Updates 7/28

From the Asheville Citizen-Times:
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Rashad McCants, a former standout at Erwin High and North Carolina, hosted the Shoot for the Cure event at the corner of College and Spruce streets. He was joined by a group of family and friends, including sister Rashanda McCants, who plays at North Carolina...

McCants' mom, Brenda Muckelvene, is a breast cancer survivor.

"A lot of people have been supporting it so far," said Rashad McCants, who signed autographs for people throughout his stay.

Check out Wolves Watch and 100% Injury Rate for info on T-Hud's album sales.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Updates Part II

Phil Jasner/Philadelphia Inquirer on the group of young players who will join the national team for its pretournament camp in Las Vegas in August.
Former Villanova star Randy Foye, now with the Minnesota Timberwolves, has been on a list of potential invitees, but reportedly has had some problems with tendinitis after playing for the Wolves' summer-league team.

From Yahoo Sports:
Chris Richard of the Minnesota Timberwolves takes a turn in the DJ booth during the 2007 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot on July 27, 2007 at the MSG Training Facility in Tarrytown, New York.

Wolves Updates 7/27

From Sid Hartman:
Rashad McCants and Craig Smith of the Timberwolves will take part in a four-day NBA camp in Las Vegas this week run by Denver Nuggets assistant coach Tim Grgurich.

Asheville Citizen-Times on Bele Chere weekend:
Former Erwin High and UNC basketball star Rashad McCants highlights the weekend with an appearance at the “Shoot For a Cure” tournament. McCants, now a member of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, will emcee the event, wherein participants pay $1 for a half-court shot and a chance to win $10,000.

“It’s a fun event we’re bringing back. We haven’t had it in a couple of years, but Rashad approached us about wanting do something in Asheville connected with Bele Chere,” said Mark Halstead, athletics program supervisor for Asheville parks and recreation. “He wanted to do something to benefit the Mission Hospitals cancer program...

Luke Anderson on playing with the Wolves during the Las Vegas Summer League:
“It was a great experience,” Anderson said. “I would have liked to get more playing time, but I felt like I was being evaluated at practice, too. I took that (practice) time as my biggest opportunity.”

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Updates Part II

Marc Stein/ESPN talks to Steve Nash:
6. How tantalizing was it to hear that Phoenix is where Kevin Garnett wants to go if he finally leaves Minnesota?

I love Kevin. I'd love to play with him [someday]. But I love my team, so I don't really think about it. We've got a great team moving forward. That's all I think about.

7. You and KG are said to have become pretty good friends in recent years. How did that happen?

Really just from playing in All-Star Games, but we haven't been able to spend that much time together. It would be overstating it to say we're super close. But he's a great person, great for the game. He's got to be one of the [all-time] top 50 guys, easy.

Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site interviews assistant coach Rex Kalamian about the Wolves' summer league experience.

From Tommy Birch/Iowa State Daily:
Now an assistant general manger for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Hoiberg is informing people about some of the more important things in life, including the dangers of heart disease. Encouraging people to get checked out, Hoiberg still visits the doctor every six months for a checkup and expects another surgery in about five years.

Warriorsworld.net talks to San Jose Mercury News' Tim Kawakami about Golden State's chances of getting Garnett.
As I've written a few times, the longer we go into this, the less likely that other serious bidders are going to stay bidding--Phoenix would be the big dog in this one. If Phoenix has decided Amare Stoudamire won't be moved for KG, then the Warriors become the next-most-likely candidate, it's just up to McHale.

Wolves Updates 7/26

Draft Express named Craig Smith to its All-Summer League Second Team.
The Craig Smith that showed up at the Summer League looks like a completely different player than the Craig Smith that came out of Boston College. Smith’s weight isn’t that different, but his body composition is. He has converted almost all of his excess weight into muscle, and was one of the most impressive physical specimens of the entire Summer League. While Minnesota featured a number of other young talents like Rashad McCants and Randy Foye, it was the 2nd round pick Smith who was the focal point of the team’s offense.

Click here for a letter sent to the Wolves about Mark Madsen's good deeds.

Stephon Marbury on Garnett:
"I don't know how he feels, but I've got love for KG," Marbury said. "That's my brother. I try to be the most positive I can."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wolves Updates 7/25

From Mike Max/WCCO:
The Minnesota Timberwolves think they have a winner in Corey Brewer. The only flaw they picked up regards his shooting mechanics which they think can be fixed with foot work.

The Wolves would like Brewer, Rashad McCants and Craig Smith to go back to Las Vegas for an NBA type camp at the end of the month.

The word is owner Glen Taylor is now content making it work with Kevin Garnett as the center piece.

From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
The agent for Timberwolves point guard Troy Hudson exchanged contract buyout proposals with team owner Glen Taylor on Tuesday, and Bill Neff said he is hopeful they will reach an agreement.

John P. Cleary/Star Gazette on the grand opening of the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in Kinshasa, Congo.
Minnesota Timberwolves forward Juwan Howard and Nikki McCray of the WNBA's Chicago Sky joined the trip to Kinshasa and put on children's basketball clinics organized by the U.S. State Department.

From Jerry Crowe/LA Times:
Kevin Garnett, who owns a home in Malibu but is based most of the year in Minneapolis, showed Saturday night that he is not quite fully versed in the ways of the typical L.A. sports fan, arriving more than an hour early for David Beckham's Galaxy debut at the Home Depot Center…

Stephon Marbury was in town promoting his Starbury line.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Updates Part II

Tim Kawakami/Mercury News writes that "on draft day, three teams were given permission by Minnesota and indeed did pursue various stages of contract-extension talks with Garnett’s agent as a potential precursor to a trade."
He says the three teams were Golden State, Phoenix, and Dallas.

Mike Trudell/Wolves site interviews Tom Hanneman.

Ricky Davis's new site

If you're looking for Ricky Davis news or info, check out the recently launched RickyDavis31.com, the player's "official website." The site also includes info on Davis's educational foundation for area youth.

Wolves Updates 7/24

From the Star Tribune:
Hudson has three years remaining at nearly $19 million. Hudson is believed to be seeking 85 to 90 percent of his remaining contract in a buyout settlement, but the Wolves' initial offer last week was for a much lower figure. Complicating matters is the fact that Hudson's final year is dependent upon him reaching a number of incentives during the 2008-09 season.

Hudson would become an unrestricted free agent if a buyout is reached and he clears waivers. If not, Neff said his client would return to the team.

John Schuhmann/NBA.com projects Corey Brewer to finish 5th in next season's rookie rankings.
Like Durant with Lewis, how Brewer does in his rookie year could depend on whether or not Kevin Garnett is still with the Wolves. Either way, Brewer should put up solid all-around numbers and be one of the best defensive players among rookies.

From Sam Alipour/ESPN:
Matt Leinart's first annual "Bowling with the Stars," to benefit his new namesake charity, is where L.A.'s jocks and celebrities collide. Malibu resident Kevin Garnett is bowling with Nick Lachey and Captain Morgan (yeah, some dude in a pirate suit), Serena Williams enjoys the festivities, and Leinart commends Stacy Keibler for bowling a 70, which is "good for a girl," he says.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wolves Updates 7/23

From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:
Veteran Troy Hudson and the Timberwolves are negotiating a contract buyout, Bill Neff said Sunday, and the agent promised to offer the team a follow-up proposal this week.

On the negotiations:

The agent approached the Wolves early last week and said Hudson would be open to a buyout at a fair price. The Wolves responded with a buyout offer of about half the almost $19 million remaining on Hudson's deal.

Neff said the offer was too low, and Hudson's camp hadn't responded. Neff said he plans to make another proposal to the team this week.

From Get Garnett.com, a snippet from ESPN The Magazine:
Is there a limit to KEVIN GARNETT’S loyalty? We’ll find out if the Wolves don’t move him. A person close to the star said KG was stunned when he heard the team was looking to trade him, adding that the 10-time All-Star is now like a husband whose wife decided to leave, only to return when her car wouldn’t start. “It’d be awkward to go back,” the source says …

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wolves Updates 7/22

Fox Sports on celebrities at David Beckham's debut with the LA Galaxy on Saturday:
Stars such as Jennifer Love Hewitt, Eva Longoria, and Duran Duran poured in as well as basketball star Kevin Garnett who told me that it was "definitely his first soccer game."

From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
Pssst: The Timberwolves have made an offer to buy out the contract of oft-injured guard Troy Hudson, who is guaranteed $18.5 million for the next three seasons. The Wolves have been unable to trade Hudson.

But the offer is considered extremely low, and Hudson hasn't accepted it.


They made their pitch for Kevin Garnett, who would have welcomed a trade here, multiple sources said. Minnesota told the Nets no thanks.

From Sporting News:
Cyclones legends such as Jeff Hornacek, Jeff Grayer, Victor Alexander, Fred Hoiberg and Lafester Rhodes, along with former coaches Johnny Orr and Larry Eustachy, dusted off their high tops for Iowa State's All-Star Celebrity Game, a charity event for former Cyclones star Barry Stevens.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Wolves New Dance Team Director

Abby LaDuke, who calls St. Cloud her hometown, has returned to the Wolves dance team.

From The Professional Cheerleader Blog:
On her bio page Phoenix Suns Dancer Abby listed her dream job as "Coaching an NBA dance team." Well, Abby's dream has come true. She's the new Dance Team Director for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Congratulations Abby! It's also a homecoming of sorts, as before she was a Suns Dancers, Abby was a dancer for the Timberwolves.

Click here for info on prep classes and dance team auditions, about which LaDuke had to say:
It is my pleasure to announce the audition process for the 2007-2008 Timberwolves Dance Team! As the team's new Director, I am looking forward to meeting and working with the area's most talented dancers. Don't miss this opportunity to be a part of the best dance team in the NBA!

Wolves Updates 7/21

Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press on the investigation into NBA ref Tim Donaghy:
It's not known whether any Wolves games were among those allegedly compromised. Minnesota went 4-2 in games Donaghy officiated over the past two seasons.

The Star Tribune has a list of those games.

From Tom Powers/Pioneer Press:
Unfortunately, the evidence against Donaghy appears to be damning, and we need to look no further than right here in Minnesota. In retrospect, we should have realized something was up. A quick check shows that Donaghy worked six Timberwolves games over the past two years, the period during which he is alleged to have bet on games.

He called three games last season and three the year before. The results? The Wolves won four out of six! Clearly the fix was in.

Tom Elliott/St. Cloud Times on Ricky Davis:
After stops in Charlotte, Miami, Cleveland and Boston, it's safe to say he's grown up a lot since his Iowa days.

Mark Madsen on Davis:
A lot of people may not realize it, but Ricky's really a good guy.

Wolves PA announcer Rod Johnson is competing in the National Auctioneers Championship in San Diego.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mad Dog on the NBA Ref investigation

Mad Dog comments on the allegations that an NBA referee bet on basketball games:
"The minute they name the referee, every player is going to try to remember their games that he worked," said Minnesota Timberwolves forward, and union rep, Mark Madsen. "If there were any close games or late calls, players are definitely going to think about that. This is bad.

"We all know how closely the league monitors the referees," he added. "From a player's standpoint, we respect the refs. I never would have believed that this would happen. It's tragic. I never thought I'd be hearing this in 100 years, about any official in any sport.

"I considered this to be a thing of the past. There's so much education about it, to the players, to the teams. When I played in the Final Four, they sat us down with an FBI agent. They told us not to say anything even about injuries, except to team [members], because that sort of thing would show up on Las Vegas sports books."

The New York Post has more info on the story. ESPN is reporting that the ref under investigation by the FBI for betting on basketball games during the last two season is Tim Donaghy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Updates Part III

Tom Elliott /St Cloud Times on the Timberwolves caravan:
All on the caravan were equally happy with the news that Kevin Garnett, the Wolves’ resident superstar, would be returning. At least, that’s what owner Glen Taylor said in the Twin Cities newspapers on Wednesday.

“We’re very happy to have Kevin back,” Hoiberg said.

On questions posed to Ricky Davis:
Another: If you don’t see yourself winning a championship with the Timberwolves, would you like to be traded?
“Yes,” Davis said.
He quickly added that he wanted to win a championship with the Wolves. Later, he admitted it was a good question.

John Hollinger/ESPN lists the Wolves as one of this offseason's losers:
Obviously, this ranking goes to No. 30 if they deal Kevin Garnett and start over. In the meantime, their moves to date don't exactly get my heart racing. A lot of draftniks liked Brewer but I don't see him as more than a role player -- he's a poor shooter and a poor dribbler, which makes me wonder how he'll score more than 10 points a game or so. And in terms of 2007-08 impacts, Brewer just adds to the Wolves' hordes on the wings, along with Ricky Davis, Marko Jaric, Trenton Hassell and Rashad McCants.

As for Howard, he filled a need because Minnesota's frontcourt was a mess, but the trade of James leaves an arguably larger void. The point now looks to be split between the moderately capable hands of Randy Foye and the utterly incapable ones of Troy Hudson...

Tim Kawakami/Mercury News on Garnett "spending an awful lot of time in California this summer":
Does it mean he plans a permanent re-location away from Minnesota and into Arnold’s Kingdom? Not necessarily.
Does it mean it gives us plenty to talk about as we wait and wonder about a potential KG/Warriors trade? Yes.
Especially since Garnett seems to be spending so much time in the very immediate vicinity of Baron Davis, who can be a slightly persuasive fellow.

Hoopsvibe gives Kevin McHale a B+ for his draft history.

Jason Fleming/Hoopsworld with a Wolves summer league recap.

Jon Laging/Albert Lea Tribune on questions about the team.

Glen Taylor on KFAN

Wolves owner Glen Taylor was on KFAN with Chad Hartman this afternoon. You can listen to the interview here.

On when the team decided they would listen to trade offers involving Kevin Garnett:
Taylor said that towards the end of the season, when they realized the team wasn't playing well and wasn't going to make the playoffs, they decided they had to look at all the options.

On when Taylor let Garnett know about the trade talks:
In the middle of the trade talks, after a few teams had called about Garnett and the media started reporting various rumors, Taylor said he called Garnett and told him not to worry too much about the rumors and that they would keep him informed.

On whether Taylor feels a responsibility to keep Garnett aware of the trade talks:
Taylor said he has a good relationship with the player and feels comfortable the two can talk and keep the conversation in confidence.

On the rumors of Garnett going to the Celtics:
The owner said Boston was one of the teams with whom they were talking but that it never got to a point where it was a "should we or shouldn't we" situation.

On reports that Andy Miller, Garnett's agent said his client wouldn't go to Boston:
Taylor said he didn't know if Miller was serious or if it was a negotiation tactic.

On the status of Garnett trade talks:
Trade talks have slowed down throughout the league, Taylor remarked, and if talks did start up again, they would wait til most of the teams have their signings done so the teams know where they stand.

On whether the Garnett trade talks could cause issues if Garnett does indeed return next season:
Taylor said he didn't think that would be the problem. He says he told Garnett the team was going younger and that, though Garnett told him he could groom the players, the issue could be whether Garnett sees it in his best interest to stick around. If KG thinks the team is two years away from being a winning team, he could come to the conclusion that it's better for him to go to a team closer to winning a championship.

On potential moves:
The team would look at possible trades first. After those decisions were made, then they would look at the free agent market. Taylor also said the team would probably make a trade before the season started.

On the decision to fire Dwane Casey and hire Randy Wittman:
Taylor said he still thinks it was the right decision but was surprised with the results. Said Wittman and McHale brought up team chemistry as an issue. Said that Wittman didn't feel like he could get the players to play together as a group as there were too many individual concerns on their part.

On whether he enjoys owning the team:
Said he has no interest in selling the team and hasn't talked to anyone about it. He said he's now very involved and determined to start putting together a younger, more successful team on the court.

Updates Part II

From Jerry Crowe/Los Angeles Times:
But with Jessica Simpson's ex on tour, Blake had to make do Tuesday night with a crowd that included Kevin Garnett, Baron Davis, Serena Williams and U.S. women's soccer team defender Heather Mitts, a.k.a. ESPN.com's "Hottest Female Athlete" of 2004….

BTW, tennis observers report that Garnett didn't look amused when he was shown on the video screen and public-address announcer Ted Sobel intoned, "There's a team in purple and gold that could use you."

Stephen Litel has introduced a "Minnesota Basketball Talk" community at his site.

From Paul Ladewski/Courier News:
Veteran forward Joe Smith had only one regret about his decision to sign with the Bulls as a free agent.
Former Minnesota Timberwolves teammate Kevin Garnett didn't come with him.
"I wish," said Smith, whose arrival, along with the return of forward Andres Nocioni became official Wednesday. "That would be nice."

Wolves Updates 7/19

Owner Glen Taylor will be on KFAN with Chad Hartman today at 2:20pm.

Corey Brewer on his Florida teammates:
"Sure I'm going to miss those guys," he said. "But we all get along fine here. I'm not too worried about it."

Brewer on Chris Richard's chances of making the team:
"Chris is a force," Brewer said. "From what I've heard, he's definitely going to make it. They like his size and his rebounding."

From Inside The Lakers:
The Daily News' Matt Kredell reports that Kevin Garnett was at UCLA yesterday, watching some tennis. Garnett told Matt that he's friends with Mardy Fish, who was playing a match against Sam Querrey. Garnett wouldn't give up any information about whether he might be staying in L.A. on a longer-term basis...

From NBA.com:
As part of NBA Europe Live presented by EA SPORTS™, the city of Istanbul will welcome the Minnesota Timberwolves in October 2007 for training camp and a game against Efes Pilsen, one of Euroleague Basketball´s most successful teams. This will mark the first time that an NBA team will play a game in the country. The Timberwolves will hold training camp in Istanbul from Oct. 1-5 and will play a game against Efes at the Abdi Ipekci Sports Hall on Oct. 6.

Tom Hanneman on the golf skills of Ricky Davis and Mark Madsen:
"Ricky Davis is a scorer on the court and on the golf course. Mark Madsen will give you the same type of total effort on the golf course as he does with basketball. Well ... on the basketball court, he's experienced and can bring you some things, but on the golf course ... not so much."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wolves Updates 7/18

Garnett, along with Serena Williams, was in attendance on Tuesday watching James Blake play at the Countrywide Classic tennis tournament.
“I knew they were coming out, and it was fun to see them,” Blake said after the match. “They waited for me afterward, and they were happy to see me win.”

After meeting Garnett through the NBA star’s agent, the pair became close friends.

On the road with the Timberwolves Caravan, Ricky Davis talks about last season:
"But it is tough to win when you don't have chemistry," Davis continued. "We just have to keep trying to put the right guys together out there. We also need all of us to put our egos aside and play together. That's something that has to get started from Day 1 of (training camp)."

Luke Schenscher joined the Australia Post Boomers on Wednesday after playing for the Wolves in the Vegas summer league.

From Marcus Thompson II/Contra Costa Times:
Never mind that the Warriors are losing a fall-back plan each day. The Warriors are waiting until this whole Kevin Garnett thing plays out, and they have as good a shot as any team of landing him. It is the right move, too.

From AP Sports:
Former NBA star Vin Baker has pleaded not guilty to a drunken driving charge. The 35-year-old Baker appeared today in Norwich Superior Court in Connecticut.

Taylor: Garnett "concerned" about trade rumors

From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
We're going to go younger, Taylor told his star, which might make it more difficult to become a title contender.

"I thought he might say, 'Well, if you're going younger, I guess I don't want to play here,' " Taylor recalled Tuesday. "But he said, 'I'd be a good teacher. Guys taught me and helped me. I'd like to do that.' "

Taylor, who returned over the weekend, talked about a range of subjects Tuesday, including the team's decision to field offers for Garnett before the June 28 NBA draft. He admitted Boston was the Wolves' most serious trading partner. And while not ruling out a Garnett trade, Taylor said the team is now focused on altering its roster in other ways.

The team owner on KG's reaction to the trade rumors:
"It concerned him," Taylor said of Garnett and the trade talk. "He said to me, 'I'd always assumed I was going to play here forever and ever.' "

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

KG trade rumor updates

Ryan Kibbe/KSTP talks to Coach Wittman about the team's young players as well as the Garnett trade rumors.
Nothing is official. In this league anything can happen. We've seen it throughout the years in sports. I don't want to sit here and say anything is official, because as soon as you do that, something happens. But I have to go forward and think that Kevin is going to be here and I want Kevin here.

From Sean Deveney/Sporting News:
There's no question that, last month, the Timberwolves were as open as they've ever been to trading Garnett. But here's the problem in Minnesota -- owner Glen Taylor is a nice guy and an incurable optimist. (That's why Kevin McHale still has a job.) Garnett is loyal and has not pushed for a trade. He's one of the rare players who feels a responsibility for cleaning up the team's current mess, not looking for the "trade-me" cop-out. Adding a wrinkle is Garnett's enormous, $20 million contract. "They should make a deal," says one league source. "It would be good for everyone. But Glen is always going to look at the roster and think he has a chance, even if he doesn't, even if it is obvious they need to rebuild. So there's never going to be a mindset of, 'We have to trade Kevin.' "

From Stephen Litel/Downtown Journal:
Either way, I believe it is time to see that guy we used to know again. If Garnett were to publicly state that he does indeed want to be traded to another franchise or if he were to sign a contract extension, in essence stating that he will be with the Timberwolves for life, he would rejuvenate a fan base in desperate need of rejuvenation.

Marc Stein on Garnett rumors

From this morning's Marc Stein chat on ESPN:

On KG trade talk:
I don't think it's dead. Not the impression I got in Vegas. But it's going to be tougher for the Wolves to get what they want in return now that the loaded '07 draft has passed. On the flip side, it's easier to trade Garnett in August and have a month or two before the season starts than trade him during the season when emotions in Minneapolis will naturally be running a lot higher.

On reports that both Rashad McCants and owner Glen Taylor have said that Garnett wants to stay in Minnesota:
Who said KG wants to leave? The Wolves went all out to trade him before the draft knowing KG preferred to stay. How many times have I written that Phoenix is KG's preferred destination IF he has to leave his beloved 'Sota? (Answer: So many times that I really need a new line.) If folks want to think that whatever Taylor said in the paper today means that the Wolves are done discussing KG deals for the summer, it's your choice.

Updates Part II

From Tim Kawakami's blog at Mercury News:
These are sources who say they know what happened on June 28, when most smart NBA execs believe the Warriors had a deal in place to land KG in a three-team extravaganza involving Jason Richardson… then it didn’t happen.

The gist, and again, I caution that this is speculation, rumor, gossip, but good gossip:

While the Warriors’ Chris Mullin and T-Wolves’ Kevin McHale scrambled to get this complicated deal done in the moments/minutes before Charlotte picked eighth, Charlotte never heard directly from either team who the pick should be, thus messing up everything, or so the tale goes.

From Tim Kawakami/Mercury News:
Once the adrenaline of draft night vanished and Mullin accepted that he had to move Jason Richardson without knowing if he would end up with Garnett, the likely KG time frame transitioned to September, October or even February.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN lists Craig Smith and Randy Foye among the top 5 veterans at summer league. Rashad McCants made his list of the top 5 summer league disappointments.

Garnett came out for Matt Leinart's first annual celebrity bowling night fundraiser.

Wolves Updates 7/17

On Yahoo! Sports' list of the Vegas summer league winners are Craig Smith (His improvement should help give Minnesota a chance to be a playoff team) and Randy Foye (He should be a star in the near future).

Corey Brewer made the site's list of summer league losers:
He is a good, all-around player but disappointed in Vegas.

From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
Wolves rookie forward Chris Richard suffered a slight groin pull slipping on a wet floor during an NBA summer league game Saturday in Las Vegas. The Wolves' second-round pick last month out of the University of Florida, Richard could have played in the team's summer league finale Sunday but was held out as a precaution.

Get Garnett with a summary of Marc Stein's comments about Garnett on the Jim Rome show yesterday.
One exec, whom I trust implicitly, said “I know for a fact that MIN still wants to move KG before the season starts.” They really wanted to do it before the draft. Wanted Noah badly. Likelihood is that they do something…because how do you bring Garnett at this point? …KG finally does want to leave now, even though he won’t ever come out and say it … his trust in management has eroded …Taylor/McHale will be back and KG won’t want to work with them anymore …

Taylor: Garnett's "preference was that we not trade him"

From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:
The Timberwolves kept star Kevin Garnett apprised of trade inquiries before the recent NBA draft, but Garnett expressed a preference to remain in Minnesota.

"His preference was that we not trade him," Wolves owner Glen Taylor said.

Speaking publicly for the first time since the draft, Taylor said Monday, a day after returning from a three-week honeymoon in China, that he never sought to trade Garnett, 31, but for the first time decided to listen more seriously to what teams had to offer.

Taylor said he "just" asked Garnett about a trade and the player's response was that he hadn't changed his mind. According to the owner, when he told KG that the team was going to being in Corey Brewer and another young guy, Garnett said, "
I don't think I mind playing with those guys."

The Wolves will continue to discuss trade scenarios, Taylor said, but they won't include Garnett.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Updates Part III

From Sam Amick/Sacramento Bee:
But the Big Ticket from Minnesota is the big ticket item in Mike Bibby's fantasy camp that starts on July 23.

Technically, Garnett is headed for Rocklin, where he and an All-Star cast of others will take part in what is easily the most star-studded lineup at a camp I can remember. The site is the newly-built Hardwood Palace, and the others include Bobby Jackson, Amare Stoudemire, Deron Williams, Stephen Jackson, Baron Davis, Richard Jefferson and undetermined Kings players.

free-agent signing of last year.

From Ben Maller/Fox Sports:
Celtics guard Ray Allen on the Drive on FOX with Chris Myers and Sean Farnham, talking about Kevin Garnett trade rumors: "Most definitely, Kevin for a long time has been in Minnesota and they have not been over that hump, he will take a average team in the NBA and put them over the hump like the Boston Celtics."

Mike Trudell/Timberwolves site interviewed Wolves summer league player Luke Schenscher and Sacramento Kings owner Joe Maloof who says that owner Glen Taylor is a "wonderful guy" and "great for the league."

Updates Part II

From Steve Bulpett/Boston Herald:
There have been some quiet denials, but one source close to the situation insists the deal for Kevin Garnett was all set before agent Andy Miller said his client didn’t want to go to Boston.

‘‘I don’t know why Danny (Ainge) didn’t just pull the trigger anyway,’’ the source= said. ‘‘There’s no way Kevin would opt out of that contract and leave $24 million on the table. No way.’’

There is also the belief among some in Minnesota that Celtics ownership got cold feet when the initial fan reaction toward dealing Al Jefferson was so negative.

From Brian Windhorst/ESPN:
Randy Foye, the darling of last year's Vegas Summer League, put up 28 points on just 17 shots and didn't take a free throw (there's some more efficiency for you) and Rudy Gay basically matched him with 26 points on 15 shots. Their futures are bright, which most NBA observers already know. But the guy who really made this game and others over the last week was Wolves second-year big man Craig Smith.

DraftExpress on the performance of McCants, Foye, Smith, and Brewer in Sunday's game against Phoenix.