Wolves Updates 6/30
Phil Mackey/KFAN on a Friday morning interview with Fred Hoiberg (click here to listen) :
Hoiberg dismissed the idea that a trade with Boston was imminent, and he also dismissed 99% of the rumors that floated around over the past two weeks.
“Every team in the NBA called about him,” said Hoiberg. “For a deal to be worthwhile for KG, it has to be really special and it has to be something that will make the organization better in the long run. We plan on going forward with Kevin and adding another young piece.”
From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
...Wittman said the fact that Garnett wasn't moved by draft day is proof of how much the team values him."He's too valuable to us to just make a deal to make a deal," Wittman said. "As I said before, I hope he is here [in October]. But those are decisions that the owner and management will look at."
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:Wittman said the team would actively pursue trades and other moves in free agency to improve the roster.
From John Hollinger/ESPN:
Special kudos also are due to Kevin McHale for taking two Florida guys -- looks like his remote was his main scouting tool again. I think Corey Brewer will be a decent role player but not much more; I doubt Chris Richard will be even that.
From Kevin Ding/OC Register:McHale's use of the phrase, "I assume," leaves the door ajar, it seems. Folks in Minny are probably reading that comment differently and thinking the crisis has passed; I don't think that's true...
From Patrick Reusse/Star Tribune:
So, how about this twist of current wisdom at the top of the 2007 drafts: the Vikings and the Wolves have offered optimism, and the Twins and the Wild much skepticism.
The Gators are in town
for a transcript of Corey Brewer's post-draft media conference call.
to watch video of yesterday's press conference introducing Brewer and Chris Richard.Kevin McHale on the team's newest draft picks:"We figured two Gators are better than one," he said Friday at an introductory press conference for Kevin Garnett's newest teammates.
Brewer said he was "extremely happy" on learning Richard, his former college teammate, was also coming to Minnesota."We even have our same cell phone plan together," Brewer said, eliciting a roar from the media audience. "When we came to the same place, I was like, 'I can keep my cell phone plan."'
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:"What stands out with these two guys is not only their ability to be good basketball players, but their character and how they play together and accept each other; that's how a team becomes a team," Wittman said. "We're thrilled to death to have those guys."
Brewer and Richard both proved in college that winning was their foremost concern.
From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:Both will be on the Wolves' team at the upcoming summer league in Las Vegas. There they will play with, among others, 2005 first-round pick Rashad McCants as well as Foye and Smith. Let the chemistry experiment begin."We'll have a group of guys who will be on the team who will be playing together [in the upcoming season]," Wittman said. "These guys are the future of this team, how they get to know each other and interact, that's going to be an advantage for us."
Updates Part II
From Dan Barreiro/KFAN:The Ostrich did his usual dismissive song-and-dance on the Garnett trade rumors, also added this: "Kevin is a member of our team right now. I assume he'll be a member of the team this fall."Carefully chosen words that hardly preclude the possibility of Garnett's departure.Chris Mullin on Golden State's draft night deal: "This deal does open up some things for us; it definitely does," the vice president said, acknowledging discussions with Garnett's employer in Minnesota. "How that plays out, we'll have to wait and see. But there are some components that help our flexibility to get some things done."
From Mark Heisler/LA Times:
The Warriors may now offer Wright with center Andris Biedrins and guard Monta Ellis and enough salary to make the deal work to Minnesota for Garnett.
From David Aldridge/Philadelphia Inquirer:Meanwhile, trade talks for Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett shifted from a possible Phoenix destination, with the Dallas Mavericks seriously entering the discussions for the first time, according to a league source. The teams talked extensively yesterday but could not reach an agreement on specifics, according to another source.
From a Chris Sheridan chat on ESPN:Once the T-Wolves and Pacers couln;t get anything done by Wednesday night, they did the prudent thing and decided to wait until after July 1 to see what new kinds of deals come around. I expect to see the Bulls get involved in the KG sweepstakes, and I've been hearing for several days that Dallas should not be discounted as a possible destination. I get the impression the suns' chances to get him have come and gone. Steve Kerr on the KG to Phoenix rumors:"The Garnett thing is just really . . . so difficult to even fathom because of those financial implications," Suns General Manager Steve Kerr said. "We have not pursued anything in that regard. I have not been out there making a lot of phone calls."
From Ken Berger/Newsday.com: Boston evidently wasn't involved in the Garnett trade talks to the degree that was speculated.
Wolves Updates 6/29
According to Charley Walters/Pioneer Press,
Garnett gave the Twins' Torii Hunter an autographed jersey with the inscription, "To Spiderman."Torii Hunter on KG:"I mean sometimes you've got to move on and that's something that he probably needs to do," said Hunter about Garnett. "Somebody wants him and that's why he's in the trade talk, and I wish him the best no matter what. Garnett and me, we are friends."
Also from Walters:The Timberwolves' choice of Corey Brewer Thursday probably means Trenton Hassell will be traded.
From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune:McHale admitted he was a bit surprised Brewer was available when the team's seventh pick arrived. Surprised, really, that Milwaukee with the sixth pick just before him took Chinese forward Yi Jianlian, whose representatives very clearly told teams their client wanted to play in a big city with a large Chinese population."I was really surprised they took Yi," McHale said, "because they were getting the same faxes that we were getting."
From Tom Powers/Pioneer Press:The Wolves drafted Corey Brewer on Thursday night. That's like choosing a set of tires before knowing what type of automobile you will be driving. They might be great tires, but they could be mounted on a hot rod, or they could be mounted on a rent-a-wreck.
From Andy Katz/ESPN:Multiple sources say Minnesota has six to eight potential deals on the table, but has yet to find one palatable enough to pull the trigger.
Tim Kawakami/Mercury News
on a rumored deal between the Wolves and the Warriors: What it looks like now: Jason Richardson to Charlotte, Charlotte’s pick of Brandan Wright to Minnesota, Garnett to the Warriors.Judd Zulgad/Star Tribune
on the Garnett rumors:Juicy stuff, sure. But how valuable is the information when it's so fluid that what might be true at noon has changed by 3 p.m.? One also has to ask if ESPN cared so much because any Garnett trade rumors might drive people to watch its coverage of the event.
From Patrick Reusse/Star Tribune:The satisfaction of McHale and the local draft wonks with the Brewer selection did not prevent a couple of terrifying moments in the aftermath.
In reponse to the Lakers rumored attempts to land Garnett, Christine Daniels/LA Times
wonders if L.A. hasn't "taken enough from Minnesota already."
McHale on KG: I assume he'll be a member of the team this fall
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press
to watch the video):Kevin McHale scoffed at the rampant trade rumors that have involved all-star Kevin Garnett and said he assumes his franchise player will be a member of the Timberwolves when training camp starts.
"Kevin's a member of the team right now," the Timberwolves ' vice president of basketball operations said Thursday night. "I assume he'll be a member of the team this fall."
Asked if he had spoken with Garnett to reassure him of his future with the team, McHale said he has spoken with Garnett's agent but wouldn't reveal details.
"Those (trade) rumors are fed by you guys," McHale said. "I actually got a charge out of most of the stuff. Man, I tell you what, there's a lot more stuff going on in this league that I'm doing that I didn't know I was, that's for sure."
Alonzo is kind enough to remind us of the following:
Another important date is approaching Sunday. If a trade is made involving Garnett before Sunday, the extra cash coming from his trade kicker, up to $6.75 million, could be applied to last season and next season. Starting Sunday, the trade kicker will be applied in full to next season's salary, which could push Garnett's total compensation to almost $29 million.
Wolves select Florida's Chris Richard at #41
With the 41st pick in the draft, the Wolves selected Corey Brewer's teammate, Chris Richard. He averaged 6.2 points and 3.7 rebounds last season as a senior with the Gators. Richard was the 2007 SEC sixth man of the year; he made 84.6 percent from the floor during the 2007 NCAA tournament, averaging 9.0 points per game.
From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune:Richard was not among the 120 players profiled in the NBA's media guide of draft prospects, but Wolves VP Kevin McHale said he was impressed with Richard's presence and workout at Target Center and by a story told him by Gators guard Taurean Green, whom the Wolves did not draft: Richard declined a starting spot at the Gators' traditional Senior Night because it was an important game."That tells you how selfless he is," McHale said. "Those Florida kids have a real feel for winning. He could have started literally for any team in the country."
McHale also said about Richard:
"We had all five of the Florida kids in for visits," said McHale, who says Richard possesses toughness similar to last year's second-round Wolves pick, Craig Smith of Boston College. "All of them spoke so glowingly of Chris Richard just as a great guy and banger."
Wolves select Florida's Corey Brewer at #7
After an interminable wait following Milwaukee's pick of Yi Jianlian (which was greeted by a collective sigh of relief at the Wolves draft party), the Minnesota Timberwolves selected the University of Florida's Corey Brewer
with the 7th pick in the draft.
for a profile."He does a lot of little things," McHale said. "The guy won two championships. There's something to be said for that. Those things just don't fall off trees."
Along with Florida teammates Al Horford and Joakim Noah, Brewer made history by becoming the first trio of college teammates selected in the top 10 of the draft.
From the AP:One thought sprang into Corey Brewer's mind after being chosen by Minnesota in the first round of Thursday night's NBA draft. "Hopefully KG's still there," Brewer said."I had the KGs when he was with Nike, the first KGs that came out," said Brewer, referring to the shoes. "The blue and they were faded - that was my favorite shoe ever."
From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:"We couldn't be more excited," McHale said during a brief news conference before rushing back to prepare for the second round. "He is a great glue guy, great chemistry, great character. You can't say enough good things about him.""If we had more picks, we would have took [Al] Horford and [Joakim] Noah, too," McHale said. "We were working on that."
Youngblood writes that McHale was impressed with all four Florida players who worked out for the team and that they "acted like winners."
After being picked, Brewer said,
"I really didn't have a good workout with Minnesota, so I didn't know what would happen.
Brewer on returning to Florida last season:
"It was a tough situation for me last year, because my family did need the money," Brewer said. "But I felt like my mom and dad just told me to be happy. I thought I'd be happier and mature more as a player going back to school."From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune:
Brewer wore jersey No. 2 at Florida. That number is retired at Target Center in memory of the late Malik Sealy."I was hurt when I saw that No. 2 was retired," he said. "I guess I'll wear 22. Two plus two is 22."
Chad Ford: Wolves contacted Bobcats to facilitate trade
From Chad Ford/ESPN: The Wolves have contacted the Charlotte Bobcats to try to help facilitate a deal for Garnett, one day after a potential three-way deal with the Phoenix Suns and the Atlanta Hawks hit a roadblock.
According to sources, the Wolves are asking the Bobcats to give up the No. 8 pick along with an undisclosed player. In the proposed deal, Garnett would go to Phoenix, and the Suns would send Amare Stoudemire to Charlotte. The Bobcats would also be required to take Suns guard Marcus Banks.
The Bobcats have been offering the No. 8 pick to various teams for weeks and have several offers. If they can't get something worked out with Minnesota and Phoenix before the draft, the Bobcats will likely move the pick in another deal, a source said. However, a source in Phoenix continues to maintain that the team has not had any conversations about trading Stoudemire.
Draft Day Updates
Britt Robson/On The Ball
offers some draft day speculation.The Basketball Jones
with their NBA Draft Preview podcast.Stephen Litel
will be blogging live from the draft party at the Target Center.
Doogie and Henry Lake are doing a draft show from 9-11pm tonight on KFAN
, with Coach Wittman scheduled to join.
Via the Big Lead
, the Wolves first round draft history. Mike Trudell/Wolves site
with some notes on the team's previous drafts.
Updates Part II
From Ken Berger/Newsday:"Minnesota is not trading Kevin Garnett for the fifth pick in the draft and a bunch of expiring contracts," a league source said. "I'm sorry, but whoever has the fifth pick is not selling another ticket for next season."
From Jerry Brown/East Valley Tribune:The Suns are still intrigued by the prospect of acquiring the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Garnett but will not deal Amaré Stoudemire to make it happen.
From David Aldridge/Philadelphia Inquirer:"He would go to either team in L.A., either the Lakers or the Clippers," said another league source who knows Garnett well and did not want to be identified. "But the Clippers don't have enough to do a deal. And he won't mind going to Phoenix because it's just a hop, skip and jump away from L.A."
From Mike Bresnahan/L.A. Times:Furthermore, there were no conversations of consequence Wednesday between the Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves regarding Kevin Garnett.The Grayzone
and Mark Rosen
each believe it's time for Garnett to move on.
Draft Day has arrived
Kevin McHale says tonight's draft class
is a "good, solid" one full of players who are NBA-ready: "I would be shocked if we don't get a guy who can step in next year and play."
From Sid Hartman:As I have said before, if Florida star Corey Brewer is available, I expect the Wolves will draft the small forward, who could step in and start next year and help make this a better team....Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press
on players the Wolves could consider taking.
From Mike Kahn/Fox Sports:The Wolves need so much, they've been projected to take anyone from Conley Jr. to Jeff Green to Hawes to Jianlian. In other words, it sounds just like the unpredictable McHale...all over the map.
Wolves Updates 6/28
updated his article on the rumored deal with the Wolves, Suns, and Hawks:On Wednesday, sources say one of the Hawks owners vetoed a hypothetical deal for Stoudemire for financial reasons.However, late Wednesday night the Wolves were trying to resurrect the deal in a way that would overcome the objections. The sticking point has been a trade kicker in Garnett's contract. The Wolves were talking to fourth teams that could help alleviate the financial burden on Atlanta and Phoenix.
From Steve Bulpett/Boston Herald:“It’s going to be discussed,” said Doc Rivers of a Garnett deal. “Hell, if he’s not traded (yesterday) or in the next couple of days, he’s going to be discussed among 28 teams. There are probably a couple of teams that aren’t looking at him, but everyone else is and we’re in that mix. I’m sure that’s not going to stop until something happens.”
From David Moore/Dallas Morning News: General managers and personnel directors around the league were split on the issue Wednesday. Some were convinced that Garnett would be moved heading into tonight's draft. Others felt it was too complicated to get done.
From Patrick Reusse/Star Tribune:And this other idea -- that there has been so much noise about a Garnett trade that the Wolves now can't bring him back -- is even more ridiculous than the KG-as-martyr opinion pieces.
From Sekou Smith/Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
A Stoudemire deal is rampant in the blogsophere, but according to an Arizona newspaper report there has never been a discussion between Hawks and Suns officials.Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune
with a roundup of Wednesday's KG trade rumors.Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press
writes on yesterday's rumors that "complications with all of these deals that appear to make them unlikely."
on the Garnett speculation:The Internet, however, has changed how reporting is normally done. There is a lot of speculation, and the media are forced to cover it, not knowing whether it is accurate or not.
From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press: It wouldn't be surprising if Kevin Garnett, 31, seeks a contract extension tantamount to his current $100 million deal to remain with the Timberwolves. However, the Wolves for the past year have been quietly assessing whether Garnett's play has reached a level of diminishing returns.
Meanwhile, people in the know say the Wolves are insistent on getting 6-10, 265-pound Al Jefferson, 22, in any deal with the Boston Celtics. And the Celtics don't want to give up Jefferson.
Chad Ford sources: "unlikely" a deal happens before the draft
From Chad Ford/ESPN:According to multiple sources, the Timberwolves have been talking to multiple teams about finding a third team to help facilitate a Garnett trade...On Wednesday, sources say one of the Hawks owners vetoed a hypothetical deal for Stoudemire.The Suns claim to have never had any direct contact with the Hawks about a deal. While they have shown strong interest in acquiring Garnett, the deal never reached a stage where they were asked by either team to give up Stoudemire and never offered him in a trade.While teams like the Lakers and Suns will continue to pursue Garnett, and the Wolves seem intent on trading him, sources say that it's unlikely a deal goes down by the time of the draft.
Garnett to Suns reports "overblown"
From Bob Baum/AP Sports:Reports the Phoenix Suns were nearing a deal to acquire Kevin Garnett were downplayed Wednesday by an NBA official with knowledge of the situation.Contrary to several reports, the official told The Associated Press, the sides were not close to a three-team deal that would send Amare Stoudemire to Atlanta and Garnett from Minnesota to Phoenix.Publicity regarding the Suns' possible acquisition of Garnett had been overblown, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject. However, the Timberwolves and Suns have talked about Garnett, the person confirmed.
Updates Part II
on the trade rumors:The latest leaked proposal -- a three-way deal involving Phoenix and Atlanta -- has not even been discussed among all three teams, a league source insisted Wednesday afternoon...It's entirely possible that something could change to convince all three teams to begin discussing the proposal. Until that happens, there's no sense in getting all worked up about it. As things stand on the eve of the draft, I am convinced that the Web sites and talk shows are focusing on this rumored trade a lot more than the teams themselves...
Rashad McCants is on KFAN
at the moment with Sludge and Lake. When asked if he thought Garnett would be dealt by the draft, the player said "yes."Trent Tucker on Glen Taylor leaving yesterday for China: "I would have to believe that they have something in place already. Whether it's a deal or no deal, because for him to go to China today with the situation like this hanging in the balance, evidently they have already discussed something and they have a plan in place. When the head guy makes the final decision and guy who writes the checks, if he decides to leave town in the hands of others, that means at some point in time they've made a deal, and he's comfortable enough to take a trip. "Jon Krawczynski /AP Sports
on the team's draft needs.RealGM
compiled a list of memorable moments in Garnett's career.
From Dan Barreiro/KFAN:Is there a Ricky Davis deal that the Wolves could do today? One source says yes, though the Garnett melodrama could affect the Wolves' interest. Another league source says there is no way Garnett would walk from that $23 million season, which is this person's way of saying Danny Ainge should have been willing to call KG's bluff.
SLAM on Garnett rumors
From Lang Whitaker/SLAM Online:The latest rumor has Phoenix, Atlanta and Minnesota involved in a trade. Phoenix would get KG, Atlanta would get Amare(!) and Minnesota would get screwed. Well, they’d get two lottery picks, but they’d be giving up KG, which hardly seems fair.
I’m not sure what the true story is here. Someone in the know just emailed me that the Minnesota/Phoenix talks are “total bullsh*t,” though I’ve also heard that there is substance there. I also just spoke to someone who told me it’s close to happening but that Minnesota will probably “get cold feet.”
Yahoo rumor: KG close to going to Phoenix
From Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo Sports:Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett is close to going to the Phoenix Suns in a monumental three-way trade that would send Phoenix forward Amare Stoudemire to the Atlanta Hawks, league sources said Wednesday.Atlanta would move the Nos. 3 and 11 picks in Thursday's draft, as well as Zaza Pachulia and Anthony Johnson, to Minnesota.Minnesota owner Glen Taylor has delivered a mandate to his basketball executives to get a deal done, one league executive said.
Wojnarowski says the deal is dependent on Billy Knight's approval as well as the team owners willingness to increase payroll.
It is believed that star Hawks guard Joe Johnson talked to his former Suns teammate on Wednesday and that the 24-year-old Stoudemire, a first-team All-NBA choice, told him that he'd welcome the trade.
Pi Press: Wolves/Suns/Hawks deal doesn't "appear to have any legs"
From Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press:On Tuesday, there was a report that the Wolves, Suns and Atlanta were discussing a three-team deal, but that speculation didn't appear to have any legs, the Pioneer Press learned.
ESPN: Suns are "the most likely winners"
From Chad Ford and Marc Stein/ESPN:There was a growing sentiment around the league Tuesday night that the Kevin Garnett sweepstakes are nearing a conclusion and that the Phoenix Suns are the most likely winners, with two trade scenarios emerging that could potentially land Garnett in the desert by draft night.
Scenario #1: A three-team trade with Minnesota, Phoenix, and Boston.
The Wolves would receive the #5 pick and a few players.
Scenario #2: A three-team trade with Minnesota, Phoenix, and Atlanta.
The Wolves would possibly get the #3 and #11 picks from the Hawks along with "several cap-friendly contracts" from both teams. Amare Stoudemire would end up with the Hawks.Either way, NBA front-office sources say that Garnett being moved in conjunction with Thursday's draft looks more likely than ever before, with the Suns -- identified by ESPN.com last week as KG's first choice for a new home -- in prime position to make the big score.
According to the article, the Lakers "haven't abandoned all hope" of landing Garnett:Another concept in circulation Tuesday raised the possibility of a multi-team trade in which the Indiana Pacers' Jermaine O'Neal went to Atlanta, with Lakers forward Lamar Odom and young center Andrew Bynum heading to the Pacers. That package, at worst, would send the No. 3 pick in the draft to Minnesota as the main payoff for Garnett.
Andy Katz/ESPN is reporting that, according to multiple sources, the Suns were trying to get the #8 pick from Charlotte.
Wolves Updates 6/27
Mike Bresnahan/LA Times
on the $6.75 million trade kicker in KG's contract:If he is traded before July 1, the kicker money can be split over last season and next season, which would potentially lessen the luxury-tax impact by a team that acquires him. Beginning July 1, all $6.75 million would have to go toward next season's payroll, presenting more of a challenge for a team facing luxury-tax issues.
In an article at Slate
on the potential pairing of Garnett and Kobe, Paul Shirley reminisces on meeting Garnett in training camp last season, noting that, unlike Kobe, KG is "noble, loyal, and larger-than-life."Steve Aschburner on the Garnett trade talk:And I think the longer this goes on, the tougher it is for the Timberwolves to just shut everything down, and just keep him. I think now it's almost a certainty, he'll be gone.Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune
on the report of a three-way deal with the Wolves, Suns, and Celtics.David DuPree/USA Today
answers some questions on trading Garnett.Mike Cranston/AP Sports
reports that Charlotte is "making it clear" they're willing to part with their two first round draft picks.Bickerstaff also indicated they would be interested in getting in on any multiple-team trades involving superstars Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Garnett of Minnesota.
From Ken Berger/Newsday:Kobe spokesman Ric Bucher said the prospect of playing with Garnett wouldn't cause Bryant to back off his trade demand.Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune
writes that "more than before, the Wolves feel they know the foreign market inside and out."Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press
wonders what if Shaq had been drafted by the Wolves.
ESPN rumor: Wolves talking three-way deal
ESPN Radio has mentioned a report by Jim Gray that the Wolves are currently talking with Phoenix and Boston about a three-way deal that would send Garnett to the Suns. The Wolves would get the #5 pick and a few players.
on Gray's report:Three teams are involved in these discussions, with the Suns getting Garnett, the Celtics picking up Phoenix forward Shawn Marion and the Wolves acquiring the fifth pick in Thursday's draft and players from Boston.This development comes after ESPN's Ric Bucher reported earlier on Tuesday that talks between the Lakers and Wolves concerning Garnett had broken down...
The current trade is basically contingent on whether Marion would agree to a contract extension with the Celtics, Gray reported...
Wolves bring in B. Wright and Conley
From Mike Max/WCCO:The Minnesota Timberwolves quietly brought in North Carolina prospect Brandon Wright for a work out on Tuesday. The Wolves did not work out but they did bring in Ohio State guard Mike Conley before the pre-draft work outs. He's projected, by most, to be gone by the Wolves 7th overall pick.NBA.com
has a consensus mock draft as well as links to the mock drafts used by the site to compile its list. In most of those mock drafts, both Wright and Conley went before the Wolves #7 pick.
Updates Part III
addresses the Garnett trade rumors.
From Ryan Kibbe/KSTP:Right now, the Wolves remain air-tight. I'm not saying that's all bad. Problem is, it's hard to separate fact from fiction since the information flows from other organizations only (and each with a public agenda).
DeROK wants to shout "
from the rooftops of the Target Center. “We, the fans, will not tolerate a Kevin Garnett trade!”
From John Nadel/AP Sports:Bird said it might be time for Garnett to go."Kevin Garnett's been with Minnesota for years," he said. "There comes a time where both parties might want to just separate." Kare 11
on the Wolves/Lakers rumors:A source tells KARE 11 News the talks are serious, but pulling off a trade will be very complicated...Garnett has reportedly been trying to reach Bryant to talk.Kelly Dwyer/SI.com
ranks the league's personnel bosses and puts Kevin McHale dead last.There is still hope. A Garnett deal with Boston (for Al Jefferson, assorted other youngsters and Theo Ratliff's expiring contract) would be nice, though we don't see Phoenix getting desperate enough to send Amaré Stoudemire to Minnesota for KG. Chicago is out of the picture unless McHale wants to take on Ben Wallace (we wouldn't put that past him).
PBN: Wolves/Lakers deal "officially dead"
From ProBasketballNews:Trade talks that involved sending Minnesota star Kevin Garnett to the Los Angles Lakers have ended, sources within the organizations have told ProBasketballNews.com. "It's officially dead. (Timberwolves owner Glen) Taylor won't allow it to happen," one source said.
"All discussions have ended (between the Lakers and Timberwolves)"
Third source: chances are "very slim" Garnett would end up with the Lakers"It seems like they don't want (Garnett) playing in the Western Conference, and that only makes sense," the first source said.
Updates Part II
From Jerry Brown/East Valley Tribune: Sources say the Suns remain interested in Garnett, but adamant they will not trade Stoudemire to get him.
From Shira Springer/Boston Globe:According to league sources, McHale doesn’t want to do the deal unless Al Jefferson is included in the package sent to the Timberwolves.The Celtics have been working the phones to trade the No. 5 pick since receiving it in the draft lottery May 22. But Ainge has been extremely reluctant to part with Jefferson, according to team and league sources.
on yesterday's rumored four-way deal:At least one other GM believes that Taylor isn't going to trade KG to the Lakers (a.k.a. the enemy) and would have eventually balked anyway. If that's the case, someone needs to sit him and Kevin McHale down and tell them that, at this point, getting some first-round picks and massive cap room would be a good deal for KG. If they wait much longer, he'll walk for nothing.So, anyway ... what has to give? Either the Celtics decide to include Jefferson in the deal (very, very unlikely) or the other three teams try to find a way to sweeten the pot for Minnesota.
From Stephen Litel/Downtown Journal:
Kevin Garnett needs to stay in Minnesota in order for Ron Artest’s arrival to happen…and Ron Artest’s arrival needs to happen in order for Kevin Garnett to get some things he has been requesting on this team, enabling for Garnett to remain a Timberwolf.
Rumor: Mavericks talking KG
According to Dallas Basketball.com
, the Mavericks "have quietly laid the groundwork necessary" to enter the Garnett bidding war."We know what's going on out there," Mavs president Donnie Nelson tells DB.com. "If there is a way to get something like that done, we'll probe it."
From what we can gather, Dallas has done more than probe...
Garnett/Rest of the league Updates
From Steve Bulpett/Boston Herald:Sources continued to state that while the Celtics-Garnett matter shows signs of waning, neither side is willing to put it to bed.
“It is not dead,” said one involved source. “I’d just leave it at that.”
Said a personnel man from another club, “That’s why teams don’t like it when things get out about trade talks. The Celtics and Minnesota were talking for a while, and they might have been able to pull something off if they could have kept it quiet. But once it got out, other teams started seeing what they could do.”
But, the source added, the Celts’ offer with Jefferson and the No. 5 pick at its heart, is probably the best the Wolves can get. “That’s why this thing is still going,” he said.
From Gery Woelfel/Journal Times:The Atlanta Hawks are also making a concerted pitch for Garnett. The Hawks, who are in desperate need a franchise-type player, are dangling their two lottery picks – Nos. 3 and 11 – and other considerations for Garnett.From Ken Berger/Newsday:
The rapid acceleration of the Garnett talks on the heels of his public rejection of possibly being dealt to Boston, coupled with Taylor's intervention in the matter, only buttressed the notion that Minnesota has been "pushing Garnett hard" to multiple teams, a person with knowledge of the situation said Monday...
On the Suns working out 4 draft prospects unlikely to be available to them with their current picks:The person with knowledge of the workouts also confirmed that the Suns and Celtics have engaged in "pretty legit" discussions involving the No. 5 pick and Shawn Marion...
Mike McGraw/Daily Herald
on the Bulls:Addressing the media in advance of Thursday’s NBA draft, Paxson said there was nothing going on in regard to Bryant, who has demanded a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers, or Garnett, reportedly being shopped by Minnesota.
From Frank Isola/New York Daily News:
According to one team executive, the Knicks were never involved in a deal for Garnett because "they don't have the pieces to get a deal done."
From Chris McCosky/Detroit News:
As for the Pistons, they made some inquiries about Shawn Marion of the Suns, but they knew they didn't have the right pieces to make a legitimate run at Garnett.
From Mike Bresnahan and Mark Heisler/LA Times:Minnesota owner Glen Taylor was expected to be in the Timberwolves' offices this morning before departing for a honeymoon in China. His appearance at team headquarters suggested a quick resolution on the Lakers' proposal, which includes forward Lamar Odom and center Andrew Bynum.
However, sources said that Kevin McHale, the Timberwolves' vice president of basketball operations, wasn't keen on the Lakers' offer.
From Jonathan Givony/Draft Express:
Look for something to happen very soon for the Timberwolves, who are, in one executive's words "committed to trading Kevin Garnett right now." We spoke to multiple teams tonight who all claim that there they are very active in trade talk, with another Western Conference executive stating that in his opinion it was 50/50 between the Lakers and Phoenix as to who will get him.
From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
Looking at what the Lakers have to offer, it appears at least one other team would have to be brought into the mix in order to satisfy the Wolves' needs.
Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press on possible trade scenarios.
Eric Pincus/Hoopsworld writes that getting KG is "a deal the Lakers have to make."
From Sean Deveney/Sporting News: "Minnesota obviously needs to make a deal," says one general manager. "But they need to get something back for him. They can't give this guy away."
From Gregg Patton/The Press-Enterprise: I don't know about you, but if I'm a Lakers fan and I see the name "McHale," I cringe. If I'm Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis, I still instinctively touch my head and see if it's still attached to my neck. I'm probably having flashbacks to the 1984 NBA Finals when the former Celtics forward clotheslined me on a layup, back in the day when Celtics and Lakers really, really did not like each other very much.
And THAT McHale is going to do the Lakers the great favor of tossing them all-world forward Kevin Garnett to help turn them back into an NBA championship contender?
From Kevin Ding/The Orange Country Register:Bringing Garnett, 31, in to play with Bryant, 29 in August, would set the Lakers up with a one-two combo to rival the glorious Bryant-Shaquille O'Neal tandem. In a March interview with The Register, Bryant said he and Garnett talk on the phone, adding: "I love KG."
From Michael Ventre/MSNBC:
Kevin Garnett is a festive, decorative Band-Aid, at least when it comes to the possibility of him playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Wolves Updates 6/26
From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press: Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said star Kevin Garnett has not asked to be traded.
The Timberwolves expect to choose from four players - Florida's Corey Brewer and Al Horford, Washington's Spencer Hawes and Georgetown's Jeff Green - with their No. 7 pick in Thursday night's NBA draft.
Rashad McCants is scheduled to appear at "Shoot For The Cure," a benefit for
the Breast Program at Mission Hospitals, in Asheville, NC in late July.
Updates Part II
Tickets for the Wolves/Celtics October preseason game
in London at the O2 are sold out. If there is a god, Garnett will both be there and be suited up in blue, not green, for the exhibition.Britt Robson/On The Ball
on a possible deal with Boston:If a deal is contingent on a renegotiation of Garnett's contract after his opt-out year, that can't happen with another team until I believe July 1, but certainly after the draft, meaning that teams with earlier picks such as Atlanta or Boston, may be covertly doing the Wolves' bidding. At least that is the way one source explained it to me, and I hope I have portrayed it accurately.
In his latest mock draft, Chad Ford
has the Wolves taking Joakim Noah with the 7th pick.But I've been assured by several sources that they've made no promise to Hawes.From what I can gather, they'll decide between Hawes, Joakim Noah and Al Thornton here...Lang Whitaker/SLAM Online
writes about the Wolves that he doesn't "understand their obsession with moving KG."Chad Ford/ESPN
on Yi JianlianYi's agent, Dan Fegan, has repeatedly refused to let Milwaukee or Minnesota come to Los Angeles to work Yi out. Neither team is in a big market, and neither city has a big Asian-American population. Furthermore, Yi isn't regarded as a great fit for either club... What would Yi do if the Bucks or Wolves drafted him? The word from his camp is that he'd likely demand a trade...
Ford also writes that "sources close" to both teams say it's a smoke screen but he himself is not so sure.Tom's Take
on T-Hud's agent asking for his client to be traded.John Hollinger/ESPN
with a list of players who can opt-out or will be free agents in 2008.
LA Times: Four-way deal for KG not happening
From Mike Bresnahan and Mark Heisler/LA Times: The talks turned into discussions about a four-way deal among the Lakers, Minnesota, Indiana and Boston, in which the Lakers would have gotten Garnett. However, the deal broke down, reportedly because the Celtics didn't like what they would have gotten, ending the four-way negotiations.The Lakers are now back to direct two-team talks with the Timberwolves. However, sources say, Minnesota General Manager Kevin McHale wants young players and high draft choices and isn't keen on the Lakers offer of Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom.
Chad Ford on Garnett/Lakers rumor
From Chad Ford/ESPN: After speaking with a league source, I think the deal has some legs, though it doesn't appear imminent.According to the source, the key to completing the deal is finding a fourth team that would (a) take Jermaine O'Neal and (b) send the Timberwolves enough pieces to complete the deal.
Ford lists a potential deal that would send Garnett and Marko Jaric to the Lakers with the Wolves receiving No. 5 pick, Theo Ratliff, Gerald Green and Sebastian Telfair.
On that trade, Ford writes:It may, however, fall a little short for Minnesota in the talent department. Perhaps the Wolves would bite if another young player or future draft pick were included.
L.A. Times source: Wolves and Lakers talking KG
From Mike Bresnahan/LA Times:The owners of the Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves have begun talks for a trade that would involve sending Kevin Garnett to the Lakers, league sources said Monday.A multi-team trade discussion is underway involving the Lakers, Indiana, Minnesota and possibly a fourth team, with the Lakers getting Garnett and the Pacers getting Lamar Odom and teenage center Andrew Bynum from the Lakers. Another minor player will likely be added to make the deal work financially.Jerry Buss and Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor spoke by phone for 20 minutes Friday. Buss reportedly ended the conversation by suggesting that Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale would continue the discussion Monday.
Ron Artest rumor
From Mike McGraw/Daily Herald:According to a league source, Minnesota may try to swing a deal for Ron Artest if it keeps Garnett.
Wolves Updates 6/25
From Ken Berger/Newsday.com:First of all, persistent statements by Timberwolves general manager Kevin McHale and owner Glen Taylor that the team is merely fielding calls about Garnett and not making them isn't true, according to a person connected to the situation.
"He's very unhappy," the person said of Garnett. "He's being shopped, and he's being shopped heavily."Considering Minnesota's desire to bring back a premium pick, and a reported clause in Garnett's contract adding another financial obligation July 1 to his 15-percent trade kicker, a decision on KG figures to be made sooner than later.
According to Dan Barreiro/KFAN,
the Wolves may have a deal in place in which they could trade away Ricky Davis. He says the team is waiting to see how the Garnett business pans out before they pull the trigger. You can listen to the audio here.Sam Smith/Chicago Tribune
on a deal that would send Garnett to Phoenix:This is a deal that makes sense all around, especially now that Kobe Bryant has reopened a dialogue with the Lakers and speculation has the Lakers making an offer to Minnesota for Garnett. He lives in Malibu and he and Bryant are said to talk frequently, getting together recently to discuss playing together. But the Lakers don't have the draft picks to entice Minnesota, and you can be sure the Suns wouldn't want to see Bryant and Garnett together in their division.
From Sid Hartman:While the Timberwolves basketball brass aren't going to reveal who they want to take first in Thursday's NBA draft, I expect them to take Corey Brewer of Florida if he is there at No. 7 overall.
From Scott Bordow/East Valley Tribune: Minnesota calls Phoenix back. “We’ll give you Garnett for Amaré Stoudemire.”
The Suns say no, but an intrepid reporter (we really are intrepid) hears about the conversation and writes that the Suns and T-Wolves are discussing a Garnett-for-Stoudemire deal. Well, they did. But only for as long as it took for the Suns to say no.
From Mike Monroe/Express-News:
"If I have to guess," said an NBA team executive always full of inside info, "I say KG gets traded, but Kobe stays put. And if the Timberwolves list their best possible deals, one through five, I think they're more apt to get deal No. 5 than deal No. 1."
From Gregg Doyel/CBS Sportsline:The T-Wolves, meanwhile, have zero profile outside the Twin Cities. Name two starters, other than K.G. Can you? Hell, I can't do it. Shame on me, but shame on the NBA, too.
Boston Herald: "topic is still on the table" for Wolves and Celtics
From Steve Bulpett/Boston Herald:
Despite reports to the contrary, sources confirmed last night there is still life to a Celtics deal for Kevin Garnett. It was also stated strongly that the club would never make such a move before it had an agreement with the Timberwolves star on a contract extension...
One connected source believes that Garnett may not want to leave Minnesota at all, while others are saying he would most welcome a move to Phoenix if he is traded.
The word last night is that the sides are letting the dust settle before revisiting the proposal this week. It remains uncertain whether all the requirements for a transaction - agreement on the principles, Garnett’s acceptance of an extension - can be arranged, but the topic is still on the table for the two clubs.
Teammate: Garnett angered by talks with Celtics
From Mitch Lawrence/New York Daily News:But according to a teammate who spoke with Garnett last week, Minnesota's franchise talent was angered by the team's recent trade talks with Boston. The Celtics never had a shot at landing Garnett - who wanted no part of a reunion with ex-teammate Wally Szczerbiak - because they didn't have the pieces."What got Kevin upset is that he thought he might be going to Phoenix, but then he heard about Boston and that really got him p----- off," the teammate said. "Typical Kevin," the teammate said of Garnett's silence. "He's loyal."
A business associate of the team owner is quoted as saying that any offer for Garnett would "have to knock Glen Taylor off his feet." According to Lawrence, the Celtics' reported offer "didn't so much as budge" Taylor.
Wolves Updates 6/24
From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:People who know say the Timberwolves have received trade inquiries for Kevin Garnett from more teams than just the oft-reported Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics. And regardless of whether Garnett is traded by NBA draft time on Thursday, the Wolves are planning on making at least one other deal.
Word is a Wolves-Suns deal that would feature Garnett for Amare Stoudemire has stalled but is still in the works...
Walters also writes:
-Owner Glen Taylor plans to leave for his honeymoon in China on Tuesday, two days before the draft.
-Taylor doubts the team will trade Garnett this year, but "word is Garnett doesn't feel the same."
Trent Hassell on the trade rumors:
I know some of us are going to be gone. But KG leaving, that would be sad.Sixers GM Billy King said he has talked to the Wolves
, "but not about Garnett."...King is concentrating more on Minnesota's draft pick, which would put the Sixers in the mix to select Georgetown's Jeff Green, Yi Jianlian from China or Washington's Spencer Hawes.Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune
on how the team analyzes draft prospects.Eric Pincus/Hoopsworld
thinks Garnett going to the Lakers is "just farfetched at this point."Amare Stoudemire with his thoughts
on the possibility of playing with Garnett:I don't know if that's possible, but it would definitely be an honor to play with him. He's a great player. I'm not really in the loop. I'm just focusing on basketball.
Wolves Updates 6/23
From Mark Murphy/Boston Herald:Some in the Celtics organization believe there is more smoke than substance behind agent Andy Miller’s assertion that Kevin Garnett will opt out of his contract after next season if Minnesota trades him to the Celtics.
“I’m willing to bet he hasn’t even talked to (Garnett) and that he’s just trying to posture something so it doesn’t happen,” a Celtics source said yesterday. “In fact, I’m pretty sure of it. So I don’t put much stock in what he said.”
Miller has spoken highly of Ainge’s treatment of another of his clients - C’s point guard Sebastian Telfair. However, there is a lingering suspicion within the organization that Miller’s tough stance on Garnett was influenced by co-owner Wyc Grousbeck’s decision to remove Telfair’s nameplate from his locker after the guard was arrested for gun possession in April.
Suns GM Steve Kerr
on trade discussion with the Wolves: Kevin McHale and I talked, and it didn't get very far...Former Gopher Lindsay Whalen
partially blames Kevin McHale and the KG rumors for her WNBA team's losing streak.Rick Alonzo/Pioneer Press
on the pros and cons of letting KG go.
From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:Meanwhile, teammate Mark Madsen said he'd be shocked if Garnett were traded."You're talking about the cornerstone of the franchise," Madsen said. "But all of us know the Lakers traded [Shaquille O'Neal]. But I would never want to say goodbye to Kevin Garnett. He's too great of a teammate, a human being."
T-Hud trade request updates
From Jon Krawczynski/AP Sports:Hudson's agent said Friday that he called owner Glen Taylor to say that the point guard would like to play elsewhere next season..."It's not like I demanded a trade or anything," Bill Neff said. "It's just time to move on."Bill Neff, Troy Hudson's agent, on talking to Taylor
(who agreed that T-Hud was a "good egg last year"):"He said they're doing their best (to trade Hudson)," Neff said. "He just said nobody's asked."From Kent Youngblood/Star Tribune:
Neff said Hudson is convinced the current regime, particularly coach Randy Wittman, doesn't believe Hudson can help the Wolves...
The Wolves, according to Neff, could have traded Hudson to Detroit for center Nazr Mohammed during last season, but the Wolves wouldn't make the deal.
Mad Dog on trade rumors
After a month and a half of no new posts, Mark Madsen finally updated his blog.
In addition to discussing how much he'll miss Justin Reed and Mike James, Madsen offers his thoughts on the Garnett rumors.Today, I was in Rochester Minnesota giving a "Life in the NBA" talk at Rochester Athletic Club. I can't remember how many times people asked me if Kevin Garnett was going to get traded, but it was a lot. I really think that there is not going to be any trades involving Kevin Garnett. I sure hope not. I know for a fact that Kevin loves Minnesota and he likes the guys in the locker room. But I'm also aware the realities of professional sports and that from a business standpoint, anything can happen to anyone.
Chad Ford: KG might back off "no trade to Boston" stance
From Chad Ford/ESPN:The rumblings this afternoon are that Kevin Garnett might back off his "no trade to Boston" demand if the Timberwolves can't work out a deal with the Suns.The bad news ... if he doesn't, the clock is ticking on the Paul Pierce time bomb. His agent, Jeff Schwartz, told me that Pierce would love to play with KG and is still hoping that the Celtics find a way to bring in a star. However, if he can't, Schwartz said he thinks Paul will ask for a trade from Danny Ainge, the Celtics executive director of basketball operations...
Suns: Trade would be a "long shot"
From Paul Coro/The Arizona Republic:Suns General Manager Steve Kerr acknowledged Friday that the Suns are talking about a trade for Minnesota 10-time All-Star Kevin Garnett but still termed a deal as "tough" to work out because of Garnett's contract and any big deal as a "long shot."He also said no player is untradable but that it would take "an awful lot" to pry away a 24-year-old All-NBA first team center such as Amaré Stoudemire, the object of Minnesota's interest in the Garnett talks. "As far as KG specifically, it's tough because of the contract," Kerr said...Bill Ingram/Hoopsworld
writes that Phoenix is the "obvious choice" for Garnett.Golden State Of Mind
has a rumor which says that Garnett could "very much like to be a Warrior."The Big Lead
on the chances KG ends up in Phoenix.
The Great Blogger Mock Draft 2007
Thanks to Jeff at Celtics Blog
for both the "hang in there" messages over the last few days and for putting together the following mock draft.
1. Portland - Henry from True Hoop selects Greg Oden, by a whisker: Kevin Durant will punish the Blazers for a decade at least for this pick. He’s a beautiful thing to watch, and if Portland ends up taking Durant, I’m THRILLED. But I just got this GM job and I want to keep it, and I have a feeling that with Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Greg Oden we’re going to be just fine.
2. Seattle - Chris from Sonics Central selects Kevin Durant: The top two prizes in the Draft are Oden and Durant so whoever Portland passes on the Sonics will gladly settle for sloppy seconds.
3. Atlanta - Ryan from Hoops Addict selects Al Horford: The Hawks are tempted to go with the PG they desperately need but GM McNeill decided to wait until the 11th pick in the hopes that Mike Conley Jr is still on the board. If he’s not there, the Hawks will “settle” for the 2007 Bob Cousy Award recipitent. Zaza Pachulia is a temporarily solution at best for the Hawks and they are looking for some beef up front to pair alongside Sheldon Williams. Williams is a bit undersized as a starting centre at 6′9″ but with a wingspan of 8′8″ he could be paired alongside Harford who is 6′10″ to provide a dynamic rebounding duo.
4. Memphis - Daily Basketball selects Brandan Wright: Making his final draft selection as GM of the Memphis Grizzlies, Jerry West decided to add another athletic big man to their roster. “The lottery this year is full of athletic big men, but we feel that Wright can step in right away (no pun intended) and contribute to our team. Wright has the potential to be a major star in this league.”
5. Boston - Jeff from Celtics Blog selects Yi Jianlian: Danny Ainge will be trading for immediate help so he can afford to take the best talent available. Danny thinks Yi is the best talent available.
6. Milwaukee - Jeff from Celtics Blog selects Mike Conley Jr.: If Conley lasts this long, he won’t last longer. He’ll either stay with the Bucks (who are losing Mo Williams) or he’ll be traded to someone that needs a point.
7. Minnesota - Sonia from I Heart KG selects Corey Brewer: While looking to build for the future, the team is also in the market for immediate help and Brewer fits the bill. A great defender with a demonstrated knack to be clutch, his work ethic and winning attitude will make him a welcome addition to the team.
8. Charlotte - Serena from Bobcats Bonfire selects Joakim Noah: The Bobcats will take Joakim Noah. Reason: This big man could be the next best thing for the Bobcats. He’s talented, athletic, and he knows the game. He will add a lot to what the Bobcats already have.
9. Chicago - Fanatical Pupil from Give Me The Rock selects Spencer Hawes: The Bulls really wanted Joakim Noah, but what can you do? Julian Wrights was definitely a consideration, but without any trade proposals on the table (yeah, I know we didn’t do that), Hawes fills the need for the Bulls and is talented enough to warrant the number nine position. Wright probably is the more talented player overall, but with Deng and Tyrus Thomas already on the roster, he would have created a logjam at the 6-9 SF-wannabe-PF position. If Hawes can do what PJ Brown currently does, he was worth the pick.
10. Sacramento - Tom Ziller from Sactown Royalty selects Jeff Green: Green provides immediate help not only at small forward (should Ron Artest retire), but also for Sacramento’s underpowered frontcourt. Green can fill in immediately at power forward, and his passing ability should help take pressure off of Kevin Martin and Mike Bibby. With some youngish defensive specialists at SF already (John Salmons, Francisco Garcia) we went with Green over Julian Wright with a nod to offense and size.
11. Atlanta - Ryan from Hoops Addict selects Acie Law IV: Are you kidding me? Law’s still on the board? Atlanta would be all over him like a fat kid on a smartie.I thought for sure that not filling a need (point) would doom but Hawks but they lucked out by getting the Bob Cousy Award winner from last season. I remember last year the Raptors targeted Bargani as their target and there was talk they could trade down and still nab him - however BC was set on Bargnani as his man so he stuck with Bargnani with the #1 pick. I still believe the Hawks will pull something similar and nab Conley at #3 but if they are able to wait for a PG with the #11 pick and nab Law the Hawks may have a chance to be one of the East’s elite teams in a couple years. However, this is Atlanta we are talking about. Between adding a double-double candidate in Horford to pair with Sheldon Williams and Josh Smith in the frontcourt, the Hawks now have their backcourt tandem in Law and Joe Johnson and things are looking bright in A Town.
12. Philadelphia - Jon from Passion and Pride selects Julian Wright: His athleticism is off the charts and his game is still developing, but he can play both forward spots and will make an impact at the next level. The only question is his jumpshot, which can be worked out with practice. He will create all kinds of matchup problems with his quickness and length. He is best suited to the small forward position where he can overpower people, but his ability to outmaneuver power forwards is just as noteworthy.
13. New Orleans - Keith Dardis from SEConds to Victory selects Al Thornton: Chris Paul needs a mature, athletic running mate to dish the ball to. Chances are that the Hornets will lose Desmond Mason to free agency. Thornton can come in and contribute right away. He will most likely be put in the small forward slot, immediately making the Hornets a big team with David West and Tyson Chandler down low. Thornton creates matchup problems by being a 6′8″ forward with three-point range.
14. L.A. Clippers - Steve Perrin from Clips Nation selects Nick Young: With the 14th pick in the 2007 draft, the Los Angeles Clippers select Nick Young of the University of Southern California. Young is a terrific athlete who can get his own shot, and has good range on his jumper. His workouts have been impressive, displaying an ability to finish and shoot the NBA three as well. With Cuttino Mobley in his 30’s and Corey Maggette’s future uncertain, the Clippers need to add athleticism and shooting range on the wings, and Young does both. Plus, he’s an LA product who actually wants to play for the Clippers - seems like a perfect fit. The Clippers still need a point guard given the uncertain situation with Shaun Livingston’s knee and Sam Cassell’s age, but with the best two point guards already off the board and Javaris Crittendon a couple of years from helping, Nick Young on the wing is the best choice for the Clippers.
15. Detroit - Matt from Detroit Bad Boys selects Rodney Stuckey: Stuckey provides instant offense off the bench, something the Pistons have lacked in recent years. He can play both positions in the backcourt, filling Carlos Delfino’s void at the two and giving the team a semi-respectable backup at the point for the time first time in years. (Sorry, Flip Murray) Had he gone to a bigger school, he probably would have been gone already, so the proverbial chip on his shoulder is also a welcome addition to a frequently complacent team.
16. Washington - Pradamaster from Bullets Forever selects Derrick Byars: While the Wizards’ biggest need is probably an intimidating presence in the middle, that’s not going to be found with the 16th pick. Rather that draft another second-rate big to add to the cirque du soleil of second-rate bigs on the roster, the lack of depth on the wing should be addressed. Byars is the perfect fit for this Wizards team, having played in the Princeton offense while at Vanderbilt. He’s a solid all-around performer that, in addition to his scoring, plays excellent defense, which this team really needs. He’s also an excellent shooter, a strong ball-handler, and a fantastic passer for his position. I’m personally shocked that he isn’t getting more attention. The main criticisms with Byars seem to be that he does a lot of things well, but nothing spectacularly. Hmm…sounds a lot like the 2006 Rookie of the Year, doesn’t it?
17. New Jersey - Sirnanzy from Hooplah Nation selects Tiago Splitter: Splitter is one of the few centers left in the draft who can score with his back towards the basket, he’s also a very proficient offensive rebounder, something the Nets needed to improve on immeadiately. He’s also very proficient in the open court, which is an important trait when you’re on the same team with Jason Kidd, he will definitely be a huge upgrade over Jason Collins, in fact almost any center would be better than Collins.
18. Golden State - Golden State of Mind selects Thaddeus Young: Yes, Young is another project and the Warriors are littered with enough youth, but what’s a GM supposed to do this late in the draft? None of the trades the Warriors were mock-offered made any sense. Therefore you take the best player available even if he’s a project. The Dubs will need to swing some trades and make some key signings to take the next step to perennial playoff team in the loaded Western Conference and Young makes it easier to part with some of that youth. It’s a chess move that sets up an even bigger and more spectacular move this offseason. Young has the biggest upside of anyone left on the board and just a year ago if Stern didn’t institute that silly age limit he would have been a top 10 pick straight out of high school. That 2006 draft will go down as one of the worst in NBA history. Young is a better fit for the NBA than the college ball scene. He has all the tools and physical gifts to be an All Star small forward several years down the line. If he can contribute a few minutes off the bench playing Nellie’s brand of hoops this season it’s just icing on the cake.
19. L.A. Lakers - Don from With Malice selects Josh McRoberts: Surprising that McRoberts was still on the board, this was a fairly easy choice for us to make. McRoberts has the tools to become a good NBA starter, and impact the team immediately. McRoberts is a fantastic addition for us.
20. Miami - Darren Heitner from I Want to be a Sports Agent selects Javaris Crittenton: The Heat were looking to upgrade the PF/C position with either Hawes (who went early) or Splitter. With Splitter being taken by the Nets at the 17th slot, the Heat decided to fill another hole by selecting a young, talented point guard out of Georgia Tech, Javaris Crittenton. The PF/C need should be addressed with the Heat’s newly acquired 2nd round pick.
21. Philadelphia - Jon from Passion and Pride selects Jason Smith: Smith is a great addition to the big man tandem of Sam Dalembert and Steven Hunter. He’s a relentless rebounder and highly skilled offensive player. His shot blocking ability in college might not translate as well in the pros, but he’s a solid defender as well. With this pick, the Sixers satisfy the need for some help in the middle and on the glass while providing another scoring option up front.
22. Charlotte - Serena from Bobcats Bonfire selects Marc Gasol: Gasol is young, talented, and he’s a true Center. The Bobcats desperately need to fill this position, and Gasol would be a great addition to the team. He may need some help on the defensive end, but I have faith that Sam Vincent can get that under control. And if not, well, we always have Gerald Wallace to lean on!
23. New York - Seth from Posting and Toasting selects Morris Almond: We’re desperate for another shooter on the roster, and Almond’s a guy who- at the very least- can fill it up from outside. He’s got the potential to grow into something more. Also, I took Sean Williams in the SB Nation Mock Draft, so I’ll mix things up. Almond it is.
24. Phoenix - Dan Hilton from Bright Side Of the Sun selects Rudy Fernandez: Mostly because he won’t come play yet and the Suns can keep him off the books regarding payment as well. I suspect the Suns will package the picks with some players to try and move up in the real draft.
25. Utah - UtesFan89 from Win Or Go Home selects Aaron Gray: He provides the Jazz with a back-up center (no, I don’t think highly enough of Jarron Collins to call him that) that is ready to contribute now. He’s a bit better defender than Visser (which is why I took Gray despite having Visser, and not Gray, in my top-10 prospects for the Jazz. If he can play some D, gather a couple of boards and score when the opportunity comes (a la Millsap), the Jazz will be fine. The wing-spot can be addressed in the 2nd round, as a wing drafted in the 1st probably won’t play much behind Brewer, Fish, Giricek, AK and Harp. Of course, a trade (of AK) changes all of this, but we’ll assume that that’s not happening.
26. Houston - Nick Fazekas: Uummm, just because that’s what a couple of mocks said. Apparently new GM Daryl Morey (a stat head) likes him
27. Detroit - Matt from Detroit Bad Boys selects Sean Williams: The explanation for this pick is lost in cyberspace.
28. San Antonio - Matthew Powell from Pounding The Rock selects Gabe Pruitt: The Spurs most glaring weakness is backup PG. Jacque Vaughn, despite his tenacity, grit and hustle, is a crude stopgap at best. Pruitt brings youth, size and the ability to hit the long range j.
29. Phoenix - Dan Hilton from Bright Side Of the Sun selects Marco Belinelli: I really think the Suns will trade both of these picks but if they do keep them, the team will be looking for guys that can keep within the system Mike D’Antoni has set up. I don’t know much about Belinelli except that he is supposed to be a pure shooter so on that front he would fit into the Suns’ system nicely.
30. Philadelphia - Jon from Passion and Pride selects Arron Afflalo: The Sixers can go with best available here, draft a need, or select a foreign project for the future. Petteri Koponen, Kyrylo Fesenko, Glen Davis, and Dominic McGuire were all considered, but Afflalo is the best available and would give the Sixers a better option than Rodney Carney or Willie Green alongside Andre Iguodala on the wing.
T-Hud's agent says the player wants out
Doogie at KFAN
talked to Troy Hudson's agent, Bill Neff, earlier today about the player's status with the team. Click here
If he and his client had their way, T-Hud has played his last game for the Wolves.
As soon as the team can get it done, the player wants to go.
There's no trust between T-Hud and the coaches or Kevin McHale.
There's always been another guy, "it's never been Troy."
The team is not going to play him, he's not their future.
He's told owner Glen Taylor: Can you get us out? We want to go.