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Sam Cassell Injured Hip In 2004 Playoffs Doing Big Balls Dance

Jul 30, 2015 12:49 PM

The Minnesota Timberwolves' best chance of reaching the Finals with Kevin Garnett came in 2004, but Sam Cassell injured his hip before the start of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers defeated the Wolves and played the Detroit Pistons in the Finals.

"All the time," said Flip Saunders about Cassell's injury. "It was his hip. He made a shot out of the corner against Sacramento in Game 7 [of the conference semifinals], and he did his little Big Balls dance, and from that, he created a little avulsion fracture in his hip. No question, I think about that dance all the time. But that’s the NBA. I went to four straight conference finals in Minnesota and Detroit, and we had injury issues in each one. The team that wins the title is usually the healthiest team."

Zach Lowe/Grantland

Tags: Sam Cassell, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

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Kevin Garnett Will Start For Wolves At Power Forward

Jul 30, 2015 12:42 PM

Kevin Garnett will start at power forward for the Minnesota Timberwolves to begin the 15-16 season.

"He’s gonna start," said Flip Saunders. "That’s who he is. KG is a starter. He’s the best power forward on our team, actually. No one rebounds better. He’s the best help defender. No one communicates better. He knows the offense, and he can pass it."

The Wolves also have Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Pekovic and Gorgui Dieng in their frontcourt rotation.

Zach Lowe/Grantland

Tags: Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Saunders Hadn't Given Up On Re-Signing Love Before Wiggins' Trade

Jul 30, 2015 12:38 PM

Flip Saunders was entirely prepared to keep Kevin Love as he entered free agency in 2015 until the Cleveland Cavaliers approached the Minnesota Timberwolves with the Andrew Wiggins' trade.

"I didn’t have a problem keeping Kevin into the final year of his deal and coaching him," said Saunders. "Guys just don’t turn down the extra year and $30 million. Even though he maybe wanted to leave, I thought we still had an opportunity to re-sign him. When you are patient, you can say, “This is what we need to get something done, and if we don’t get it, we’re keeping him.”

Then things kind of fell into place, with LeBron going to Cleveland and [Andrew] Wiggins becoming available. That’s when you can say 'lucky'."

Love had an uneven first season with the Cavaliers, but he decided to re-sign on a five-year deal.

"No, it wasn’t (bluster)," said Saunders. "People thought it was. Thoughts might have changed when I announced I would coach. Because what coach wouldn’t want to coach a guy who was All-NBA? Coaches want to win that night. I’m in a unique situation, because as the coach, I live in the present, but as the GM, I look into the future. I try to steer both courses. But people believed I would coach the guy."

Zach Lowe/Grantland

Tags: Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Andre Miller, Wolves Agree Upon Deal

Jul 29, 2015 6:56 PM

Andre Miller has reached agreement with the Minnesota Timberwolves on a deal, league sources told RealGM.

Miller finished last season with the Sacramento Kings where he averaged 5.7 points and 4.7 assists in 20.7 minutes per game.

Miller is entering his 17th season in the NBA and turned 39 in March.

Shams Charania/RealGM

Tags: Andre Miller, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Karl-Anthony Towns Had 4.0 GPA At Kentucky

Jul 29, 2015 12:16 AM

Karl Anthony-Towns maintained a 4.0 GPA in his spring semester even while Kentucky reached the Final Four.

"I take everything very serious," Towns said during an appearance at the Dick's Sporting Goods' Sports Matter panel Tuesday. "For me, making sure that I had great grades at Kentucky was a very key component of my freshman year. It's going to be every year. Just wanted to make sure I could play and be the best I could be, especially in the classroom, and I'm glad I came out with a 4.0 GPA."

 

Towns graduated from St. Joseph High School in Metuchen with a 3.96 GPA.

Maria Guardado/Star Ledger

Tags: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, Kentucky Wildcats, NCAA, NBA

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Pacers Acquire Chase Budinger From Wolves For Damjan Rudez

Jul 13, 2015 12:40 PM

The Indiana Pacers have acquired forward Chase Budinger from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Damjan Rudez.

Budinger, 6-7, 218, has six seasons of NBA experience. He was originally drafted by Detroit in the second round (44th overall) of the 2009 NBA Draft. He was traded on draft night to Houston where he played three seasons before being traded to Minnesota in 2012. He has averaged 8.5 points per game in his NBA career.

Rudez played one season with the Pacers after signing as a free agent last July. The 29-year-old Rudez had previously played professionally in Europe. He played in 68 games, starting twice, and averaged 4.8 points per game.

“We’re very glad to have Chase,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. “He’s a guy we think will fit in our rotation. He can shoot and drive to the basket, which works with how we want to play. Damjan was a special guy. He was great to have as part of our team. He will be missed by all.”

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Chase Budinger, Damjan Rudez, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kevin Garnett, Wolves Agree Upon New Two-Year Deal

Jul 7, 2015 10:42 AM

Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to a new two-year deal. 

Garnett returned to the Wolves in February in a trade with the Brooklyn Nets for Thaddeus Young.

"I'm incredibly excited and rejuvenated to be a part of this talented, committed team," said Garnett.

Darren Wolfson/KSTP

Tags: Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Demetris Nichols Talks With Grizzlies, Others About NBA Return

Jun 30, 2015 9:53 PM

Demetris Nichols — the Euroleague’s reigning leader in three-point shooting percentage — has had discussions with teams, including the Memphis Grizzlies, about a potential NBA return, a league source told RealGM.

Nichols, who played two seasons in the NBA between 2007 and 2009, shot 57.5 percent from three-point range this past season with CSKA Moscow. For Nichols, there is an interest to attempt an NBA comeback from the Euroleague, and some dialogue on the other end. In CSKA's platoon rotations, Nichols scored 4.6 points in 13 minutes per game.

The Minnesota Timberwolves and New Orleans Pelicans have also inquired on Nichols, a source said.

Out of Syracuse, Nichols was the No. 53 overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft to the Portland Trail Blazers. The 6-foot-6 guard has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, NBA D-League and several overseas clubs.

Shams Charania/RealGM

Tags: Demetris Nichols, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Nemanja Bjelica, Timberwolves Discuss Three-Year Deal While Exploring Options

Jun 27, 2015 11:01 AM

Euroleague star Nemanja Bjelica is in serious discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves on an approximate three-year, $12 million-plus deal, but the two sides have been exploring all options, league sources told RealGM.

Bjelica, 27, has moved toward breaking into the NBA after being named the Euroleague MVP this past season. At 6-foot-10, Bjelica is a skilled forward who could play three positions at the NBA level.

Nevertheless, the Timberwolves likely need to make further moves to incorporate Bjelica and allow him to transition with confidence in his role. Around the league, there’s active trade interest in the Serbian forward, sources said.

A finalized deal with Bjelica and the Timberwolves could happen as soon as next week.

Bjelica averaged 11.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists for Fenerbahçe Ülker, shooting 54 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from three-point range.

Shams Charania/RealGM

Tags: Nemanja Bjelica, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Wolves Decide To Select Karl-Anthony Towns At No. 1

Jun 25, 2015 2:03 PM

The Minnesota Timberwolves have settled on Karl-Anthony Towns, according to Brian Windhorst.

The Wolves have long been expected to select Towns with the first overall pick and they've made their decision.

The Wolves were also believed to be very high on Jahlil Okafor.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Tags: Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

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Karl-Anthony Towns Hasn't Received Draft Promise From Wolves
The Timberwolves were the only team for which Karl-Anthony Towns held an individual workout.

Jon Krawczynski/AP

Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves Schedule Meeting Friday
Karl-Anthony Towns will visit the Timberwolves in Minneapolis on Friday, league sources told RealGM.

Shams Charania/RealGM

Wolves Expected To Eventually Decide Upon Towns Over Okafor
Flip Saunders traveled to Thousand Oaks, California last week to watch a workout for Karl-Anthony Towns.

Chad Ford/ESPN

Karl-Anthony Towns Declining Private Workout Invite From Lakers
Reports emerged in May that Karl-Anthony Towns would interview but not workout with the Wolves and Lakers.

Mark Medina/Los Angeles Daily News (h/t: The Score)

Emmanuel Mudiay Sets Lakers, Minnesota Workouts; T'Wolves Express Consideration For No. 1 Pick
The Timberwolves recently reached out to Emmanuel Mudiay and its front office laid out a vision for the roster with him, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine, sources said.

Shams Charania/RealGM

Ricky Rubio: I'm Staying In Minnesota
Ricky Rubio popped up in trade rumors this week.

Canisius Hoops

Wolves Willing To Trade Ricky Rubio In Right Deal
Ricky Rubio is still just 24 and is one of the game's most gifted passers, but he has yet to develop his perimeter shot.

Chad Ford/ESPN

Flip Saunders Still Favors Okafor Over Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns ascended to the top spot ahead of Jahlil Okafor on most teams draft boards by the end of the NCAA Tournament.

Chad Ford/ESPN

Report: Shawn Marion's Desire Of Max Contract Blew Up Trade Sending Kevin Garnett To Suns In 2007
Shawn Marion was offered a four-year contract to stay with the Heat but not the max.

Dan Le Batard/Miami Herald

Towns, Okafor, Russell, Mudiay Go 1-4 In First Post-Lottery Mocks
D'Angelo Russell is projected to go to the 76ers in the first post-lottery mocks.

RealGM Staff Report

Wolves Willing To Consider Trading No. 1 Overall Pick
Glen Taylor admitted it is unlikely, but not something they're prepared to rule out.

Ken Berger/CBS Sports

Wolves Anticipate Kevin Garnett Returning Next Season
Kevin Garnett was drafted by the Wolves in 1994 and has played nearly 50,000 career minutes.

John Schuhmann/NBA.com

Lakers Had Handshake Agreement For Kevin Garnett In 2007
The Lakers had a handshake agreement with the Wolves in 2007 on a trade of Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom for Kevin Garnett.

Howard Beck/Bleacher Report (via Kelly Dwyer/Yahoo! Sports)

Wolves Win 2015 NBA Draft Lottery
The Wolves have won the lottery with the Lakers moving up to No. 2 and the 76ers staying at No. 3.

RealGM Staff Report

Wiggins, Noel, Mirotic, Clarkson, Payton On All-Rookie Team
Andrew Wiggins, Nerlens Noel, Jordan Clarkson, Nikola Mirotic and Elfrid Payton have been named to the 14-15 NBA All-Rookie Team.

RealGM Staff Report

Divac, Noel, Bird Among On-Stage Participants For Lottery
The NBA has released the list of on-stage participants for next week's draft lottery.

RealGM Staff Report

Andrew Wiggins On Minnesota: I Hope I'm Here Forever
Andrew Wiggins is optimistic about his future with the Wolves.

Jon Krawczynski/AP

Andrew Wiggins Wins NBA ROY; Mirotic Finishes 2nd Ahead Of Noel
Andrew Wiggins has been named NBA Rookie of the Year, beating out Nikola Mirotic and Nerlens Noel.

RealGM Staff Report

Chase Budinger Exercises $5M Option For 15-16
Chase Budinger filed the necessary paper work on Wednesday for his player option.

Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Andrew Wiggins To Be Named NBA Rookie Of The Year
Andrew Wiggins was the top overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Marc J. Spears/Yahoo! Sports

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