Minnesota Timberwolves WiretapDecember 2002 Minnesota Timberwolves Wiretap

Minnesota suspends Woods

Dec 31, 2002 7:38 PM

The Associated Press reports: The Minnesota Timberwolves suspended forward Loren Woods indefinitely on Monday night for conduct detrimental to the team.

"Loren said a couple of things and did a couple of things. He'll have to sit back and think about it, hopefully get his head right, come back and play,'' Kevin McHale, the Timberwolves' vice president of basketball operations, said.

When told about the suspension, Woods left the coaches' office cursing, told teammate Kevin Garnett he was suspended and left without further comment. Garnett then had a 20-minute, closed-door meeting with the coaches, but he left the locker room without commenting on Woods.

At the beginning of the season, Woods started 11 of 12 games and averaged close to 22 minutes per game but in Minnesota's last 18 games, Woods has played just 31 minutes.

ap

Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

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Saunders denies Bulls rumor

Dec 30, 2002 7:50 AM

According to Steve Aschburner of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, it is true that Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders had a conversation with Chicago Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause on Friday in Chicago before the two teams met, but Saunders laughed off reports that the two teams were about to engage in a trade which would see Jalen Rose become a Wolf and Wally Szczerbiak a Bull.

"You want to know what Krause was talking about?" Saunders said after practice Sunday. "Walleye fishing."

There has never been a conversation between Krause and [Wolves Vice President Kevin] McHale about Wally Szczerbiak," Saunders said.

Tags: Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

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Billups hooks up with KG

Dec 29, 2002 7:19 AM

It seems like it is the norm for a player to feel that he must excel against his old team the first time the two meet, to show what the other team is missing.  But after playing for six different teams in his six years in the NBA you can rule Pistons guard Chauncey Billups out of his group.

Billups resurected his struggling career in two seasons with Minnesota after bouncing around the NBA in his first four.  Averaging 10.9 points per contest during his tenture, Billups exploded in the playoffs last year by averaging 22 points.

Due to luxury tax constraints Minnesota could not offer him a contract this season and Billups made the move to the motor city, but still his strong friendship with Wolves superstar Kevin Garnett continues to grow.

The two spent much of the day together on Saturday, having lunch and hanging out before the game. "We had fun, we did our (trash) talking to each other during the day," Billups said. "We definitely took what happened out on the court seriously."

"I left there on good terms," said Billups on the Timberwolves. "It's not like I feel like I have to go out there and hang 45 points on them just to show them, you know? It's not a situation like that."

Tags: Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

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Bulls-Timberwolves talking trade... Again?

Dec 29, 2002 7:01 AM

Steve Aschburner of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves have had trade discussions... yet again.  The trade includes, as it has every time over the last 24 months, Marcus Fizer and Wally Szczerbiak, but this time Chicago includes Jalen Rose and Jamal Crawford while the Wolves throw in Joe Smith and a first round draft pick.

Aschburner indicates that a report appeared in the Daily Southtown newspaper from the Chicago Suburbs and cited an anonymous league source who claimed that Wolves Vice President Kevin McHale and Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause have discussed the deal.  As expected, neither side would confirm a possible trade but already players are commenting.

"They have the ultimate All-Star in Kevin Garnett and a great coach in Flip Saunders," Fizer said. "Me, Jalen and KG together? That wouldn't be too shabby."

"Jalen and KG on the same team? Wow. That's the inside-outside [combination] right there," added Jamal Crawford.

[RealGM Note:  Since Szczerbiak recently signed an extension but is still on his rookie contract for 2002-03 he becomes what is known as a "poison pill player" (PPP).  This affects his trade value much like base year compensation, making a trade like the above almost impossible if both teams are over the salary cap.]

Tags: Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

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Wolves rally in fourth to top Nuggets

Dec 10, 2002 10:51 AM

Chris Dempsey of the Daily Camera writes about last nights 92-84 Nuggets loss to the Timberwolves.

Minnesota when on a run in the 4th quarter, and the Nuggets had a hard time scoring without the presence of Chris Whitney.

The Daily Camera

Tags: Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

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Nuggets-Timberwolves

Dec 9, 2002 11:25 AM

The Denver Nuggets play the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight @ 7:10 in the Pepsi Center.  The game is televised on FSN.

The Daily Camera

Tags: Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

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Wolves beat Golden State 114-98

Dec 6, 2002 3:17 AM

Star Tribune

Tags: Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

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Bobby Jackson haunts Wolves, Kings win 98-86

Dec 4, 2002 2:17 AM

Star Tribune

Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings, NBA

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Layden Takes Exception to Making a Deal

Dec 3, 2002 6:58 AM

Greg Logan of Newsday reports that the Knicks let their disabled player exception expire last night. New York GM Scott Layden met with reporters before the exception deadline to announce that trade talks were all but dead.

"Knowing what we know now, we don't anticipate using it," Layden said. "We looked at all the possibilities, and we didn't see anything that would significantly improve our team. That was the goal with the injury exception. Right now, a deal didn't present itself where we felt we could get better."

There may still be a trade or two in the Knicks? future. As Layden noted, "It doesn't prevent us from, in the near future, trying to improve the team, as we always said we would if we felt we could."

The Knicks passed on using the exception because the players offered by other teams are similar to the players already on the roster at double the salary. Since the Knicks are already over the projected luxury tax limit, any salary added to the team would be taxed at a 100% rate.

Layden could have done a multi-player deal that would have netted undersized power forward Danny Fortson from Golden State, or he likely could have had Minnesota's underachieving power forward, Marc Jackson, for a draft pick and the exception. But Layden was seeking a player with size and youth who could play right away and make a significant difference.

"We have some good depth on this team," Layden said. "The deals that were presented to us, we didn't feel were good enough compared to the players we have."

Tags: Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, NBA

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Garnett really rates: plus-49

Dec 2, 2002 3:51 PM

Robbi Pickeral of the Pioneer Press reports that many NBA teams, including the Timberwolves, use a plus-minus rating as an assessment tool. The system adds all the points a team scores while a particular player is on the court, then subtracts the points allowed while he is not playing.

Coach Flip Saunders prefers to use the system on a game-by-game basis ? for instance, to see how the team responds when forward Kevin Garnett is on the bench, or which point guard is more effective at which times.

But from a fans' standpoint, it's interesting to look at season trends. Not surprisingly, Garnett, at plus-46, has the best rating, according to Wolves statistics. Discounting Wally Szczerbiak, who has played in only four games and is on the injured list, only three other players ? Kendall Gill (+21), and little-used reserves Igor Rakocevic (+6) and Reggie Slater (+3) ? were in positive figures before Sunday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"It's skewed because when you have some games like New Jersey or San Antonio ? when you get blown out ? you have to throw those games out because when you get beat by 20 and your main guys play a lot, you're going to have some negatives,'' Saunders said. "That's why I think it's more important to do it on a game-by-game basis, so you have a better understanding of things ? like if K.G.'s out for 2? minutes and we score only two points, or we're outscored 13-2. Those types of situations.''

Other season numbers of note: Shooting guard Anthony Peeler has the worst rating on the team, at minus-65. Starters Troy Hudson and Rasho Nesterovic are both at minus-29.

Tags: Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA

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Garnett up to task that Kobe couldn't handle

Trading Cavs' Davis might be a plausible option