Vice Sports published an epic meditation today on former Timberwolf Michael Beasley’s season in China. Beasley, who played for Miami last season and spent (literally not much more than) a hot minute in Memphis before being waived and inking a deal with Yao Ming’s Shanghai Sharks, had an interesting season.
Category Archives: Free Agency
How Things Went Down
Here’s a little chronology for y’all. (Eds. Note: Warning: The following contains Wolvesian content that may not be suitable for perma-optimists.)
Andy G: So, LeBron made another Decision. He’s going home to Cleveland; a decision that many in the media began to expect a few days ago. He wrote a great letter explaining everything, published by Sports Illustrated yesterday.
It did not take long after the announcement for the conversation to turn toward the Timberwolves. Specifically, it was previously reported (by Adrian Woj, no less) that the Cavaliers had been pursuing a trade for Kevin Love that would be contingent on them signing James. So, now that they signed James, everyone is wondering about that Love deal…
The obvious player that the Wolves covet is Andrew Wiggins, the number one pick in the most recent draft. So far, the Cavs are reportedly not willing to part with Wiggins. Instead, they’re only willing to go as far as (something along the lines of) Anthony Bennett (LAST year’s top pick) and maybe Dion Waiters and one more guy to make the salaries match up. Maybe they’d throw in a future draft pick or two.
The Wolves, by all reports to date, will not trade Love for the Bennett-Waiters package. They need Wiggins.
So here we are, waiting for Dan Gilbert (or Flip Saunders) to blink.
Let’s start with the big question:
Do the Wolves end up with Wiggins?
Andy G: In I Wear the Black Hat, Chuck Klosterman devotes a chapter to hating rock bands. He runs through a list of every band he’s ever hated, explains the specific point in his life, and why that particular group evoked irrationally negative feelings from him. The chapter is largely focused on The Eagles. In the end, Klosterman forms the discomfiting conclusion that he now no longer possesses the capacity to hate rock bands. Even The Eagles. (He included the band three different times on his list.)
He explains why this is problematic:
Being emotionally fragile is an important part of being a successful critic; it’s an integral element to being engaged with mainstream art, assuming you aspire to write about it in public. If you hate everything, you’re a banal asshole . . . but if you don’t hate anything, you’re boring. You’re useless. And you end up writing about why you can no longer generate fake feelings that other people digest as real.
Klosterman goes on to explain his “brain’s unwillingness to hold an unexplained opinion,” and articulates a general feeling that I’ve struggled with on this blog. Caring about sports — or art — is not a rational exercise. Hating a professional athlete or sports team is as dumb as hating a rock band. Hating a professional athlete is as irrational as loving one. Those are emotions far too strong to hold for people that don’t even know that you exist.
Reading that chapter reminded me of the Miami Heat and its best player, LeBron James.
I hated The Decision. I hated LeBron’s *decision* itself to overlap his talents with Dwyane Wade’s, I hated the primetime stomach-punch to Cleveland, and I hated the Kobe rip-off, “taking my talents” delivery pitch. I hated everything about LeBron exercising his rights as a free agent.
Four things about Heat Hatred:
To the great Arn Tellem, who orchestrated that ludicrous Tyreke contract AND got two more of his clients (Vasquez and Robin Lopez) traded to more favorable situations. How? He reps Anthony Davis, that’s how.
That’s been an underrated subplot lately: Teams buttering up power agents by overpaying their fringe clients as down payments for future extensions with the ones they really want. Just call them “down-payment contracts.” An even better example: Dan Fegan represents Martell Webster (mysteriously signed by the Wizards for a comically high $22 million) and John Wall (about to sign an $80 million extension with, yup, the Wizards). Congrats on your down-payment contract, Martell! Does this stuff work in real life? I might hire Tellem before my next ESPN contract — I want to see if I can get House and JackO multimillion-dollar deals.
–Bill Simmons, in Part 2 of his “Midnight Run” off-season column. This touches on Nikola Pekovic, and his weirdly-long and ongoing contract negotiations. In Case You Missed It, Pek has the same agent as Kevin Love (Jeff Schwartz). In case this is your first time reading anything about the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin Love will — in all likelihood — be a free agent in 2015; just two more seasons away. It would shock no one if Schwartz was dropping not-even-a-little-bit-subtle hints about Client A during contract negotiations for Client B. I think that might be how the world works, actually.
The Wolves are reportedly on the verge of acquiring veteran wing (and former T-Wolves lottery pick) Corey Brewer. Apparently it will be a three-year deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $15-million.
So now you’re looking at a rotation that might be something like this:
PG: Ricky Rubio, J.J. Barea, Alexey Shved,
SG: Kevin Martin, Shabazz Muhammad, Alexey Shved
SF: Chase Budinger, Corey Brewer, Shabazz Muhammad
PF: Kevin Love, Dante Cunningham, Derrick Williams (!)
C: Nikola Pekovic, Gorgui Dieng, Chris Johnson
Andy G: First things first:
I never thought Brew would be back after he mildly disappointed as a seventh overall draft pick, and was given away in a trade that brought back Anthony Randolph.
But according to today’s reports, he is back — back for the relatively hefty sum of $15 Million.
Patrick J: This is a solid pickup for Flip & Co. The Wolves defense was in a bad place after the Kirilenko divorce. The big question was, who would guard the wings? Certainly not Kevin Martin. And as much as we’re loathe to admit, Ricky Rubio probably can’t guard both backcourt positions by himself. And now, Brewer is back and is likely to fill a position of need–his lanky frame and hawk quickness enable him to guard most NBA shooting guards. So there’s his niche. Brewer can play the role we desperately need played.
The question that still stands out in my mind is, where does Brewer fit into next season’s rotation? Does he fill Kirilenko’s vacant starting position? Or come off the bench?
Andy G: He comes off the bench. I doubt Coach Adelman (or anybody on the Wolves’ side) wants to see starting floor time shared by Ricky Rubio and Brewer. It’s just not enough perimeter shooting to make up for what will inevitably be tenacious defense. That isn’t to say they’ll *never* share the floor. I’m sure they will. But I expect Martin to start at the 2 and Chase to start at the 3. Of course, like last season, all of this could be blown up by injuries. But for now, I’ve got Brewer slotted to come off the bench.
I was away from the internet when this news broke and returned to what seemed like divide of emotional reactions on the Timberwolves Twittersphere. Some are overjoyed to see a fan fave return. Some are disappointed in what might be overpaying a limited role player.
How do we FEEL about this move? Happy to see Brew return? Upset at the contract?
Patrick J: “Yes, awesome.” That’s all that really needs saying. I’m on record as saying Brewer provided some of my favorite memories as a Wolves fan. I’m glad Brew is back.
Slim Shady Kevin Martin is the newest member of the Minnesota Timberwolves
Insane news about Kevin Martin. He’s a Wolf. 4 years, 28 million. Wow.*
What does the Martin deal mean for the Wolves? A bunch of things.
First, management issues.
- Slick Rick: It looks like we can’t write off Rick Adelman after all as a player in the Wolves front office. First Chase is re-signed (more obvious), and now Martin is acquired (less obvious). Adelman clearly shaped these moves, which will have implications that are likely to outlast Rick’s tenure in Minnesota.
- C2: It appears that we now have an AdelFlip in the stead of our AdelKahn. But the chain-of-command and command and control structures in the organization seem less clear than in Kahn’s last season in ‘Sota. Does anyone else smell an impending deathmatch?
Fresh off of the NBA Draft and the subsequent Shabazz mania, NBA free agency is upon us. Here’s what we know so far:
The Wolves have already talked with OJ Mayo’s camp. Mayo, in fact was Flip’s first stop in his free-agent shopping.
Reading the tea leaves on stuff like this is never easy, but it appears that at the very least, there may be some “there” there to the earlier RUMINT about Flip & co.’s interest in Mayo. Like it or not, Mayo is a professional, starting-caliber shooting guard who would bring veteran experience to the position that a rookie whose upside might be higher lacks (cough, C.J. McCollum, cough).
Still, given that an unhealthy Brandon Roy played in only five games last season and was replaced the rest of the way by Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea–point guards masquerading as shooting guards–it’s really tough to project how Mayo or any other traditional SG would fit into Rick’s offense.
Given what else is out there in free agency, I like Mayo the best of a bunch of imperfect possibilities to fill this area of need.