Blog Archives

Simmons On Kevin Love Trade Ideas

My best guess: I think Love rides it out in Minnesota, then jumps to the Lakers in 2015. But I wouldn’t rule out the Celtics. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

–Bill Simmons dishes on Kevin Love trade possibilities over at Grantland. (



by | February 26, 2014 · 2:30 PM

LOWE: Wolves 8th-Best in West

This should turn around, and the Wolves have played the league’s second-toughest schedule — and one heavy on road games. In a group of flawed teams, Minnesota has the most potential to stabilize as an above-average two-way club.

–Zach Lowe, in today’s Tuesday column at Grantland.

Link here.

Lowe runs through his Western Conference Power Rankings and slots the Timberwolves 8th in the conference; just ahead of the Mavs and just behind the Suns.

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by | December 24, 2013 · 10:03 AM

Lowe on 3s & Uniform Strategy

In this view, the game is tilting toward uniformity, in both team strategy and the types of players each team will seek to execute that strategy.

That comes from Zach Lowe’s excellent piece (sorry, no need to be redundant) about the modern, analytics-inspired NBA trend of more three-point shooting. Lowe focuses on most of the key issues and gets enlightening quotes from authorities such as Jeff Van Gundy, Rod Thorn, and Shane Battier.

While fully appreciating how annoying it is when bloggers copy and paste URLs in an “I was already writing about this” sort of way, I’m going to use the Lowe piece as a launch pad to copy and paste some URLs in an “I was already writing about this” sort of way.

My focus is usually geared toward the declining relevance of low-post offense and the “uniformity” point advanced by Lowe (and apparently rejected — so far — by league officials as an important consideration) that so much copy-cat’ing (in this case, jacking tons of threes, particularly from the corners) might be bad for basketball.

Without further ado:

This one from 1/19/12 was my original piece that called for narrowing the lane as compensation to centers for the hand-check rules that made pick-and-roll so comparatively better an option for offenses.

This one from 10/24/12 calls for basically the same thing, with added emphasis on the point that by freeing up low-post play the league would introduce an additional avenue to success. Why not give more teams, built around a greater number of available helpful players, a chance?

This one from 1/18/13 — specifically, #14 — addresses an issue raised by Lowe: Isn’t it weird that the corner three is shorter than the above-the-break three?

This one from 2/9/13 is an appreciation of Carmelo Anthony’s awesomeness and how his throwback iso game runs counter to modern developments. It also calls for abolishing zone defense restrictions, along with narrowing the lane.

And this one from 8/24/13 focuses on SportsVu camera technology and the possibility that it will further regiment offensive strategy.

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by | December 17, 2013 · 12:15 PM

Stan Van ID’s The Big Blogging Challenge

The whole world has different challenges now with the 24-hour news cycle and just the volume of stuff that’s out there. And everybody has to get out there. So you’ve got all these people now, because it’s online 24 hours, if I want to get noticed, I got to have something different. And so the beat reporter writes his story and the team played well and blah blah blah. Well, I can’t write that same story now. Nobody’s going to read it.

–Stan Van Gundy, in his interview with Ethan Sherwood Strauss of TrueHoop, identifying the single biggest challenge facing NBA bloggers in 2013.

I highly recommend checking out the entire interview — Parts 1, 2 & 3.

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by | August 27, 2013 · 7:16 PM

Show Me the Money


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.


by | August 1, 2013 · 6:12 AM

Wolfson: Rubio to receive five-year max offer

[A] new regime has new philosophies. Barring an unforeseen health catastrophe, point guard Ricky Rubio will get the maximum five-year contract extension offer next summer, the first time he’s eligible to sign.

–Doogie Wolfson in his latest column at 1500espn.

While this isn’t shocking news (I’ve been running with the assumption that Ricky gets maxed out in 2015) it is definitely “news” — especially the five-year part; the part that, you know, Kevin Love didn’t get.

It’s one area where the Kahn-to-Flip transition makes things very convenient for Timberwolves Brass: They can essentially throw David Kahn under the bus (“Kevin, you know I would’ve given you the five years, but we are where we are.”) while at the same time locking up Ricky Rubio for as long as possible, without looking like hypocrites talking out of both sides of their mouth. (At least if you remove Glen Taylor from the equation…)

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by | July 8, 2013 · 8:44 AM

Howland on Shabazz

[The Timberwolves] have committed to him. A guaranteed contract. I assured them that this kid is a great kid, not a good kid but a great kid. There won’t be issues off the floor. He’s driven, he wants to be great. He’s a player, like [former UCLA Bruins] Kevin [Love] and Jrue Holiday, that was a No. 1 kid coming out of high school. I think that benefits them moving forward. They want to compete, they want to be the best. He’s going to improve as a player. He’s a great kid. I look forward to following their team next year and see how they develop.

–former UCLA Coach, Ben Howland, on new Timberwolf, Shabazz Muhammad. While it’s hard to glean too much from an interview like this, from a majorly-biased source, I find it interesting how far Howland goes in explaining what a high-character guy he thinks Shabazz is. This is especially true, given that Howland was fired shortly after his one and only season with Shabazz. Some degree of reservation, or lack of enthusiasm, would be understandable. Full Q & A with here: (

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by | July 1, 2013 · 2:21 PM

Ben McLemore to…

Ben McLemore to the Minnesota Timberwolves

Some of McLemore’s intangible qualities — mainly his assertiveness, focus, and competitiveness — have a number of front offices concerned about his future prospects. The Kansas guard also isn’t a great off-the-dribble creator, so a team bereft of playmakers may ask McLemore to shoulder more offensive responsibility than he is ready for, which could irrevocably damage his game and confidence. More than perhaps any potential lottery pick, McLemore needs a stable, winning environment to help mold good habits while also letting him grow into his game at his own pace. In Minnesota, Kevin Love fills the role of first-option scorer while Ricky Rubio plays the part as the primary, off-the-bounce creator. McLemore would only be required to help the Minnesota attack in ways that play to his strengths — attacking in transition and using his sweet stroke to spot up from the outside in the half court. It would be a much easier transition for McLemore, allowing him to perhaps slowly grow his offensive game in a similar fashion to the aforementioned George. And by combining with Rubio, Love, Andrei Kirilenko, and center Nikola Pekovic (if he’s re-signed), playoff appearances would likely follow, aiding McLemore’s development as a winning player.

–Brett Koremenos, in his Grantland post, “Four Ideal Prospect-to-Team Fits in the 2013 NBA Draft.”  For the entire post: (

1 Comment

by | June 25, 2013 · 8:57 PM

“For the series…

“For the series, the Heat have scored 131.7 points per 100 possessions when James is on the floor without Wade, and just 100.8 when the two have shared the floor, per The Heat are minus-12 for the series, but the James–Mike Miller–Ray Allen super-shooting trio is a crazy plus-50 in just 68 minutes, per The James-Miller-Chalmers trio is plus-43 in just 80 minutes, and the combination of those four players is a stunning plus-49 in just 29 total minutes together, per”

–Zach Lowe, on the Heat’s success during the Finals with LeBron on the floor next to three-point shooters (rather than with D-Wade). As we continue the search for tip-the-scale factors, this one looms large heading into the season finale. Game 6 was [barely] saved by the Wade-less lineup in the middle of the fourth, and nearly lost when Wade went back in. He’s not healthy and he’s a poor enough fit with James that a great coach like Popovich will exploit it for all its worth. The rest of Lowe’s fantastic piece here: (

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by | June 19, 2013 · 5:06 PM

Off the court, …

Off the court, I’m a nice guy. On the court, I want to play. I’m a guy who wants to win. That’s what it takes to be the best. I’m not just looking to get drafted. I’m looking for my team to be a playoff team, to be an All-Star. That’s something I always try to look for and setting goals to reach out to.

–Shabazz Muhammad, in his post-Wolves workout interview with For the entire piece:

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by | June 18, 2013 · 4:44 AM