The next-generation Timberwolves gathered together for the first time today at their Target Center facility to meet the media before they all hopped a Mankato-bound bus.
Shaun Livingston isn’t coming along for the ride. According to Kevin McHale and Jim Stack, he’s headed for Miami, apparently smitten with the idea of playing alongside Dwyane Wade, with whom he shares an agent and a home state.
The Wolves instead will sign 11-year NBA veteran Kevin Ollie, who’s more a point guard than the combo guard the team was seeking to back up Randy Foye and Sebastian Telfair. Ollie, 35, has played with 10 different NBA teams and spent the past three seasons with the 76ers. He started 23 games for Philly in both the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons and averaged 7.5 minutes to 40 games (no starts) last season.
The Wolves still will keep their eyes open for that elusive combo guard who can play three position if they can find him. Meanwhile, they will take a gander at Ollie and summer-league team prospect Blake Ahearn.
Also, second-year forward Chris Richard signed his one-year qualifying offer as expected and joined his teammates for a two-hour photo shoot and interview session. He wasn’t present for last year’s media day because he didn’t sign a one-year deal until the day practice began.
Obviously I'm kind of disappointed that the Wolves couldn't work something out with Livingston. I think he offers the squad the type of low-risk (yes, even with the injury history) high-reward type of option that a sub-30 win team could use in the final roster spot.
However, I should note that the Wovles are doing nothing to put money on the books for the 2 year window where they should have quite a bit of coin to spend on free agents. They also still have those 4 potential first rounders to work with and a roster filled with young and (largely) unproven talent.
It would have been nice but as much as I begged for it, the club can't be faulted for not bringing Livingston in.
UPDATE: I have yet to find any confirmation of a possible Livingston signing in the Miami-based media. Here's the Sun-Sentinel Heat blog. Here's a story from the Heat's official website about 4 players the Heat have signed to their training camp roster. Livingston is not mentioned. Here is their news page. Here's the sports page from the Miami Herald. Here is our fellow SB Nation blog of the Heat, Peninsula is Mighter. Here is the NBA's list of official transactions. According to my best count, the Heat currently have 17 players in camp. Livingston presumably wants to be with a team at or near the beginning of training camp. He wants a guaranteed deal. Where will he end up? The Wolves still can offer more than the Heat. Is there still a chance he ends up in Mankato this week?