When it is determined that a person or institution's financial situation requires strict control or must be halted, a bank will apply what is called an "asset freeze", preventing any of that person or institution's capital from being used.
Perhaps David Kahn is trying to add "banker" to his already storied resume.
David Kahn says he intends to end the season with the same roster he started it with:
In an interview with the Pioneer Press earlier this week, Kahn stated that he doesn't believe the Wolves will make any moves by the February 18th trade deadline, and that further, he hasn't gone looking for any changes as well.
"I haven't made one trade call since we started the regular season. I really feel the players we have deserve to be evaluated on a season-long basis. I would be content if we don't make a move."
Interesting words from a man who spent his first two months on the job treating the Wolves like a fantasy team, calling every other team in the league about the players on his roster and ultimately turning over 80% of it.
Part of this can certainly be attributed to Kahn simply keeping his cards close to the vest, doing what he can to up his roster's trade value by making players appear inacquirable. It would also seem to reinforce the theory that Kahn wants to gun for one last top draft pick before it comes due to the Clippers.
Questions have arisen lately of Kahn's intent to spend the cap space the team has accrued even this summer. But that's still a long ways off. What would appear certain now is that he won't be spending any of it sooner, and he's certainly aware of what kind of reaction this will get from the fans. "I don't want to try to put a happy spin on everything," Kahn said. "People can see through that. What our fans deserve this season is honesty. Everybody recognizes that we need to add players."
Kahn did say he has fielded a few calls from other teams, but declined to name the players being asked about. Best bet is those calls are mainly inquiring about Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love.
Now, by contrast, we have a team that is more than willing to spend it's cap space at every opportunity.
The deal was a 100% salary burn by the Jazz. They acquired in return German forward Peter Fehse, whom the Thunder drafted in 2002 when they were still the Sonics. Because he is not under NBA contract, the trade saves the Jazz nearly $8 million...some badly needed cap relief after the team retained Paul Millsap and declined to move Carlos Boozer. This, in fact, makes moving Boozer much easier. The loosened expenses make keeping him much less costly, and by effect increases his trade value.
For the Thunder, the deal is purely about Maynor. Matt Harpring all but retired at the beginning of the season and won't officially report to Oklahoma. But adding Maynor is a big boost for the young Thunder, giving them more of a pure point guard to balance the more hybrid Russell Westbrook, as well as needed depth after veteran ex-Timberwolf Kevin Ollie was injured.
"We are pleased to add Eric Maynor to our organization," said Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. "Eric possesses a work ethic and team first mentality that we feel will help us in our continued growth."
Since Harpring's contract expires at the end of the year, the financial impact of the deal is very temporary for the Thunder. It's a perfect example of a young team using it's assets to acquire quality young talent at bargain prices.
Of course, the Thunder are a couple years ahead of the Wolves in the rebuilding process. As is this team...
The comeback is the second largest in NBA history, behind only the Jazz's 26 point comeback against the Nuggets in 1996.
"Wow! All I can say is, 'Wow!" Tyreke Evans said. "We fought to the end. It was amazing."
The loss also reignited the Vinny Del Negro watch, which today was announced to be over. Sort of...
The Bulls have reportedly decided to fire head coach Vinny Del Negro, but can't agree on a replacement:
Which is all that is keeping Vin employed at the moment.
Earlier this week it was reported that the Bulls were looking at recently fired ex-Nets coach Lawrence Frank to replace Del Negro, but nothing has come of that yet. Bulls General Manager Jim Paxson reportedly declined the offer to take the job, as did long time NBA coach and current TNT commentator Doug Collins.
The fact the Bulls can't find a willing candidate is probably the ultimate proof that the roster is the main problem, not the coaching. The Bulls clearly began the season (and arguably the decade) without any low post scoring ability, and now without Ben Gordon, any deep shooting as well. The Bulls are a quintessential jumpshooting team, with no ability to balance the floor. Everything the team does now is between 10-18 feet, making the team very predictable and easy to defend.
The team should be theoretically bolstered by the return of Tyrus Thomas from a shoulder injury, but as reported earlier, Ty and Del Negro don't exactly see eye to eye...
Moving on to a couple more teams in disarray...
Despite assertions from the Warriors puppet GM Larry Riley (aka Don Nelson's "homie") that the team isn't looking to trade anyone, team sources and executives around the league continue to confirm they have fielded calls from the Warriors regarding just about everyone on the roster.
These sources all concur that Corey Maggette is the player the Warriors are most intent on "trying to unload", as one executive put it, and that Golden State would be more than willing to include Anthony Randolph in such a deal "for the right veteran."
A veteran? Really? The latest in a long list of odd statements and roster moves that leave us confused....does Golden State want to rebuild or compete?
Another indication the Warriors are shopping Randolph is that the team has finally moved him into the starting lineup, a clear showcase move from a coaching staff that has been hellbent on keeping him on the bench this season. Randolph scored 17 points in 26 minutes in his first start against the Phoenix Suns, then followed that with 12 points, 8 rebounds and 8 blocks against the Hornets.
At any rate, check last week's NBA update column for my reasons why I think the Wolves should be in on an Anthony Randolph deal. In the meantime, I leave you with another Anthony Randolph mix:
And next, as always, the Houston Rockets have McGrady problems...
Tracy McGrady has left the Houston Rockets:
McGrady left the team yesterday (Saturday) after being informed that Rockets' head coach Rick Adelman would not be increasing his playing time.
In fact, a day earlier on Friday, Adelman told the media he would be decreasing TMac's burn back to zero.
The problem is the same one the Rockets have faced all year: McGrady wants to play and prove he can still compete to land his next contract. The Rockets have moved on from him and don't want his agenda disrupting the team's delicate chemistry.
"I'm a player, man," McGrady told the Houston Chronicle. "I don't make these decisions. I just abide by whatever they bring to me. That's the plan. I'm not going to argue and fight with them -- just run with it. I felt it was time to increase my minutes"
Responded Adelman, "I don't blame any player for saying I want more, and that's basically what he wants, and right now I'm not sure how to do that."
Where the team goes from here is anyone's guess, including...well, the team's.
"It's just an unknown," Adelman said. "And I don't have the answer for it. I just thought he was unhappy with that situation, and I was uncomfortable trying to go forward and jump-start it again.
"I'm not going to cause any confusion or confrontations." said McGrady. "As a player, that's what I felt. They obviously feel different. That's what I have to roll with. It’s really hard to do anything on seven minutes. It is what it is at this time and I’m just rolling with it. I’m definitely back."
If the Rockets are to make a trade involving McGrady, it would take a great deal of money and a very strong incentive for the team. The Rockets stand to save a great deal of money by simply letting McGrady's contract expire at the end of the season, and have already shown a reluctance to take on longer deals in return for him. The team says it will deal with this most recent hitch on Monday when the team returns to Houston after an east coast road trip.
"You know, he was a great player," Adelman said.
"You could go and run the offense through him and all the other guys benefited from it. But now if you're going to do that, because of the injury and the rehabilitation coming back, he suddenly can't do that and we can't go to that. And now that that's happened, it's tough. So we're trying to see if we can't keep a flow where he can still get his touches yet we don't have to put the whole onus on him right now, and that's the dilemma. We need to play a certain way, and he needs to get a feel for what we're doing. And we knew it was never going to be easy."
McGrady simply said, "I will tell you what … if anything were to happen, whoever gets him is going to get a hell of a player. A hungry one, too."
Now for some followups on previous stories...
The Nets are officially headed to Brookyln:
I reported last week that an agreement was reached between current Nets' majority owner Bruce Ratner and prospective buyer, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.
This week, the papers were signed.
The deal closes the development agreement on the Atlantic Yards project, where the Nets' new arena will be located, as well as confirming New York's condemnation of the land, allowing it to be cleared of incumbant structures.
"It’s incredible," Mr. Ratner said. "I always told everyone that it was going to get done, but there were moments when I don’t think I really believed it myself."
The ownership change is still awaiting the approval of the NBA's Board of Governors, but the vote has never been in doubt, and now that Prokhorov is financially committed, it's all but guaranteed.
Teams interested in Nate Robinson have begun to emerge:
I also reported last week that Nate Robinson had requested a trade from the Knicks, and despite his baggage, there are plenty of teams willing to deal for the guard.
Leading the pack is Orlando, who seems to have decided to go with the stockpiling talent approach to teambuilding this season. Also interested are the Kings, who could definitely use some point guard help with Evans settling into the 2 guard spot, and the Lakers, who are concerned about Derek Fisher's age and the less-than-pure point guard-y-ness of Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown.
Also in the mix are the Bulls, desperate for any help they can get, and the Cavs, who have similar concerns about Dan Gibson that the Lakers do about Farmar and Brown.
And speaking of the Lakers...
The Lakers have officially completed a contract extension with forward Pau Gasol:
I also reported last week that the Lakers were in negotiations to extend Pau Gasol's contract, and now it's final. The extension will keep Gasol with the Lakers through the 2013-2014 season, and is worth roughly $65 million. Shrink has already gone over the financial implications of the deal, so I'll concentrate on the basketball implications.
One has to believe that Kobe will be staying with the Lakers, so the reality is pretty intimidating.
That's 6'10", 7'0", and 7'1". By 2013, Lamar Odom will be 33, Gasol will be just 32, and Bynum a mere 25.
Meaning Odom and Gasol will be in their primes from now until then, and Bynum (who's practically a 20-10 player already) won't have even reached it.
Meaning any team intending to contend between now and 2013 will have to build a frontcourt that can at least compete with that trio.
I'm sure I've made my views on our Love/Jefferson duo very clear by now, but it should be reiterated I think in light of this: we are really really short compared to the Lakers, and that's a problem now for at least the next 4 years.
However, the other "tall" team in the west is having problems. The Blazers have already lost Oden for the year, and now....
Portland center Joel Pryzbilla is out for the season:
Every year there's a team that has it's season completely derailed by a slew of injuries. Apparently this year, it's the Trailblazers.
Pryzbilla tore his right patella tendon late in the first quarter of Portland's 85-81 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
The injury leaves the Blazers woefully thin in the frontcourt, with LaMarcus Aldridge and Juwan Howard the only rotation big men on the roster. To their credit, the team has remained competitive and is even beating some strong competition in their maligned state, but it's a long season and the lack of size and depth will start wearing on them soon. This makes it even more likely that the Blazers will be making a trade involving Andre Miller within the next 6 weeks or so.
Ok, block quote time...
Dwyane Wade says he would love to play alongside LeBron:
I'll let his words to the talking:
"We know each other away from basketball, and I have an unbelievable respect for the person I've gotten to know during our seven years in the league. We can play together. "
Before we agreed to terms, LeBron and I had a couple conversations. I can't recall exactly what we said, but the gist of it was we wanted to give ourselves the flexibility and the option to play together."
"A lot of times in this league, players usually wind up going where they can get the most money. We're both blessed within that area. We've made a lot of money. So we wanted to base our decision on two things, the organization and the ability to win a title. And that's what we'll do. When the season is over, we plan to sit down and talk about it."
This is sure to put several teams on edge. Cleavland, for obvious reasons. New Jersey, who's hoping a move to Brookyln and the presence of minority owner Jay-Z can draw LeBron to the team. New York, who's banking everything on landing one of them but doesn't have the money to land both. Minnesota? Maybe, depending on what Kahn is planning.
The obvious winner from this, of course, would be Miami, who not only already has Wade, but also has enough cap space to resign him and sign LeBron this summer.
And now for Kevin Love.
Kevin Love doesn't think Ricky Rubio will ever play for the Timberwolves:
Love was on the Dan Patrick show this week, talking everything from McHale to Flynn to groupies.
To start was the obvious question: how's the hand feel? Love stated his hand is basically completely healed now, and that the glove is just to protect the stitches from getting caught on something and tearing. He hasn't felt any awkward pain from getting hit or falling. His main physical stress right now is getting back into game shape, which he said he feels he never really reached last year. He joked about being "6'8" and unathletic", and Dan took a shot at his "gaudy" 0.5 blocks per game average.
Love's Twitter account also came up. Love said he was "verbally slapped" for Tweeting McHale's dismissal before the team made an official press release, but said he wasn't fined for it. No word on when or if Love would start Tweeting again.
Finally, the Wolves' draft was mentioned.
First, consider Love part of the "should have drafted Stephen Curry" group. He said he felt Curry would have fit in the triangle and improved team's shooting. What he didn't say was whether he thought the team should have drafted Curry instead of Rubio or Flynn.
When asked if he thought Rubio would play for the Wolves, Love paused and heaved a deep sigh before saying, "I wish I could say yes. I would lean more toward doubtful. Hopefully not very doubtful."
When asked about Flynn, Love simply said, "That kid is just a bulldog."
Love also talked about his girlfriend back at UCLA, groupies and the Tiger situation, and how his relationship with Kurt Rambis has progressed. Remember that Love was very upset when McHale was dismissed, and frosty at best about Rambis. It seems that relationship has thawed quite a bit.
Wall posted two very good performances this week, averaging 18 points and 6 assists against Long Beach and Drexel, while cutting his turnovers down to a more manageable average of 3. The game against Drexel (Kentucky's 2000 program win, first NCAA basketball team to reach that mark) was especially impressive, as Wall displayed the athleticism and skill that has made him the projected #1 pick. He even threw in a gorgeous behind-the-back layup in the open court that had former NBA star and color commentator Jamal Mashburn literally screaming on TV.
Favors' scoring dipped this week, as he averaged just 10 points in two games, but his defense continues to improve and impress. Favors posted 12 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 blocks against Florida State. That brings his averages up to 8.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 11 games so far this year.
Georgia Tech has one more week of easy competition, then starts facing ranked teams, starting with Duke on January 9th.
Aldrich got back on track (sort of...) with a 10 points, 10 rebound, 5 block performance against California. He still had trouble with smaller defenders, but managed an efficient 4-6 from the field this time, although his burn was limited to 22 minutes because of foul trouble.
Skepticism among scouts continues to grow with Aldrich. Some mocks have now dropped him out of the top 5, and one has even dropped him out of the top 10.
In what has become typical of him, Johnson posted yet another great all-around performance this week, putting up 19 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks against Oakland. In fact, Johnson is averaging 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks this year. But most impressive so far is his efficiency...60% FG shooting, including 52% from three.
This week I'm simply going to link you all to a great story about Turner on ESPN.
Evan Turner wears No. 21 at Ohio State. It's the same number Barbara's son, John, wore in the last season of his life.
"He told me he tried to get that number in his junior year of high school when he moved up to varsity, but couldn't," Moll said. "So when I saw him at Ohio State, I knew."
In the first two weeks of the college basketball season, no one has skyrocketed out of the gate quite like Turner. Debuting with a triple-double against Alcorn State -- only the second in the history of the Buckeyes program -- he has posted a double-double in every game thereafter and is averaging an eye-popping 21.8 points, 14.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game.
To watch him play is to see effortlessness, a kid who is blessed with a buffet menu of skills. In last week's Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, Turner literally made the Madison Square Garden crowd "Ooh" and "Aah" when he left a Cal defender flat-footed.
To meet him is to discover a rarity, a considerate and polite old soul who lacks the pretentiousness and peacock preening that ordinarily comes part and parcel with the talent. When Turner's face graced the cover of various preseason magazines, he snatched up a handful to show his family; not to brag but because, as he put it, "It was the strangest thing in the world."
To hear his story is to understand why he is the way he is. This is not a silver-spooned athlete who dribbled his way through life without scars, indifferent to the people around him. He suffered and endured and worked.
On Dec. 11, it will have been five years since John Moll ended 16 years of a troubled life by stepping in front of a train. Nearly every year since, Turner has called Barbara Moll at least three times -- on Mother's Day, on John's birthday and on the anniversary of his friend's death.
Read the whole thing. He's quite the kid.
Chad Ford reiterated this week he feels Turner has superstar potential in the NBA. His injury has put him on the backburner with the media, but scouts and experts still remain steadfastly positive about him. He's still ranked as a top 5 prospect, with DraftExpress still placing him third behind just Wall and Favors.
It's pretty cold outside these days.
And there's a lot of snow too, in case anyone hasn't noticed. Has that cold seeped into the Target Center and frozen the team over for the trade deadline? Guess we'll find out on February 18th.
Until next week...