Darko says, "why not stay here?"...Can Darko be successfully integrated into the team...Owner Glen Taylor's patience ends after this season...Status report on Wolves players in Europe...
From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune: Milicic says he wants to stay, if Wolves want to keep him
"I like it here," he said after the Timberwolves practiced Thursday. "There's nothing they've done to not make me stay here, but you never know. If these guys want me to stay, be on the same page for next year, why not stay here?"
Of course, there's the little matters of negotiation and money for a 24-year-old center whose contract and $7.5 million salary expire after this season, which has only seven games left.
"You never know, it's the NBA," Milicic said. "You never know what will happen in the summertime, how things can go. Next year? Until I sign it, I can't tell you if I'll be here or not."
For me success is going to be to make this team, make it a better team, maybe make it a playoff team and my numbers are going to be my numbers. I can't really think about them. I need to think about what areas I can help this team because we have a lot of talented players that can score so we need defensive stops; we need passing, blocking shots, stuff like that. It's different, it's different cause you know take me as the second pick and not play me at all and then putting pressure on me, that wasn't fair to me and I kind of got into that game and listened to it too much and I was really trying to kick myself and I finally told myself no. If you're going to be 15 and 10 then you're going to be 15 and 10, just be consistent. I think about LeBron James and those guys, they are unbelievable players and they had a chance to be good athletes. For me, be the best you can be and don't think about your second pick, that's it, be the best you can be and don't think about the numbers.
It seems that Rambis is trying his best to integrate Darko into the team, to give him a taste of crunch time and improve his game conditioning to boot. But is this worth benching perhaps your best player in the only game you've had a real shot at winning in over a month? Is this worth failing to reward same for his best effort since the All-Star break, failing to help rebuild his nearly shattered confidence? I'm not so sure about that.
"(President) David Kahn and the coaches asked me to be patient this year," Wolves owner Glen Taylor said this morning.
Taylor's patience will end April 14, when the Wolves play their season finale against the Detroit Pistons at Target Center.
"We're going to start meeting immediately at the end of the season to put the opportunities in place to improve this team next year," Taylor said. "We have a lot of them. We have the opportunities for our draft (currently three first-round picks); we'll see what (lottery) positions we get.
"We'll have the opportunity to look at other players, and possibly trades if we feel that will help our team.
"So (management) is going to be really active and we're going to start really early to prepare ourselves. We have a lot of work to do; I'm excited about working with the guys on that."
From Sid Hartman:
Ricky Rubio, picked No. 5 overall by the Timberwolves in the 2009 NBA draft, is currently averaging 6.7 points and 4.2 assists in 20.5 minutes per game for Regal FC Barcelona in the Euroleague and he is averaging 6.8 points and 4.7 assists in 19.0 minutes per game for Regal in the Spanish Basketball League. ... Henk Norel, the Timberwolves' second-round pick in 2009, is playing for DVK Joventut Badalona this season and is averaging 4.9 points and 2.1 rebounds in 11.0 minutes per game in the Spanish League. ... The Wolves' 2008 second-round pick, Nikola Pekovic, continues to play well for Panathinaikos Athens in Greece. In the Euroleague, Pekovic is averaging 14.3 points and 3.8 rebounds through 12 games, and in the Greek League, he is averaging 12.5 points and 3.5 rebounds through 22 games.
Sure, Theus offers DePaul respectable credentials, having inherited a New Mexico State program in 2005 that went 6-24 and taking it to the NCAA tournament two years later with a mixture of transfers and junior-college players. But if the job is as attractive as athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto says, DePaul should be able to lure somebody with more than two years college head-coaching experience — especially with a $2 million salary to dangle as bait.
As dynamic as Theus is, if he is DePaul's next basketball coach, his limited background building and sustaining a program would make it difficult to place the move in any other category but gamble.
Here's an interesting leftover from the Auburn basketball coaching search, which ended last week with the hiring of Tony Barbee.
Chuck Person wasn't the only NBA assistant who interviewed for the job.
Auburn also talked to Minnesota Timberwolves assistant Reggie Theus.
Kevin Love, Al Jefferson, Tubby Smith, say thank you to MN Nurses (VIDEO)
From the Timberwolves site:
After one of the most successful ticket sales months in Minnesota Timberwolves history with more than 1,200 new full lower level season tickets sold as part of the first phase of the "Run with the Pack' campaign, the team today announced phase two of the campaign, which begins tomorrow, April 1. Phase two of the campaign, which runs from April 1 - May 18, features upper level ticket pricing.