Wolves get Bobcats first-round pick...Jefferson excused for a personal matter...Robson on Love's "promotion"...
Charlotte's victory in New Orleans on Wednesday clinched a playoff berth for the Bobcats, and officially conveyed their first-round pick in June's draft to the Wolves. Minnesota acquired the pick, which was lottery-protected, from Denver last June in exchange for point guard Ty Lawson. (The Nuggets traded for the pick a year earlier, for a draft choice that Charlotte used to draft French center Alexis Aijnca.)
Charlotte's pick will be No. 15 or 16 this year.
Al Jefferson wasn't in Target Center for Wednesday's game, having been excused to handle a personal matter, Wolves coach Kurt Rambis said.
Jefferson did not practice with his teammates Tuesday or attend Wednesday morning's shootaround, though it's possible, Rambis said, that he will return to the team Thursday.
A Wolves spokesman said Jefferson's excused absence was unrelated to his DUI arrest on Feb. 28 near downtown Minneapolis. Jefferson is scheduled to appear in Hennepin County court on April 23. The spokesman said Jefferson is dealing with a family matter.
From Britt Robson/SI.com:
You don't have to watch the Timberwolves very long before concluding that Kevin Love and Jefferson are the team's two best players. But while Jefferson is the team leader in minutes per game, Love is fifth, and has frequently been supplanted to better emphasize the development of first Ryan Hollins and more recently Milicic, each at least three years older than the 21-year-old Love.
Yes, Minnesota is rightfully trying to develop a legit center, and both Hollins and Milicic are 7-footers. But playing either one at Love's expense seems like a long-term absurdity for a 15-62 team that has a double-double machine to nurture, a player who already is among the game's elite rebounders and ranks second in scoring and third in assists on the team.
"I'm sure Kevin on some level is frustrated he's coming off the bench. But we need him, this team needs him," coach Kurt Rambis said before the loss to Miami. "To me it wasn't a demotion, which is the way most people look at someone going to the bench. In my mind it's a promotion -- our second unit needs help and you're someone who can support it and make it better."
From TrueHoop: To young players, playing time is oxygen
Darko Milicic has been seen as one of the most notorious failures in NBA history. He was on his way to returning to Europe, likely never to return to the NBA. The Timberwolves, however, have treated him like a great player. They have asked him to do a lot, in long minutes. With that trust, he's showing strong progress towards becoming the exact kind of player everyone always hoped he could be.
From Benjamin Polk/City Pages: Corey Brewer rises, redux
So the Timberwolves lose to a beat-up Golden State team tonight, and Steph Curry torches them.
I think they will regret passing on Curry in the draft for years, because he could have been their point guard or shooting guard, and they're still looking for both.
From Jim Henry/Fanhouse: Even With Winning Record, Dino Gaudio Fired by Wake Forest
Names linked to the opening include UAB's Mike Davis, Minnesota Timberwolves assistant Reggie Theus, Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart and Western Kentucky's Ken McDonald. Ron Bradlley, an assistant at Clemson who was named the interim head coach, will interview for the Tigers opening.