Kahn appears intent on not moving #4 pick, team conducts last pre-draft workouts, Favors' agent says no issues between him and Kahn, rumors and speculation galore and more
"Whoever it is at 4, we're going to have a really fine player joining our roster," Kahn said Tuesday. "I'm really excited about the player we'll be getting, no matter who it is. I don't think I can really screw this one up."
With that said, it appears the Timberwolves are intent on staying at No. 4 after finding out that Philadelphia is not interested in trading the second overall pick and the chance to take Turner. Kahn called it "highly, highly, highly, highly unlikely" that the Wolves would deal the first of their three first-round picks to move up or down in the draft.
"The idea that we're thinking we have to move up to three is ridiculous," Kahn said. "We like four a lot. It'll be fine, no matter how it plays out. I can assure you, with almost near certainty, that we will not try to move up in these last few days of the draft into the top three."
Kahn wasn't as firm about the Wolves' remaining four selections in Thursday night's draft — Nos. 16 and 23 in the first round and Nos. 45 and 56 in the second.
"I think we'll move a little bit," Kahn said in reference to a possible trade involving the other picks.
ESPN.com reported Tuesday that the Wolves and Memphis "were close" to swapping first-round picks, a deal in which the Wolves would send their No. 16 to Memphis in exchange for the Grizzlies' No. 25 and No. 28. Kahn did not comment on the report, but he has talked openly of looking into deals outside the No. 4 pick.
"There's a sense around the league that we're going to stay at four," Kahn said. "Nobody has asked us in a long time if we're interested in trading the pick."
Also from Draft Express twitter account:
Both Minnesota and Favors' camp say that that the article mentioning David Kahn questioning Favors' conditioning was "completely overblown."
From Tom Ziller/Fanhouse:
"Kahn and I have no issues whatsoever," Favors' agent Wallace Prather told FanHouse Tuesday afternoon. "I saw the interview online and, as Derrick said, those comments will be taken as constructive criticism."
Favors did handle the Kahn fall-out gracefully, and Kahn publicly apologized for making the statement. Prather told FanHouse Kahn had plenty of positive things to say about Favors, and that there are no leftover ill feelings between the player and team.
The Timberwolves conclude weeks of pre-draft workouts Tuesday morning at Target Center.
Nevada's Luke Babbitt, Washington's Quincy Pondexter and Clemson's Trevor Booker are among the players -- Butler's Gordon Hayward cancelled out of the group today -- due in.
Kahn on longtime NBA writer Sam Smith's blog item that the Wolves could trade its three first-round picks and Al Jefferson to Denver for Carmelo Anthony, then send Ricky Rubio's rights to Cleveland in a sign-and-trade swap for LeBron James: "It's sugarplums and fairy tales. I don't know where it came from and I don't know how to respond to it. In fairness to Denver, I wouldn't respond to it."
Last year, the Timberwolves put together an especially quirky draft, picking Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, point guard Jonny Flynn and yet another point guard, Ty Lawson. They traded Lawson and were unable to get Rubio out of Europe, but Flynn was productive as a rookie. This year, the Timberwolves have three draft picks again, and more quirkiness might ensue.
“We will enter the draft open to anything,” general manager David Kahn said. “We won 15 games last year. We are rebuilding. We have to be open to anything.”
Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune on Wes Johnson:
"There's always that fine line of how old is too old," Wolves boss David Kahn said. "I don't view him turning 23 this summer as being an old man. The fact that he didn't play that one year, there's probably less mileage on him as well."
Johnson is 17 months older than Flynn, who has already played one NBA season and won't turn 22 until February.
"Age can be a good thing," Flynn said. "A lot of young guys come into this league immature, not ready to handle the lifestyle. Wes has been through a lot of things. Coming in a little older -- not much older, a little -- I think he's more mature than a lot of guys and ready for what's coming up."
From Derek Wetmore/Minnesota Daily: Johnson and Westbrook work out with the Wolves
From Detroit Free Press:
The odds that Milicic will return only improved when the Wolves last month hired Tony Ronzone as an assistant general manager from the Pistons. Ronzone was Detroit's international scout when Milicic was drafted.
From The Age:
Jawai, who averaged 10.6 minutes and 3.2 points a game last season, said he would consider heading to Europe if he didn't get a new NBA deal. But the 23-year-old's priority has shifted to recovery mode following an ankle injury.
Jawai returned to the training court with his Boomers teammates this week and hopes to play some game time in the three-game series against Argentina.
The Grizzlies have discussed trading their late first-round draft picks to the Minnesota Timberwolves in an attempt to move up in Thursday's NBA draft.
A potential deal that would have the Griz exchanging their picks at 25 and 28 for the Timberwolves' 16th selection has not been agreed upon but is one of several possibilities being seriously considered.
He acknowledged Tuesday the Pacers have talked trade with teams around league, deals that could finally land them the point guard they need. The only potential partner Bird identified was Minnesota, and that was to deny a report that the Pacers would send the 10th overall pick in Thursday night's draft in a package deal to the Timberwolves for Jonny Flynn and the 16th and 23rd picks.
"We did call Minnesota and we've called a lot of teams, but that (the Flynn deal) was never on the table," Bird said.
All along, the Wolves had planned to select Johnson at No. 4, and yet the New Jersey Nets are holding serious discussions about drafting the small forward and taking their chances with trying to sign a power forward in free agency. The Nets had long favored Derrick Favors, but are debating now about how long it will take for him to become a regular contributor. New Jersey is still contemplating DeMarcus Cousins, too.
Under general manager David Kahn, the Wolves are becoming the organization that no one wants to send players. Kahn’s condescending, abrasive style is frustrating to rival GMs and agents because few people believe he has the background, knowledge or credentials to even hold the job. To his credit, Kahn did hire a personable assistant GM, Tony Ronzone, who can work the phones for him.
For context, consider the following. News leaked within the past few days that Indiana called Minnesota to offer its pick at 10 for Jonny Flynn, the point guard Kahn took last June at No. 6, one spot after drafting Ricky Rubio.
“They called last week,” Kahn told Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “We turned it down in a second.”
Curious. Not so much that he turned it down, or even that he turned it down immediately – though it does say something about his negotiating style and lends credence to the Yahoo report – but that he fairly bragged about it to a beat reporter. That can’t sit well with Indiana’s Larry Bird.
And that’s a valuable insight into Kahn for this reason: If he’s shopping that pick at No. 4 and he’s that intransigent as a negotiator, then getting to his No. 2 to lay the groundwork for a trade will be important. Again, if the Pistons are focused on moving up, the Dumars-Ronzone connection could allow them to get a foot in the door.
Minnesota sounds ecstatic to be in the position they're in. "We're in great shape." They won't try to move up to 3 to get Johnson from NJ.
From Chad Ford/TrueHoop:
Sources in Minnesota are saying that they’ll take Derrick Favors at No. 4 if Turner and Johnson are off the board. The T-Wolves may be bummed by this development, but I think it's a great deal. The team lucked into Rubio at No. 5 last year and get a steal with Favors at No. 4 this year. Those two together could be awesome down the road.
Also from Ford:
Talk of the Wolves trading the 16th pick may be premature. While the Grizzlies and Wolves have spoken, sources say there’s no deal yet. The Wolves continue to talk to teams as high as 5. Especially with it looking more and more like they’re getting Favors at 4, they’d love to add another athletic wing to the mix.
From Chad Ford/ESPN:
(Favors' previous position: No. 3 to New Jersey)
Analysis: The Timberwolves will be sick to their stomachs if this scenario takes place. The two players they covet are Turner and Johnson. If the Sixers and Nets take them, the Wolves would be left to consider two bigs they aren't entirely comfortable with.
GM David Kahn ripped Favors after his workout in Minnesota, calling him out of shape and saying he wasn't ready to play in the league. And the Wolves haven't even had Cousins in for a workout because he doesn't want to play in Minnesota. Plus, the team has its own concerns about Cousins that probably would keep it from drafting him.
The Wolves have offered almost everyone on their roster at some point this month and they have tried almost every angle imaginable to obtain another top 10 pick in this year's draft.
Sources close to the Clippers say that Minnesota offered the #16 pick and Corey Brewer to the Clippers in exchange for the #8 pick, they have offered multiple player and pick packages to the Indiana Pacers for the #10, and last night league sources said the Timberwolves had at least agreed to the idea of swapping the #16 and Corey Brewer with the Toronto Raptors for the #13 and Hedo Turkoglu - a deal that couldn't drop until July 1st because of cap reasons.
Raptors' sources said last night it wasn't happening as did Wolves sources, but it should illustrate how insane the process is becoming.
According to source, the Toronto Raptors and Minnesota Timberwolves have discussed swapping Hedo Turkoglu and #13 for Corey Brewer and #23.
Sources: The Blazers rejected the Wolves' offer of the No. 4 pick for Batum a couple of weeks ago. http://es.pn/dqkTEf
From The Baseline: T-wolves' Plans Might Be Falling Apart
From Pro Basketball Talk: Timberwolves looking to revamp roster any way they can