Reports on Rambis and Kahn's European scouting trip and more
The Greeks spotted Rambis on Sunday, with Athens paper Kathimerini reporting that the coach scouted center Nikola Pekovic, the Serbian center drafted by the Wolves in 2008. Pekovic, a 6-foot-11 24-year-old who has told the Wolves he wants to play in the NBA next season, scored 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting but had only one rebound in Panathinaikos’ loss in the Greek championship series. Their opponent in the Finals, Olympiakos, features NBA veteran forwards Linus Kleiza and Josh Childress.
By Wednesday, Rambis and Kahn had moved on to Serbia to visit center Darko Milicic, whom the Wolves hope to re-sign this summer. While there, according to thehoopsmarket.com, Serbian newspaper Sportske noted that Ramis attended a Serbian League game to scout Nemanja Bjelicka, a 6-10 forward expected to be taken in the second round of next month’s draft.
Rambis and Kahn are expected back in Minnesota by the end of the week to resume preparations for the June 24 draft.
Tomic was a second-round draft choice of the Jazz's in 2008, and the Minnesota Timberwolves evidently have an eye for him.
Yet — despite an item originally posted by a Spanish newspaper, prompting Internet speculation that it's perhaps a possibility — there is no reason whatsoever to believe a Tomic trade proposal is on the table.
Or that one has even been discussed between Utah and Minnesota.
The Tomic chatter was prompted by a Noticias de Alava report that Timberwolves coach Kurt Rambis attended a recent Spanish ACB League game and "paid special attention to" Tomic.
If you're wondering if the obvious Elton Brand and the #2 pick for Al Jefferson and the #4 pick is workable, sources close to the Sixers say they have limited interest in Jefferson, saying the goal was to reduce the payroll to create room to add more pieces.
For those keeping track at home – the trade does work under the cap and would shed some $2.9 million from Philadelphia's cap figure, while only biting into Minnesota's $21.2 million in possible cap space in a minor way.
It's clearly a scenario to keep an eye on. The problem for Minnesota is they struggled to find time for Kevin Love last year, adding Brand and a larger contract amount wouldn't solve the problem.
From Sid Hartman:
John-Blair Bickerstaff is the only Timberwolves assistant coach whose contract expired after last season, but the former Gophers naturally is hoping to stay with the team. Several other Wolves executives also are on the last year of their contracts, including Jim Stack, Rob Babcock, Zarko Durisic and Jerry Sichting. They will no doubt be employed until the draft later this month. But it will be interesting to see how many of them retain their jobs after that.