Utah reportedly working with Wolves on deal for Big Al, team makes its summer league debut, Kahn says team has set up best possible environment for Beasley to succeed, Wolves and Ridnour talk and more
The Utah Jazz, needing to show both their fans and their remaining star Deron Williams that it can overcome the loss of both Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver, was close Monday night to acquiring forward Al Jefferson from the Minnesota Timberwolves for a package that is believed to only include, at present, draft picks, according to several league sources. The Jazz would absorb Jefferson's $13 million salary for next season into the large trade exception they received last week by agreeing to a sign-and-trade deal for Boozer, who signed a five-year, $80 million deal with the Bulls.
Talks picked up between the teams on Monday, and while the deal was not officially done Monday night, discussions were "percolating," according to a league source.
From Marc Stein/ESPN:
The full extent of the package that Minnesota would receive in return was not immediately known, as one source told ESPN.com that the two teams were still discussing the terms of draft picks that Utah would send to seal the deal.
But because its trade exception is large enough to absorb Jefferson's $13 million salary next season, Utah can complete a trade for Jefferson without sending back any players to the Wolves. Sources with knowledge of Minnesota's thinking said Monday that the Wolves' main aim in shopping Jefferson in recent weeks has been securing multiple future first-round picks and taking back as little salary if possible.
I believe it's a deal that will send Al Jefferson and the remaining three years and $42 million on his contract to the Jazz for a protected first-round pick from Memphis and more.
What that more is, I don't yet know.
Could be a second round pick.
Could be a prospect such as Kosta Koufos they'd send back to ease their luxury-tax situation.
Could a European prospect who they hold rights to. I'm told Jazz won't give him up, but Rambis paid special attention to center Ante Tomic in a Spanish league game during his European scouting trip with David Kahn in June.
Although Dallas was believed to be the favorite to acquire Jefferson, the Mavericks reportedly pushed to include the contracts of DeShawn Stevenson and Matt Carroll in addition to Erick Dampier’s nonguaranteed $13 million salary.
From RandBall: Monday (The Al Jefferson dilemma) edition: Wha' Happened?
Rambis discussed Beasley "fairly extensively" as a person and a player with Miami executive Pat Riley -- his coach on those championship Los Angeles Lakers teams from the 1980s -- and called himself comfortable with obtaining an immensely talented player who last summer checked himself into a rehabilitation center for emotional and substance-abuse issues.
"I'm very happy we were able to acquire him for virtually nothing," Rambis said.
In Milicic and Beasley, the Wolves have added two players whom Rambis said can shoot, rebound, pass, score and play in multiple spots on the floor, the kind of versatility needed in the elements of the triangle offense he uses.
"We set up the best possible environment for Michael to succeed and flourish in Minnesota," Kahn said. "We've been working almost daily on that. I acknowledge, especially because of the issues from last summer, that there may be extra work to be done."
"I thought we made some strides last year with our player development program," Kahn said. "We have now a woman who's a consultant to the team who used to work with the NBA. We've learned about some of the people who have been important in (Beasley's) life. He has a personal assistant now who was brought in his second season in Miami; I understand he's an important person (to Beasley) now.
"It's important not to be too judgmental with kids who are 19, 20, 21, 22. You do your homework and make the best decision possible."
Kahn, who hasn't had a chance to talk with Beasley but said he's heard that he's pleased with the deal, emphasized that Beasley is just 21 years old.
Luke Ridnour appears headed to Minnesota. A 4-year, 16 million deal is being discussed.
Two of the Wolves first round picks made their debut in Las Vegas on Monday afternoon but the 2009 No. 6 overall selection was noticeably absent from the game. Jonny Flynn could not suit up for Minnesota’s contest against San Antonio at the Thomas and Mack Center due to a hip pointer injury that he suffered in the three-day mini-camp leading up to the trip. While the team does not believe the injury to be serious, he was held out of action on day one.
The Wolves fell to San Antonio 85-61 while Flynn cheered from the sidelines in front of the pro-Syracuse crowd. To appease the Cuse contingency, Johnson delivered a strong second half performance and finished with 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting the floor.
NBA.com recap and boxscore
Lazar Hayward led the Timberwolves with 13 points, and Jeremy Pargo chipped in 12.
Ex-Gophers guard Lawrence Westbrook made the Timberwolves' traveling roster for the Las Vegas summer league while ex-Gopher Rick Rickert, who has been playing in New Zealand, did not.