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Wolves Updates 6/27

Kahn says team has "chance to have some serious discussions" with free agents, Gomes likely to be released, Kahn to talk with Bjelica this week and more

From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune:

 "I don't want anybody here to feel like we're some poor stepchildren," Kahn said. "We're not. We're building something of great value that will be sustainable. I think we have a chance to have some serious discussions with free agents after July 1."

It might not take Kahn long to learn whether, as many Wolves fans believe, he is deluded.

"I'll you know at about 12:04 a.m. on July 1," Kahn said. "Seriously, not to be funny, we'll know."

Kahn and Rambis want to sign both Milicic and Pekovic.


From The Hoops Market:

Despite the rumors  about a possible agreement with Benetton Treviso, Nemanja Bjelica hasn't decided yet his future.


From Tom Powers/Pioneer Press:

A couple of years ago, Bjelica became a member of the Serbian National Team. With the increased visibility, observers began comparing him to Croatian basketball legend Toni Kukoc. Bjelica has attracted a lot of international attention the past two years. His agent would like him to join the Timberwolves this fall. Bjelica respectfully defers to David Kahn.

"We're going to talk next week," Kahn said. "I think we all clearly realize that his upper body, in particular, needs to improve. But we'll watch him and see."

Kahn likes the skill set Bjelica brings. At 6-10, he could play point guard as well as on the wing. He is that fluid and that good with the basketball. However, the Wolves have to decide whether they want him to work on his upper body strength here or in Europe.

"For sure I will play in the NBA," Bjelica said. "I don't know if I will play this year. I must learn a lot of things to do to reach the next level. Here, everything for me is new."



From Charley Walters/Pioneer Press:

The Timberwolves say they received no trade offers for Ricky Rubio during Thursday's NBA draft. Plans remain for the point guard, chosen No. 5 overall in last year's draft, to play another season in Spain, then consider Minnesota.

"I think it's finally starting to seep in, league-wide, that we're not moving him," Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn said. "The word is out — he's not moving."


From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune:  Looking at the Wolves' hopes in free agency


From Chad Ford/ESPN:

One of them, Johnson, has a chance to be really good. He has great size and athleticism for his position, with rebounding and shooting ability. To top it off, he's the type of person you want to build around. On the other hand, his motor can run a little slow and he'll disappear at times.

Hayward may be a bit more of a stretch. He's really a 4 in a 3-man's body. He's tough and aggressive and he can shoot with range, but he's undersized and not a great athlete. Bjelinca is a point forward with great ballhandling and passing skills. But he also lacks great athleticism, and he needs to add weight.

The head-scratcher was the Wolves' decision to trade the 16th pick and Ryan Gomes for Martell Webster. So the Wolves gave up two significant assets (Gomes' contract wasn't guaranteed, which made it valuable); plus, Webster has been marginal in his career so far. How the Wolves plan to play more than two of these guys along with Corey Brewer remains to be seen.


From John Pitarresi/Observer Dispatch:  Pitarresi: Some ifs concerning Wes Johnson


From Jason Quick/The Oregonian:

Team president Larry Miller said the Blazers will probably release newly acquired forward Ryan Gomes in order to avoid taking on the remaining three seasons of his contract.

The team has until Tuesday to make a decision, but Miller said he has already told Gomes' agent not to fly him to Portland.


From Vincent Goodwill/The Detroit News:

The rumor floated out by ESPN and regurgitated by various media outlets about Minnesota offering center Al Jefferson in a package for Prince was totally false. Although the two sides had discussions, that never was talked about, but the need of acquiring a big man is well-known.


From Ridiculous Upside's twitter account:

Former Illinois G Jamar Smith (finished Southern Illinois) has a tryout with the Minnesota Timberwolves for their Summer League team.


From Drew Bruno/Evansville Courier & Press:

Smith's agent, Richard Katz, said the Timberwolves expressed interest in Smith before the draft and told him they would consider taking Smith in the second round. Even though they didn't, they reiterated their interest since, and Smith has been invted to their pre-Summer League workouts beginning July 7.