ESPN souces: Dallas inquired about Big Al, Kahn wants to bring two free agents to town, team adds O'Bryant to summer league roster and more
From Jeff Caplan/ESPN:
The Dallas Mavericks' search for help to support star forward Dirk Nowitzki included inquiries about Minnesota Timberwolves center Al Jefferson prior to last week's NBA draft, according to sources close to the situation.
Sources with knowledge of the Mavericks' thinking, however, told ESPNDallas.com that Jefferson is a "down the list" target for the team who is unlikely to be pursued further until after Dallas makes a series of sign-and-trade bids for top free agents.
Two sources said the initial round of Mavs-Wolves discussions never got beyond the preliminary stage. Minnesota still wants more than mere salary relief for Jefferson...
If Gay is one of their targets and if they should be able to sign him, either they're planning that Johnson and/or Gay can play shooting guard in Kurt Rambis' system or perhaps another deal would be in the works. Keep your eye on Derrick Favors, whom the Nets might have drafted just to trade if they can sign a star power forward (Amare Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer) in free agency.
Kahn said he wants to bring two candidates to town to see Target Center and meet team personnel, including owner Glen Taylor.
From Tom Ziller/Fanhouse: Wolves Target Rudy Gay?
From ProBasketballTalk: Timberwolves to make run at Rudy Gay
Ex-Wolves coach Flip Saunders, who coaches the Washington Wizards, could be a challenge for Gay, though. The Wizards have $22.5 million in salary cap space, compared with the Wolves' $15 million, and also are interested in Gay, whose hometown is Washington, D.C.
Meanwhile, if the Wolves trade power forward Al Jefferson, as expected, keep an eye on Golden State's Anthony Randolph. The 6-10 power forward, just 20 years old, perfectly fits Minnesota's needs in that he's a long shot blocker. Word is Randolph, who would complement Love's play, is expendable.
Kahn said he has "no idea" how quickly this show plays out and whether it's best to spend early, hoping there will be more unspent money than good players available later or whether there will be great bargains later this summer.
Whatever happens, he uses one word to describe how his team must respond.
"Nimble," Kahn said. "You're not in control as much as you'd like to be. Right now, [the top free agents are] in control of the situation. There's too many teams with room, too many fine players out there. In those types of situations, it's best to be really nimble and change course as need be.
The Wolves have added former lottery pick and Blaine's own Patrick O'Bryant to their Las Vegas Summer League roster.
They've also invited former Gophers Damian Johnson and Lawrence Westbrook and Southern Indiana guard Jamar Smith, who also played at Illinois, to try out for one or two Vegas spots when they begin three days of workouts at Target Center on July 8.
There's also a chance second-round pick Nemanja Bjelica will be added to the roster before the team leaves for Vegas and its first game on July 12.
From The Hoops Market:
Nikola Pekovic will have to decide his future before July 15th. The 24-year-old Montenegrin center could opt out of his contract with Panathinaikos, paying $1 million to the Greek club, and move to the NBA. According to the Greek media, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team that own his NBA rights, would have offered a $15 million, 3-year contract to land Pekovic next season.
According to the person familiar with the situation, the Nets turned down Miami's offer of Beasley for Keyon Dooling's $500,000 non-guaranteed contract. (For obvious reasons. The Nets are trying to clear space for two max free agents, as well, and in fact dumped Yi Jianlian on the Wizards Tuesday to save $3 million.) Minnesota also turned down the Heat's offer of Beasley for Ryan Gomes, the person said.