Wolves and Darko agree to a deal and more
From the Timberwolves site:
"We have been notified by Rudy Gay's representatives that he will not be visiting us today. As I have said all along, this year's free agent process will be extremely fluid and we'll continue to explore all options to improve our team," David Kahn said.
On a day when Gay agreed to that maximum contract and when Drew Gooden signed for $32 million with the Bucks, the Wolves reached a deal with Milicic for four years and $20 million, $16 million of which is guaranteed.
That development came only hours after the Wolves agreed with 6-11 European prospect Nikola Pekovic on a three-year, $13 million contract.
Together, the two agreements move the Wolves toward resolution of molding a front court that boss David Kahn calls "in flux."
Because free agents can't sign deals until July 8, the Wolves are prohibited from comment.
"We are very excited about this,'' Cornstein said of Milicic's deal. "Minnesota is the place he wanted to be. This is the first time in his career that he has felt at home. When Minnesota traded for him last year, (Wolves coach) Kurt Rambis showed so much confidence in him. The Timberwolves embraced Darko, and we are so appreciative of that.''
Milicic freely admitted he was not in shape for those 24 games he played, not after he hadn't played for three months for the Knicks.
"He'll show up in great shape," Cornstein said. "Now he has something to prove, which he is anxious to do. Now we have this behind us. They wanted him back and he wanted to be here. We both realized this is something we should do sooner rather than later. They were fair and generous and we tried to be fair and generous."
From Chad Ford/ESPN:
With the two moves, the Timberwolves spent $33 million to shore up their middle.
The Milicic and Pekovic deals severely cut into the Wolves' cap room this summer. Starting July 1, with $13 million under the cap, Minnesota has a little less than $5 million left to use on remaining free agents.
The Wolves are hosting free agent David Lee in the coming days. However, the only way they'll be able to sign him is through a sign-and-trade.
Sources say the Wolves could use forward Al Jefferson as trade to the Knicks.
From the Associated Press:
Assuming both deals become official, that's a big chunk of the team's salary cap room devoted to two unproven Europeans who will be counted on to revamp the team's front line.
That also means if the Wolves hope to land a bigger name free agent, they will have to do so through a sign-and-trade deal with another team. Al Jefferson, who has three years and $42 million left on his deal, is likely to be the main component of any potential offer.
Memphis forward Rudy Gay was scheduled to visit Minnesota on Thursday, but abruptly canceled and agreed to a five-year deal worth more than $80 million to stay with the Grizzlies. Knicks power forward David Lee is scheduled to visit on Saturday.
From Kelly Dwyer/Ball Don't Lie: The Timberwolves are off to an inauspicious start
No, we don't know what Minnesota is doing either.
It's early in this particular offseason, despite the draft taking place last week, the Wolves already committing to two free agents, and meeting with another pair. But all early indications have the Timberwolves' goofball GM David Kahn acting as expected so far in this run.
From Tom Ziller/Fanhouse: Darko Milicic Will Take $20 Million From Timberwolves
From Daniel Marks/Dime: Darko agrees to $20 million deal with Minnesota
From Sekou Smith/NBA.com:
Still scratching your heard over the Minnesota Timberwolves’ work on Draft night?
Try wrapping your head around their continued work in free agency.