Flynn expected to miss 3-4 months after hip surgery and more
Jonny Flynn got an early start Tuesday on an ugly Timberwolves tradition: second-year injuries to first-round picks.
Flynn underwent surgery to repair a tear in the labrum of his left hip, an injury that almost certainly will keep him out of training camp and could cost him the first month of the 2010-11 season as well. That makes him the fifth consecutive Wolves' first-rounder to be sidelined by major injury in his second season.
Flynn was hampered by his sore hip in the final few weeks of his rookie season, and even sat out the finale after starting the Wolves' first 81 games. The injury also kept him from taking part in the Vegas Summer League, and he finally decided to have the hip surgically repaired.
The surgery, performed by Dr. Marc Philippon of The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo., will require three to four months of recovery time, which could also cost Flynn the first month of his second NBA season.
From the Timberwolves site:
"We expect Jonny to make a full recovery from this procedure," said David Kahn, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. "In the meantime, Dr. Philippon and our medical staff will work together to provide Jonny all the resources necessary to make his recovery as speedy as possible."
If Flynn is out 3 to 4 months, that means he'll miss all of preseason and possibly the first month of the season.
Look for the Wolves to try to sign a veteran point guard to the league minimum for one year to provide insurance.
Yes, they also have Sebastian Telfair, don't they? But judging by the wording of yesterday's team press release announcing the trade -- they traded Sessions, Hollins and the Wolves' own second round pick in 2013 for "the contracts" of West and Telfair -- it seems obvious that Telfair isn't in their plans and they clearly knew Flynn needed surgery before making that trade.
From Chris Tomasson/Fanhouse: Nikola Pekovic Completes Buyout, Will Join Timberwolves
The Timberwolves paid the league-allowed $500,000 of Pekovic's buyout. The total amount of the buyout was not immediately available but Pekovic, who averaged 13.0 points while helping Panathinakios to the 2008-09 Euroleague title, was said to have handled the rest of the amount.
From Kelly Dwyer/Ball Don't Lie: Wolves trade Sessions, Hollins to Cleveland for West, Telfair
Monday's move trims about an additional $3 million off a payroll that still is well below the $43 million-plus league minimum, a threshold Kahn last week said the team will not have trouble reaching by next season. The Wolves now are at least $20 million under the $58 million salary cap set for the 2010-11 season.
However, money could be an issue if they are saving for something specific, such as a major, major free agent (or star contract in trade) like Anthony. Is that the end game here? Is the plan to bring over Ricky Rubio next summer (David Kahn says yes) and also add a major star to a lineup that already has some very solid pieces in Kevin Love and Michael Beasley?
People continually question what this franchise's focus is and how they plan to ever take the next step from rebuilding to challenging for a playoff spot and beyond, but perhaps the truth is the Wolves are ten steps ahead of everyone else. Maybe things are going exactly as planned and while everyone is asking how the Wolves are improving now, the real answer is they are well poised for that hammer blow in the future, and for the day when we wake up and suddenly this team is a contender.
Al Jefferson(notes) isn’t upset with the Minnesota Timberwolves for trading him. Not at all. After winning just 15 games last season, he’s thankful to be moving to the Utah Jazz, whose playoff appearances are an annual rite of spring. Staying with the Timberwolves would have meant only more rebuilding.
"They have a nice group of guys, but will have a couple more losing seasons," Jefferson said of the T’wolves. "Minneapolis is my home away from home. I respect the fans that have supported me through the good and the bad … but when I told people I played for Minnesota, some people didn’t even know they had a team. Everybody knows about Utah. Everyone knows the Utah Jazz.
"I go from being in a Toyota to a Bentley. It’s a beautiful thing.