Lee to visit Wolves on Saturday, some of team's summer league game to be televised and more
From Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune: David Lee will visit Wolves, just in case
As things stand now, the Wolves have only about $5 million of their accumulated salary-cap space to spend after they reached contract terms with center Darko Milicic and Nikola Pekovic.
They also still have power forwards Al Jefferson and Kevin Love on their roster.
So why would Lee take a day to visit with Wolves personnel, including team owner Glen Taylor?
"These things change really quickly," said Mark Bartelstein, Lee's agent. "All kinds of trades and things can happen. We just want to see what happens."
From John Hollinger/ESPN:
The first free-agent contract of the summer might have been the worst. The feeding frenzy had barely started when word came from up north that the Wolves had signed Darko Milicic to a four-year, $20 million deal. Short of offering the rest of his free-agent money to Kwame Brown, I'm not sure what more embattled Wolves GM David Kahn could have done to cement the impression that he's in over his head.
Milicic had his moments after he came over from New York last season and gave Minnesota something of a defensive presence in the middle, but the two questions I always have to ask when I see a deal like this are: (1) Who were they bidding against? (2) What's a reasonable expectation for this player going forward?
From J.A. Adande/ESPN:
When I told a member of the Timberwolves that Milicic had signed for $20 million, his first reaction was "Wow!" But he did have some good things to say about Darko. He can move well for his size, he can block shots and he can pass, a good asset for the center in the triangle offense.
Also, he added, "We were better defensively when he was on the floor."
The unit of Milicic, Jonny Flynn, Corey Brewer, Al Jefferson and Ryan Gomes did have the best plus/minus among the Timberwolves' seven most-used combinations. So there's that. Still, $20 million for Darko?
"That's David Kahn for you," one player agent said. "As agents, we are loving it."
From Sid Hartman:
Darko Milicic agreed to a four-year, $20 million contract with the Timberwolves on Thursday. The center seemed likely to return to play in Europe when he joined the Wolves late last season, but he liked it here and the team persuaded him to return. Milicic was the second overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft by Detroit, right behind LeBron James and ahead of Carmelo Anthony. Wolves coach Kurt Rambis was responsible for scouting Detroit when he was an assistant for the Los Angeles Lakers, and liked Milicic. Rambis suggested Wolves President David Kahn get Milicic last season from the Knicks. "We see a lot of potential in him," Rambis said. "He can do a lot of things for us at both ends of the floor. The very interesting thing is he's still very young. He's only 25 after being in the league for seven years, so we see a tremendous upside."
From Hardwood Paroxysm: Kahn Re-Signs Darko For Four Years: Cue Shatner
When you're as bad as the Wolves have been for the past five years, there are all kinds of traps you can fall into, and they're all borne of desperation.
The stickiest trap of all: Players outside of your organization look good, because they're better than what you've got. It's the basketball version of beer goggles.
New Timberwolves Nikola Pekovic and Nemanja Bjelica won't participate in summer league play because of commitments to their national teams, but you can catch three of five games that Wesley Johnson, Lazar Hayward as well as Jonny Flynn, Wayne Ellington and Patrick O'Bryant will play on NBA TV.