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Timberwolves Off-Season Begins Heating Up Again

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Two players released, rumblings of sign and trades. And of course, Nikola Pekovic

Good Luck Stiemer
Good Luck Stiemer
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday afternoon brought us some Wolves news and rumors following a couple of quiet days since the Chase Budinger and Kevin Martin deals.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>News: The Timberwolves today announced the team has waived center Greg Stiemsma and forward Mickael Gelabale. <a href="http://t.co/cOqhpheQ6Y">http://t.co/cOqhpheQ6Y</a></p>&mdash; MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) <a href="https://twitter.com/MNTimberwolves/statuses/353991258231943168">July 7, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Greg Stiemsma was signed in the summer of 2012 to serve as a backup center and provide some shot blocking and rim protection after he had broken into the league with the Boston Celtics during the 2011-12 season. Stiemsma had an unremarkable college career at the University of Wisconsin, mostly coming off the bench for Bo Ryan. His final season there was 2007-2008. He spent the next three years playing in Turkey, South Korea, and the D-League before catching on with the Celtics early in the 2011-12 season. He did well enough there that there was interest in his services last summer, and the Wolves signed him for two years, with the 2nd year unguaranteed.

Stiemsma probably wound up playing more than the team intended, as Nikola Pekovic missed 20 games, forcing Stiemsma into 19 starts and 76 overall appearances. His above average defense could not make up for his offensive shortcomings, and it became clear by the end of the year that a better backup was needed.

Michael Gelabale is a French player who was a second round draft pick of the Seattle Supersonics in 2005. He eventually played two seasons with the Sonics before returning to Europe to continue his career. The Wolves signed him in February as they were decimated by injuries. He appeared in 36 games for the Wolves and was a fairly efficient offensive player, though rarely shot the ball.

We wish them both luck in the future.

In the meantime:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Got an AK-47 update this afternoon via email: <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Twolves&amp;src=hash">#Twolves</a> are involved in sign-&amp;-trade scenarios. Told activity has picked up a fair amount.</p>&mdash; Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) <a href="https://twitter.com/DarrenWolfson/statuses/353995173581172736">July 7, 2013</a></blockquote>

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Clearly there are a lot of things still up in the air. But my assumption here is that AK would go out via a sign and trade to another team with very little coming back--a draft pick and TPE likely. This is what we would like to do with Martin ourselves, in order to keep our MLE. If I'm right, though, it would have to be to a team with cap space to be able to absorb AK's salary. Not clear who that might be at the moment.

What is clear is that a lot of things are fluid right now. I still expect a point guard to get traded this summer, and I still expect another wing player to be added to the roster.

There was also information this morning that the Wolves have made an offer to Nikola Pekovic, presumably for a multi-year contract, and they are waiting to hear back from his representatives. Hopefully something can be hammered out on that front in fairly short order so that we can stop worrying about it.

Finally, the Minnesota Lynx are tipping off right now at Target Center against the Phoenix Mercury. Go Lynx!

I think things are going to happen on Monday. Let's hope they are for the good.

Talk about them here.