Wolves: As search for identity continues, door stays open for more changes

  • Article by: Jerry Zgoda
  • Star Tribune
  • October 25, 2007 - 10:28 PM

In the past four months, the Timberwolves have sent away Mike James, Kevin Garnett, Troy Hudson, Trenton Hassell, Ricky Davis and Mark Blount. With three days left before NBA rosters must be set, they're likely not done.

"By moving those guys, you change the personality of the team a great, great, great deal and you really don't know what the new personality is going to be, so this is not a bad time to make a few more changes," Timberwolves vice president of basketball operations Kevin McHale said. "There's still dust in the air. Any more dust in the air is not going to bother anything. These next few days always will be interesting. Then we'll let it settle and see what it is."

The Wolves on Thursday released free-agent signee John Edwards, reducing their roster from 18 players to 17. There are no plans for Wayne Simien, acquired in Wednesday's Ricky Davis-Antoine Walker trade, to report to the team; his release would bring the number to 16. The Wolves must get to a maximum roster of 15 players by 5 p.m. Monday.

Veteran forward Juwan Howard wants to be traded. Also, the Wolves likely would trade Walker and Marko Jaric in an instant if they could find a taker for their salaries. NBA rules prohibit trading Walker for 60 days unless it's a 1-for-1 swap.

McHale said he wants the new personality to reflect the stability of veterans Howard, Theo Ratliff and Greg Buckner and the youthful exuberance of such players as Randy Foye, Al Jefferson, Craig Smith, Corey Brewer, Ryan Gomes and Chris Richard, etc. McHale met with Jefferson's agent well into Wednesday evening, discussing a hefty contract extension.

"Those seven, eight young guys are all great, self-monitoring, throwback guys," McHale said. "Coach tells them what to do and they say, 'All right.' All of a sudden, you look at it and you say, 'Maybe instead of needing four or five veterans, we might need one or two.' "

Back on point?

Both Foye and Sebastian Telfair took part in their second consecutive extended practice session Thursday and both could see action tonight. It would be the first game action for both since the Wolves' game against the Celtics in London.

"We'll see where they are [this morning]," Wolves coach Randy Wittman said. "If they feel good, we'll get them in."

Wittman has been stymied in his attempts to bring his offense along without two of his top point guards. Wittman said if both are healthy, they could play some minutes together.


• Wittman said it's unlikely either new Wolves Michael Doleac or Walker will play tonight. Walker was due in town late Thursday night. Doleac, whose wife is pregnant, was due in this morning.

Staff writer Kent Youngblood contributed to this notebook.

Jerry Zgoda •

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