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Camp, Day 2: Bonzi's here, is Barea next?

  • Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
  • December 11, 2011 - 1:49 AM

Day 2 of training camp has come and gone.

The big happenings:

* The Wolves are pursuing unrestricted free agent J.J. Barea.

What?

Another point guard?

Yes, a source confirms they're in the chase. NBA.com reported Saturday night that the Knicks and the Wolves are chasing him and Internet "reports" say Barea has agreed to take New York's 2-year, $5 million "mini mid-level" although there's no sourcing to any of it and I've got nobody confirming it's a done deal.

So, why would the Wolves want to add Barea to Ricky Rubio and Luke RIdnour?

Well, there's David Kahn and his fabulous point-guard collection...

Seriously, they're looking for a ball-handling playmaking guard, this just wouldn't be the shooting guard you would have thought they'd go after.

Instead, apparently, they must think Barea -- 5-11 and 27 years old  -- can play some with Rubio and perhaps Ridnour.

* Still looking for that shooting guard, the Wolves brought Bonzi Wells -- yes, Bonzi, remember him? -- to camp today.

He can't practice until FIBA clears him because he last played in Puerto Rico in 2010 Before that, he was in China.

He hasn't played in the NBA since 2008 and is now 35 and didn't play anywhere last season.

But he has played for Rick Adelman twice before -- in Sacramento and Houston -- and the Wolves are willing to take a look to see if he's in good enough to shape to help.

"I know what he can," Adelman said. "If he's in shape, he can be a factor because he's a very physical player and he's played with our stuff before. He's not a ball handler. He cuts. He's really strong around the basket. He's a handful on the boards and a handful when he posts up. He played very good for me. The case for Bonzi always is he shape and that's what we'll find out."

* The Wolves have until Monday 5 p.m. to put in a silent bid for amnestied Chauncey Billups.

He's be a near perfect fit for what the Wolves are searching -- great veteran leader, would help teach Rubio the NBA way, strong guard who can play some shooting guard even if he is another point guard --except: He doesn't want to be here, or anywhere else that isn't a contending team.

So...don't expect the Wolves to bother making a bid.

* Derrick Williams has signed his rookie contract and it's been submitted to the league. The Wolves, meanwhile, continue to negotiate with second-round pick Malcolm Lee on a contract. He has agreed to practice until that agreement is reached.

* Adelman mixed and matched players in practice groupings on Friday and Saturday, but he kept two players together both days: Rubio and Kevin Love.

By design?

"Not really," Adelman said. "I think they are a pretty good combination. You'll probably see that change some tomorrow. I'm just trying to get them all in to see who plays well together."

* If the Wolves don't find that shooting guard, they'll wait and hope Martell Webster can come back from that second back surgery in less than a year. He underwent this second microdiscectomy in late September and is aiming to be back early January.

"He's a real valuable player for us," Adelman said. "He defends. He's experienced. He can make shots. So we're hoping to get him back because he can make a good difference. He can play the 2 or the 3. But the biggest thing is he competes. He would certainly help us (with their shooting guard needs) because he's a veteran and from my understanding he was playing pretty good last year before he got hurt.

"I'm hopeful we can get him back. We're going to have to be careful with him in bringing him back so we don't have any setbacks."

* Tweeted this Friday, but forgot to put it in yesterday's blog:

Veteran center Brad Miller says he will see the doctor in the next week to 10 days and hopes to get clearance to return to the court from knee surgery by mid to late January.

Right now, he's just do cardio work on the treadmill or elliptical trainer.

* Adelman now has praised Rubio after each of camp's first two days.

"Ricky's been good the first two days," he said. "The thing I'm really impressed with, he's really a smart player. He just doesn't know what he's supposed to do. He knows what everybody else is supposed to do and where they're supposed to be. He's not afraid to talk about it. You can tell he's just a natural point guard."

Sounds like Ricky might want Adelman's job.

"There's a lot of times he can have it," Adelman said.

That's it for Day 2.

We'll see if Day 3 bring continued good luck. The Wolves have gotten through the first two days of this abbreviated preseason with everybody healthy, even if Kevin Love got a knee in the thigh Saturday.

But he's OK, Wolves fans.

He finished the practice, the only one of the day.

Adelman said his experience tells him players are fresher and recover better if they practice once a day in camp, even though the NBA will allow some two a days during this preseason.

That's all for Day 2.

Here's the story I wrote for Sunday's paper on the Wolves' defensive woes and what Adelman intends to do about them.

You can find it here.

 

 

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