Barea on choosing Wolves: 'Nobody came even close'
- Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
- December 15, 2011 - 9:43 AM
Training camp's Day 6 has come and gone.
Here's what came and went:
* The Wolves finally introduced J.J. Barea Wednesday evening, a couple of days after it became clear he was Minnesota bound.
He spoke on a wide range of topics, from his disappointment that the Mavericks didn't offer him more than a one-year contract to his more than willingness to play off the ball with another point guard and lots of stuff in between.
I'm saving most of the personal stuff for another day's story here during the preseason and focused for Thursday's paper on why the Wolves targeted him and how they say they expect to find minutes for all three point guards now.
You can find that story here.
Here's one quote that didn't make the story about the Wolves' courtship of him, that 4-year, $19 million deal they offered and why he's here.
"Nobody came even close," Barea said. "Minnesota always wanted me the most, both money-wise and talking-wise. I thought we had a lot of talent here. We can do some good changes. The coaching staff, the sytem they play also came in (to play). I like the way he coached in Houston, the way he coached in Sacramento. I also think that made a big part of it fit."
* As I mentioned in the story, Luke Ridnour has declined interview requests the last two years.
Usually, he's pretty available, if not always the most candid interview.
I read his refusal as his unhappiness with the Wolves getting a third point guard. But as David Kahn says in the above story, Kahn said he told Ridnour the team intends to find enough minutes for everyone at both guard spots when Ridnour asked him if coaches planned to split point-guard time three ways.
* Adelman sure is a candid guy or maybe just a smart motivator..
Today's theme was well familiar to anyone who watched the Wolves last season: Adelman was more than a bit agitated at his team's careless handling of the ball and abundance of turnovers just in the first six days of camp and he said so in the aforementioned story and the notebook that accompanies it.
You can find the notebook here:
* When asked if Ridnour is here to stay even with Barea's presence, Kahn said, "Absolutely."
* Derrick Williams' NBA introduction is having its ups and down, enough so that Adelman said he's asking him now solely to focus on playing power forward.
So much for some fans' expectations I've picked up on Twitter and this here blog that he'd overtake Michael Beasley for the starting small forward job by as soon as opening night.
Remember Beasley was the second overall pick in a stronger 2008 draft and he's played three pro seasons already.
Williams is struggling with defending small forwards -- namely Beasley in practice -- out on the floor and for those who wondered at draft time how much he was a duplication of Beasley for now must ask themselves this.Is he rather a duplication of Love?
Of course, it's early and Williams is oh-so-young.
And the Wolves have plenty of other options at small forward for now: Beasley, Anthony Randolph, Wes Johnson, even Martell Webster if he gets healthy.
* Tweeps have asked me for updates on Darko and Pek.
To be honest, I haven't noticed them much in what little we get to see of scrimmages at the end of every practice.
And Adelman has been pretty blah when asked about both, other than to say Darko came to camp in pretty good shape and Pek is one strong sonofagun.
We should have a better idea of what Adelman's thinking about lineup in these next couple days.
Adelman said he's going to start cutting back on the length of his 3 to 4 hour one-a-day practice probably after Thursday practice and he says he wants to start settling on playing combinations for these two upcoming preseason games so guys have some time to get used to each other before that onrushing Dec. 26 season opener against New Orleans.
* Now that Jamal Crawford is headed elsewhere, I think this is pretty much your Wolves team come opening night, unless something comes out of nowhere.
Just like their fans, I suspect Adelman and Kahn both recognize the need to upgrade shooting guard but they couldn't get in position to upgrade their defense there (see Arron Afflalo) and concluded other options (see Crawford) weren't worth the price.
* The Wolves will hold a free public scrimmage over the lunch hour on Monday at Target Center.
The one-hour event starts at noon.
* This final item has nothing to do with anything else in this post but I overheard it Wednesday night on SportsCenter while they went on and on -- understandably -- about the big Chris Paul trade that sent the All-Star point guard from New Orleans to the Clippers.
In case you haven't noticed, Kurt Rambis is doing some work for ESPN now. The network had him break down the trade and this is the one line I heard pop out over all the others as I busy doing some other things with the TV on in the background:
"And we can't forget that first round pick from Minnesota that you know is going to be a lottery pick."
He's almost certainly right, but for some reason that line just popped out of all the other noise while I wasn't really concentrating on his studio bit.
That's it for Day 6.
More from Mankato on Thursday.
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