Martell arrives, free agency approaches, summer league looms
- Blog Post by: Jerry Zgoda
- June 28, 2010 - 5:43 PM
David Kahn introduced Martell Webster as a Timberwolf this afternoon at Target Center and said he plans to call the agents for two players at 11 p.m. Wednesday -- the start of the NBA's free agency period -- to try to sent up visits for their clients.
Kahn wouldn't say who. I'm betting one is Amare Stoudemire. If he's really aiming at the sky, the other could be Chris Bosh, but perhaps even Kahn might know how high is too high to aim.
As I wrote in a story for Sunday's paper, look for the Wolves to aim high and target not a shooting guard, but a power forward whose length and athleticism could upgrade the frontcourt. Al Jefferson -- and even Kevin Love, depending on how high they can realistically aim -- likely included if it's a sign-and-trade deal.
"We won't be one of these teams that shows up on somebody's door step," Kahn said. "We'll invite one, maybe even two people to come visit us. I very much want people to come here and see the upgraded facilities, to meet Glen, to have a feel for the entire organization. There are a lot of quality people who work here and are connected to this organization.
"The more they can meet these people during this process, I think the better and also get a sense for the downtown, the Twins stadium. There's a lot of activity and excitement downtown. I think that's a benefit for us. One of the things we're selling is stability. We can do a better job of selling that here as opposed to be in some third-party city."
Kahn also will contact Darko Milicic's agent shortly after the free agency period begins and will pursue signing European prospect Nikola Pekovic as well.
Another name to watch for along with Charlotte power forward Tyrus Thomas: Lakers shooting guard Shannon Brown, who is expected to opt out of his contract by Wednesday's deadline.
Webster appeared at Target Center and was presented by Kahn with a No. 23 jersey, the number he wore in high school because of Michael Jordan. We wanted No. 23 when he came into the league five years ago, but Darius Miles and then couldn't change his No. 8 for four seasons, a league rule.
He said he wanted No. 9, but then deferred when he learned it's being saved for Ricky Rubio's arrival in another year (or two).
"Ricky Rubio can have it," he said.
He said he had no idea he'd be traded away from Portland, but called himself "excited" to be in a new city with a new opportunity.
"It's like getting a new bike: You can't wait to get out there and test ride it," he said. "I was like, `Wow, it happened that quick.' Everything that happened through my career kind of flashed before me. Now just to know it's time to wipe the slate clean and start over here in Minnesota, I'm definitely excited about that."
Webster is getting married Aug. 7 back in Portland and then will honeymoon in St. Bart's before coming to the Twin Cities to begin his new life as a Timberwolf.
Meanwhile, the Wolves are putting together their Vegas Summer League roster.
Jonny Flynn, Wesley Johnson, Wayne Ellington, Lazar Hayward, Greg Stiemsma and possibly Nate Jawai will play.
Other players they expect to add to the team:
Former North Carolina 6-9 forward Deon Thompson, who was not drafted last week.
Former Gonzaga guard Jeremy Pargo, who played last year in Israel.
D League 6-7 forward Mo Charlo, who played in Reno last season.
Former North Carolina State 6-9 forward Cedric Simmons, who has played 75 games with four different teams in three NBA seasons.
The Wolves begin summer league play in Vegas on July 12 and their second game there will be against Sacramento, a chance to see Johnson and DeMarcus Cousins -- the fourth and fifth picks in the draft -- play in a game against each other for the first time as pros.
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