Well, it appears the trade is done, as is a deal for Andrei Kirilenko.
According to a report by the Associated Press out of New Orleans, citing a person familiar with the deal, the three-team trade involving the Wolves, Phoenix and New Orleans is complete. The report said a few logisical matter had to be worked out before the trade was formally announced.
Meanwhile, Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Wolves are in the process of finalizing a two-year, $20 million deal with Kirilenko, with a player option for a third season, citing sources.
Here’s how the deal breaks down: Center Robin Lopez and forward Hakim Warrick go from Phoenix to New Orleans. The Wolves send Wes Johnson and a future first-round draft pick to Phoenix. The Wolves get guard Jerome Dyson and retiring center Brad Miller and his $5.1 million salary as well as two second-round draft picks from New Orleans.
In other words, the Wolves get salary cap space that allowed them to pursue Kirilenko.
Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn declined to comment on the trade during a conference call announcing the signing of Alexey Shved, saying nothing had been consummated yet.
Kirilenko, a veteran forward with 10 seasons of NBA experience, all with Utah, played in his native Russia this past season (he was Shved’s teammate). He has announced he wants to return to the NBA.
Kirilenko, a 31-year-old forward, would give the Wolves a veteran presence as well as a defensive upgrade at small forward. Kirilenko is under contract with his Moscow team through 2014, but his agent, Marc Fleisher, said he has a “small” buyout that would allow him to come back to the NBA if he chose to.
Meanwhile, here are some nuggets from today’s conference call with Kahn, Shved and Shved’s agent, Obrad Fimic, who translated the questions and answers for Shved:
-- Kirilenko played with Shved in Russia last season and the two are teammates on the Russian Olympic team. Shved said he hadn’t talked with Kirilenko about the situation.
Kahn, meanwhile, didn’t say much at all: “Nothing is consummated yet at all,” he said. “We’re not allowed to comment before something is consummated. One thing I will say is we do believe we will reach an agreement soon with Brandon Roy. But that’s pretty much it for today, in addition to the announcement (on Shved) today.”
--Kahn was asked about Kevin Love’s recent comments about wanting more help on the Wolves roster. Here’s what he said: “Sometimes Kevin thinks he’s the only person here who wants to make the playoffs next year,” Kahn said. “We are all motivated to do so.”
Indeed, Kahn said making the playoffs is a realistic goal this coming season. “It’s just the right time,” he said. “We tore down the team, and we’ve been rebuilding it. I think we have an opportunity now – provided we stay healthy – we think next season is the year where that’s within our reach. … I share (Love’s) urgency. But only in a healthy way.”
Now on to Shved, who was preparing to leave Russia for the London Olympics shortly. Kahn said the 6-6 Shved first came onto his radar last fall when, during the lockout, Kahn attended the European championships in Lithuania. “I was very impressed with his ability to take the ball where he wanted to take it offensively,” Kahn said. “(And with) his creativity, imagination and willingness of his coach to let him take the biggest shots at the end of the game. Since that time we’ve not only monitoring Alexey, but working diligently to have him on our team for this season. That culminates today.”
Shved’s father, Victor, was his first coach. Shved remembers his dad bringing home tapes of NBA games that he would watch when he was a boy. “It was my dream to play like the guys I watched on TV. Basically, since I started playing, I had a dream of playing in (the NBA).”
Kahn said Shved might take some time to acclimate to the NBA game, especially on defense, where Shved’s slim frame could be a problem at first. Kahn said big expectations would not be placed on Shved, who Kahn saw playing off-guard most of the time with the Wolves.
That’s about all for now. Have a good rest of your afternoon.