Kent Youngblood here. I just got back from Luke Ridnour's press conference. His addition was expected, though it might have taken longer than some would have thought. David Kahn, the team's president of basketball operations, said the team targeted Ridnour three or four days into free agency and that the outline of the deal was agreed upon last week.
Kahn also said that Ridnour was close to become a Los Angeles Laker. Apparently the Lakers offered the same contract he ended up with here -- four years at $16 million -- to both Ridnour and Steve Blake as free agency began. "When they chose Blake, we were able to land Luke," Kahn said.
Ridnour said he came because he saw a Timberwolves roster filled with talented young players that he sees getting better and better. He also came because he'll have a chance to compete for the starting spot. The question today is who he will compete with, Johnny Flynn or Ramon Sessions?
It will be Flynn, of course, should his sore left hip come around. Kahn said the injury, originally sustained in the second-to-last regular season game, was getting better steadily until Flynn tweaked it while preparing for the summer league games. Kahn said he didn't expect the situation to be dire, but said the team is still exploring treatment options.
Until they know for sure how Flynn is, Sessions will remain on the roster. Indeed, Kahn said he told Session's agent he could see a scenario in which Sessions is the starter on opening day. Of course, Sessions could also be traded by then.
Meanwhile, Kahn said the official signing of European big man Nikola Pekovic should come soon, and that there has been no snag in the process.
"There has never been a snag," Kahn said. "He's had to take a physical overseas, and that takes a little bit of time. ... Because he's a new player, I thought it very important he take a physical, even though I think he's in fine shape. As soon as we feel everything is in order, we'll announce it."
That's about it. Have a good day.