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All talk, no action: No Wolves trade as deadline passes

The NBA trading deadline came and went Thursday afternoon without the Timberwolves making a deal.

There was talk, certainly. Wolves president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau said there were plenty of conversations, plenty of proposals, plenty of opportunity.

But nothing, ultimately, made any sense.

“We felt that we’re good where we are,’’ he said.

Talk? Shabazz Muhammad was said to be available. There were reports that the Wolves and New York Knicks had talked about swapping guards, with Ricky Rubio going to New York in exchange for Derrick Rose.

Thibodeau wouldn’t say how close he came to actually making a deal.Only that nothing was worth moving on.

“You look at everything from a broad view,’’ he said. “Does it make sense immediately, short-term, or does it make sense long-term? If it does, you study it and you make a decision. And again, it’s no different than your draft preparation, your free agent preparation. It’s the possibility of improving your team. So something makes sense, you take a look at it. If it doesn’t you continue on. So we’re a young team. We know we have a lot of work to do. We have guys who are growing, moving in the right direction.’’

The Wolves, 3½ games out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference as play is set to resume after the All Star break, will go forward with an unchanged roster. But the team is positioned well going forward, Thibodeau said. Both in terms of where the roster is and the cap space that will be available going into this summer’s free agency.

“We know, because of where we are because of our young players, they’re going to get better,’’ he said. “That’s what we’re concentrating on right now. The guys we do have. And then, at the end of the season, there will be the draft and free agency. We’re positioned well going forward. I like where we are.’’

Thibodeau said he didn't discuss the situation with Rubio or any other players either before the 2 p.m. deadline came or went because "you're expected to be a professional. Everyone has a job to do. Come in and do your job."

Rubio agreed, but....

"I mean, we're professionals, but we're human beings, too," Rubio said after practice Thursday. "We have feelings, but I know this is a business and it has to be like that."

Asked if it's difficult to go back to work now, Rubio said, "No, come here, work hard and play hard."

Lance Stephenson's grade 2 ankle sprain complicates his future with the Timberwolves

Newly signed Wolves guard Lance Stephenson has a Grade 2 ankle sprain sustained Wednesday night against Cleveland, an injury that complicates the future here for a guy whose 10-day contract will expire after tonight's game in Denver.

"I don't know, we'll have to see how responds," Wolves coach and POBO Tom Thibodeau said pre-game tonight. "I like the things he did when he was here."

The Wolves provided no timetable or additional information, but a Grade 2 sprain usually is given to a partial tearin of the ankle ligament and in most cases you're talking weeks of rehabilitation, probable three or four weeks or more.

Stevenson was in intense pain when he stepped on his left ankle wrong and twisted, falling hard to the floor in the process, during Wednesday's second quarter. He was helped to the locker room, did not return to play that night and did not accompany the team to Denver after Wednesday's game.

Tonight's game is the Wolves' last before the NBA's elongated All-Star break. They don't play again after tonight until a week from Friday, at home against Dallas.

I can't imagine Thibs jetted away to too many tropical islands during All-Star break when he was coach. Now that he's president of basketball operations, too, and the trade deadline is coming up next week, he said it's time to "go back to work" over the break, although he did allow he might take the time to go to a couple movies.

New Orleans waived Stephenson in November after he played just six games and then sustained a groin injury that required surgery. The Pelicans released him because they felt they needed an open roster spot to add a healthy player.

Stephenson last week said he understood the Pelicans' decision, but said he considered it a lack of "faith" in him.

We'll see if Thibodeau and Wolves have the patience to keep theirs in him.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

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  • Purdue at Gophers women's basketball

    8 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Tampa Bay at Twins (spring training)

    6:05 pm on 96.3-FM

  • Dallas at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, ESPN, 830-AM

  • Wisconsin at Gophers men's hockey

    7 pm on FSN PLUS, 1500-AM

  • Twins at Boston (spring training)

    12:05 pm on 96.3-FM

  • Penn State at Gophers men's basketball

    2 pm on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Wisconsin at Gophers men's hockey

    7 pm on FSN PLUS, 1500-AM

  • Timberwolves at Houston

    8 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Gophers women's basketball at Maryland

    11 am on BTN, 1500-AM

  • Minnesota United FC vs. San Antonio

    11:30 am

  • Washington at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm on 96.3-FM

  • Miami at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm

  • Los Angeles at Wild

    7 pm on NBCSN, 100.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at Sacramento

    9:30 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Tampa Bay at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm

  • Wild at Winnipeg

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Pittsburgh at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm on 96.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at Utah

    8 pm on FSN, 830-AM

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Today's Scoreboard

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