Roster revision complete, work really starts for Saunders, Wolves

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 19, 2013 - 11:37 PM

Flip Saunders overhauled the Wolves roster in the offseason, but realizes there’s plenty left to do.

hide

Flip Saunders (left, with Nikola Pekovic) gained some insight into agents and the media during his year with ESPN.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

New Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders has been on the job now nearly four months, during which he has reshaped the roster by signing Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin, Chase Budinger, Corey Brewer and Ronny Turiaf to guaranteed contracts worth nearly $120 million. After finalizing a five-year, $60 million deal with Pekovic on Friday, Saunders discussed a busy summer, the five weeks remaining until training camp and some of his discussions with team owner Glen Taylor and coach Rick Adelman.

 

Q Is this job harder than you thought it’d be?

A No. When I coached, I was always pretty active in the personnel side of things. Were there some challenges? Yeah, there were, challenges trying to change the culture — how we operate internally and externally — so all parties understand what you’re trying to do.

 

Q Anything you understand now about the job that you didn’t four months ago?

A I don’t think so. People talk about the importance of the agents and how they can dictate things; I believe my year with ESPN helped me tremendously in dealing with media and even agents. You understand these people have an agenda and you have to respect what their agenda is. It might not be the same as yours, and you might not like what they’re doing, but it’s not out of spite to you. It’s because they have a job to do. You have to respect that. I understand that more now, and I don’t take it maybe as seriously, to be honest, as I would have in the past.

Q You’ve re-signed Pek, balanced the roster, tried to address the team’s shot-blocking needs. What’s left to do?

A Things I feel can help all those players become better: Get our medical staff and our philosophy together and decide long term how we’ll train these guys so they can be better prepared for the season. We’re going to look at another front-office person. We need to get everything together from a scouting — our analytics — standpoint. There are still a lot of things to do.

I just told somebody: When I took this job until really today, I felt like I was a gerbil on one of those rolling things, running and not going anywhere, because as soon as you got something done, there’s something else right there to do. Now we have an opportunity to really focus on some things.

 

Q Any roster needs you still need to address?

A I don’t think we have any needs. Right now, talking to Rick, we feel comfortable with the roster we have. Not only is it balanced, but we feel we have talent at every position. I’ve talked a lot about this team and there are pretty good players out there we don’t even talk about right now: Derrick Williams, J.J. Barea, Dante Cunningham. When you put all those guys together with who we’ve added, you’ve got to feel comfortable.

 

Q Is Alexey Shved in that group?

A He is, but I’ve talked a lot about him just because of who he is. Guys like Lexey and Derrick can go one of two ways. This is a man’s league and there are three things they don’t do in this league: They don’t ask for your I.D. to see how old you are. They don’t ask to see your paycheck. And they don’t look at your Wikipedia page to see what you’ve done in the past. You’ve got to produce. Players determine how much they play. If they play well, they’re going to play. If they don’t, they’re not going to play.

 

Q Were you finally able to track Rick down and tell him the Pek news?

  • related content

  • Chart: Remaking the Wolves (again)

    Monday August 19, 2013

    Remaking the Wolves (again)New Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders remade the roster this summer, spending nearly $120 million...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 7:30 PM
Houston
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Colorado 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Carolina
Washington 6:00 PM
Columbus
Anaheim 6:30 PM
Montreal
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 6:00 PM
Canisius
Temple 6:00 PM
Delaware
FIU 6:00 PM
Long Island
Lehigh 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
South Alabama 6:00 PM
Richmond
Seton Hall 6:00 PM
South Florida
Ga Southern 6:00 PM
Stetson
Yale 6:00 PM
Vermont
Cleveland State 6:00 PM
Virginia
Wright State 6:00 PM
Western Carolina
Nicholls 6:30 PM
Louisiana Tech
Morgan State 6:30 PM
Rider
Idaho State 6:30 PM
South Dakota St
Oakland City 7:00 PM
Austin Peay
Eureka 7:00 PM
Bradley
Appalachian St 7:00 PM
Charlotte
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Duke
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Coastal Carolina 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Montana State 7:30 PM
South Dakota
LSU 8:00 PM
UAB
Ohio 8:05 PM
Evansville
CS-Dominguez 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Walla Walla 9:00 PM
Idaho
DePaul 9:00 PM
Oregon State
Nevada 9:00 PM
Pacific
Portland State 9:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Bakersfield 9:05 PM
Utah State
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 28 1st Half 4:29
Howard 15
Southern Miss 23 1st Half 5:52
Ole Miss 21
UMBC 20 1st Half 3:59
Rider 21
Miami-Florida 5:00 PM
UCLA
St Mary-KS 5:00 PM
South Dakota
William & Mary 5:00 PM
Wofford
Troy 5:30 PM
Evansville
Loyola Marymount 6:00 PM
USC
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Duquesne
Indiana-Southeast 6:00 PM
IUPUI
Delaware State 6:00 PM
Detroit
Tenn Temple 6:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
West Virginia St 6:00 PM
Radford
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Seton Hall
Dartmouth 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Ball State 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Trine 6:00 PM
Western Mich
Tenn Tech 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Samford 7:00 PM
Tulane
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Ark-Little Rock 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
CS-Northridge 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Santa Clara 8:00 PM
Oregon
(19) Oklahoma St 8:00 PM
Weber State
Washington 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Cal Poly 8:00 PM
New Mexico
(10) Louisville 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close