Jerry Zgoda missed the entire Kevin Garnett era, but he's back covering the Timberwolves after working the beat for their first four seasons two decades ago. In between, he covered a bit of everything: Gopher men's and women's basketball and NCAA athletics, golf, outdoor recreation, sports media and a little Vikings and Twins.
The Timberwolves have agreed to terms with free agent guard Mo Williams on a one-year, $3.75 million contract.
The move – announced by William’s representative Priority Sports on Monday afternoon – brings the Wolves a veteran backup who can play both point and shooting guard. There is a good chance he could wind up running the team’s second unit along with rookie Zach LaVine in the backcourt.
The Wolves could announce the signing as early as Tuesday.
Williams, 31, is coming off a 2013-14 season in which he averaged 9.7 points for Portland, his lowest average since his rookie season in 2003-04. Point-guard sized, but with a scoring mentality, Williams is a career 43.8-percent shooter, 38.5 on three-pointers.
Because the Wolves are so tight against the NBA salary cap, the team used a portion of the $5.305-million mid-level exception to sign Williams, giving them just over $1.55 million to use on another move.
The move also calls into question the future of J.J. Barea with the Wolves. Barea , entering the final year of his contract, is due just over $4.5 million for the upcoming season.
Kevin Love has told Team USA he will not be able to play for it this summer because of his current unsettled situation with the Timberwolves.
USA Basketball's Jerry Colangelo announced it this morning, two days before the national team is set to begin workouts in Las Vegas for the World Cup that will be played in Spain starting little more than a month from now.,
The tweet that referred to the organization's news release said Love is unavailable for the five-day training camp in Las Vegas while the release itself said he won't play for Team USA this summer.
Love could be traded by Aug. 23, 30 days after Cleveland rookie Andrew Wiggins signed his NBA contract and is eligible by NBA rules to be traded.
The World Cup starts Aug. 30, but probably the only way Love still plays for the U.S team is if he's a late injury replacement just before tournament play begins and just after he is traded, if he is by then.
I'm sure neither the Wolves nor the Cavaliers -- the favorite to acquire Love -- want to see him get hurt while playing this next month.
"The fact is we can only look to the players we have available," Colangelo said in the release. "Our job is to get the job done with our very, very deep roster and we're anxious to get things started."
The Team USA roster currently incldues big men DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Kenneth Faried, Kevin Durant and Chandler Parsons, all of whom could play either center or at least some power forward in the international game.
Love played on the 2010 World Championship team that won a gold medal in Turkey and also won gold with the U.S. Olympic team in London in 2012.
Cleveland officially, finally signed No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins this afternoon to a rookie contract that will pay him about $5.5 million this coming season.
That's the clock counting down on the next 30 days, the time both the Cavs and the Timberwolves must wait before Wiggins can be traded.
The Wolves need to wait though that period because they need Wiggins' $5.5 million salary to make any Kevin Love trade work under the NBA's salary-cap rules.
Until this afternoon, Wiggins held no value in a trade of a salaries.
Now, you can put his $5.5 million salary with 2013 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett's similar salary, add one, two or all three of those non-guaranteerd contracts the Cavs acquired from Utah the other day and...now you're talking deal.
You'll continue to hear all kinds of rumors until Aug. 23 -- the end of the 30 days -- including probably many reports that the teams have reached a deal.
I doubt such a deal will be reached until near the end of those 30 days because nothing's binding until then. The parameters of a deal -- Love for Wiggins, Bennett and one of Cavs' future first-round pick probably -- likely has been discussed between the teams, but if the Wolves agreed now they'd be taking teams like Chicago and Golden State out of the picture.
The more teams interested, the better the Wolves' leverage. For now.
It also gives the Wolves more time to seek a third team from whom they could buy cap space to take the contracts of J.J. Barea and/or Alexey Shved.
In case you missed it from last night's story on the website:
The Wolves are bringing back forward Robbie Hummel for a second season. The two sides reached agreement Monday on a one-year minimum guaranteed contract on the same day free agent Evan Turner chose Boston over the Wolves' pursuit.
Here's the story from our web site from last night.
Readers have commented on that story, speculating that Hummel was signed to include in a trade.
The trouble with that theory is he can't be traded now until December 15 at the earliest, I believe.
Hummel gives the Wolves another player along with veteran Luc Mbah a Moute who can play some power forward, particularly in Kevin Love is traded away.
He also gives the Wolves' 14 guaranteed contracts now. That leaves one open slot for a 2-for-1 trade involving Love and, oh, say Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett.
Those discussions between the Wolves and Cavaliers appear to be progressing. Yahoo!Sports today reported that the Cavaliers are searching the league for non-guaranteed contracts to make a bigger Love trade work.
The News-Herald newspaper in Ohio this afternoon reported Cleveland is now willing to trade No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, to the Timberwolves in a deal for Kevin Love.
If the two sides are able to make a deal, it likely will include Wiggins, 2013 No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and possibly a first-round pick, but the teams will have to figure out how to make the money work, considering Love makes $15-plus million and the Cavs are stretched to the cap limit after signing LeBron James and others.
That process could involve a third team in the trade to make the money work if the Cavs are not willing to include center Anderson Varejao, whose nearly $10 million salary would do wonders to make the deal work.
The Cavaliers own protected 2015 first-round picks from Miami and Memphis to offer, although it might take a pick to get a third team to participate if needed.
I heard rumblings before I left Las Vegas yesterday that Wiggins could be now be in play after multiple reports in the last week citing Cavs sources say they defiintely would not trade the No. 1 pick and all the promise that he holds.
Well, James has returned this week after attending Sunday's World Cup final in Brazil and perhaps is making his voice heard.
I haven't got the impression today from checking around that trade discussions have yet advanced enough for the Wolves to know whether Wiggins indeed is obtainable, but it does sound like a breakthrough indeed is possible.
The other issue that needs to be determined: Will Love opt in for the fourth season of his contract or agree to sign an extension next summer. If he really meant it all last season when he said all he wants is a chance to win, he will.
Here's the News-Herald story.Stay tuned.
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