Just got off the phone with Kurt Rambis, who is in Chicago this afternoon for NBA coaches meetings tonight and tomorrow before training camp opens Saturday morning in Mankato.
He sounded upbeat and hopeful -- of course, they haven't played a game yet -- in a 34-minute conversation that will be the basis of a Q and A that will run in Friday's paper to advance the team's media day that afternoon.
I haven't had a chance to transcribe the tape yet, but off the top of my head here's some of what he said in response to a number of questions I used or adapted from here on the blog:
* He said Jonny Flynn is "progressing nicely," but was not willing to put his return into any kind of time frame.
* Rookie Wesley Johnson is still bothered by that hamstring that kept him out of most of Las Vegas Summer League play. He said Johnson was supposed to get back on the court today but didn't sound certain if Johnson will be able to participate in camp fully.
* He said he didn't know if Michael Beasley is better suited to play 3 or 4, but sounded genuinely excited and convinced he'll be able to get the ball to Beasley in multiple spots on the floor and sounded confident that Beasley will be a guy who can give the ball and entrust he can get his own shot if needed.
* Praised Kevin Love for the number of charges he took with Team USA.
* When asked if Sebastian Telfair and Kosta Koufos will be part of this team, he said they are -- "For now," he said -- and he said Telfair has looked good in workouts and said he expects Koufos to adapt easily from Jerry Sloan's ways to his offense.
* He went out of his way to say he does not run the triangle offense and made a point to say he uses parts of offenses from Gregg Popovich and Rick Adelman as well and sounded like he wished he never used the word triangle. "That's all people hear," he said.
He did he thinks this will be a good rebounding team and that he thinks this remade roster is much better suited to run this year because of how they've upgraded the roster's size, athleticism, shooting and passing ability.
* He said he expects Brian Cardinal to sign with Dallas and Damien Wilkins has multiple offers elsewhere but has not decided the destination yet.