SB Nation Minnesota
Like us to subscribe
Gaines, 24, appeared in 35 games for the Utah Jazz last season, averaging 3.3 points and 1.2 assists per game. He got his big break following a stint with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA D-League, where he averaged 23.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 6.9 assists while making 52.2 percent of his field goal attempts. Utah elected not to guarantee his contract for this season, making him a free agent.
Johnson, 30, was the sixth overall pick in the forgettable 2000 NBA Draft. His last NBA action came as a San Antonio Spur in the 2007/08 season. At 6-foot-9, he can play either wing position, and owns career averages of 6.2 points and 2.2 rebounds.
Hart, 32, is a journeyman point guard, having played for nine teams in his nine-year career. He appeared in one game with the Timberwolves last season, but they dealt him to the Phoenix Suns for Alando Tucker in December. He is a 41.7 percent career shooter and not a scoring threat, but his 2.3-to-0.8 assist-to-turnover ratio indicates he can at least take care of the ball.
Johnson and Hart join Maurice Ager and John Thomas as the Wolves' camp invitees.
As first reported by HoopsHype, the Timberwolves have reached a contract agreement with free-agent combo guard Maurice Ager, who is set to join the team for training camp; SB Nation Minnesota independently confirmed the story through a source close to the situation.
The Dallas Mavericks made Ager, 26, the 28th overall pick of the 2006 NBA Draft, but he struggled to find his niche in the NBA. In three seasons split between the Mavericks and the New Jersey Nets, Ager shot 32.6 percent from the field and averaged only two points, 0.5 rebounds, and 0.6 assists. His lack of offensive production became problematic, as he was meant to be a shoot-first sparkplug at the NBA level, based on his 19.3 points per game average in his final collegiate season at Michigan State.
However, Ager has rebranded himself as a combo guard by improving his passing skills. Filling that role last season for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA D-League, Ager averaged 3.4 assists per game, on top of 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 47.6 percent shooting. The source says Timberwolves management watched film of those D-League performances and was impressed enough to invite him to camp.
Ager, who is 6-foot-5, nearly signed a training-camp contract with the New York Knicks last month, according to the source, but the deal fell through.
Minnesota could use another versatile guard like Ager. Second-year players Jonny Flynn and Wayne Ellington join veterans Luke Ridnour and Sebastian Telfair as the only guards on the roster.
Since David Kahn took over as GM, the Timberwolves have been anything but conventional with their personnel signings. That trend will continue into training camp, as Wolves beat writer Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune reports they will bring 35-year-old John Thomas, who hasn’t played at the NBA level since the 2005/06 season, to camp:
Thomas played for the Timberwolves during the 2004/05 season, averaging 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds in 44 appearances. Zgoda makes it sound as though he’s not there to actually make the team, but rather to serve as an extra body in practice. There are certainly worse ways Thomas could try to earn a few bucks in the fall.
This morning, Jonah Ballow of the Timberwolves’ official website announced via Twitter that the team has waived Greg Stiemsma:
If you’re wondering who Stiemsma is, that’s perfectly reasonable. The 6-foot-11 center went undrafted out of Wisconsin in 2008 and spent two years in the NBA D-League before the Wolves signed him to a two-year deal last April 13th, which is two days before the end of the season. He never appeared in a game for the Wolves.
According to ShamSports’ salary database, the web’s most reliable NBA salary resource, Stiemsma’s contract for the coming season would have become $100,000 guaranteed if he were still on the roster on September 15th. Minnesota waived him to avoid that obligation, which means that, for his willingness to join the Timberwolves for two days in April, Stiemsma pocketed $5,383 plus whatever amount of money he made playing for their Summer League team. Incidentally, he averaged 0.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game for Minnesota’s summer-league squad this year.
Despite the fact that he went undrafted, Stiemsma’s time in the D-League proved he could play a bit. Last season, he average 8.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.6 blocked shots, in addition to winning the league’s Defensive Player of the Year Award. Those numbers suggest he’s worthy of at least an NBA training-camp invitation, but as previously explained, bringing him to camp would have cost the Wolves $100,000 in guaranteed money. Having waived him to avoid that salary hit, Minnesota can now invite him to training camp on a different contract, if it so chooses.
Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune reports, via Twitter, that the Timberwolves have invited free-agent forward Joe Alexander, the 8th overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, to a workout:
Alexander, 23, has played in only 67 games over his two NBA seasons, and it’s telling that the Bulls did not pick up the third- or fourth-year options on his rookie scale deal. Alexander, so far, hasn’t parlayed his above-average physical tools into a viable NBA career, with ho-hum averages of 4.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 41.0 percent shooting. His career highlight didn’t even come on the court, but rather in this viral video the Bucks, his original team, made to promote his appearance in the 2009 slam-dunk contest.
But, as Zgoda and Rob Mahoney of ProBasketballTalk point out, Alexander doesn’t figure to be an ideal fit for the Timberwolves even if he excels in his workout. Here’s how Mahoney put it:
Corey Brewer, Ryan Gomes, and Kevin Love were the leaders in minutes played among Minnesota forwards last season. Gomes has since been traded. The Timberwolves have acquired Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson, Anthony Tolliver, Martell Webster, Nikola Pekovic, and Lazar Hayward to fill the Gomes void. There are only 96 total minutes to be played per game between both forward slots.
Having said all that, bringing a potential end-of-bench combo forward in for a workout won’t make or break the Wolves’ season. There’s no harm in working him out.
Anthony Tolliver announced his decision to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves instead of the Golden State Warriors with a video on Youtube.
Anyone that isn't afraid to make a parody of LeBron James in the NBA seems like a good signing to me.
The Timberwolves have fortified their front line with the addition of athletic big man Anthony Tolliver on a two-year deal, Chris Tomasson of NBA FanHouse reports.
Tolliver, 25, has appeared in 65 games over his two NBA seasons, with career averages of 9.1 points and 5.6 rebounds. He’s cashing in on his decent season with the injury-ravaged Golden State Warriors, for whom he averaged 12.3 points and 7.3 boards.
Though he adds depth at center and power forward, the Wolves will need to work with him on his shot selection. For his career, he’s averaged three three-point attempts per game despite converting at only a 30.6% clip.
It’s been known for about one week now, but the Minnesota Timberwolves will make it official with an introduction tomorrow at Target Center. The team has signed point guard Luke Ridnour to a 4-year, $16 million contract.
Luke Ridnour deal is done. He’ll be introduced tomorrow at Target Center at noon.
The team is said to have point guard Ramon Sessions on the trading block. They signed him to the same terms last off-season.
Now that the Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to a 4-year, $16 million deal with point guard Luke Ridnour, they are looking to move Ramon Sessions, the guard they signed to the same terms just last off-season. Tom Withers of the Associated Press tweets that the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested.
Cavs have interest in Minnesota point guard Ramon Sessions. T-Wolves have to move him after signing Luke Ridnour. Stay tuned.
The team will hold a press conference in Minneapolis tomorrow to introduce Michael Beasley, and they could be looking to trade Sessions before they officially announce Ridnour’s arrival.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets this morning that the Minnesota Timberwolves have signed point guard Luke Ridnour to a 4-year, $16 million deal. The Wolves signed Ramon Sessions to the same contract last off-season, and are now expected to trade him.
Luke Ridnour has agreed in principle to a 4-year, $16 million deal with Wolves, sources say. Wolves may move Ramon Sessions to Charlotte.
Whether you like the recent moves by the Timberwolves or not, you certainly can’t say that they’ve done nothing. The Wolves have made three deals since Monday and more should be on the way.
According to a tweet by Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski, the Minnesota Timberwolves are close to signing another point guard. After signing Ramon Sessions to a 4-year, $16 million contract last off-season, the team is now closing in on Luke Ridnour for the same price.
Free agent guard Luke Ridnour is close to accepting a four year, $16 million offer with Minnesota, a league source tells Y!
It is believed that Sessions is now available in a trade, but there have been no reports on interested teams.
Despite a nine hour visit and numerous sign-and-trade possibilities, forward David Lee will not be a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The free agent has agreed to a deal with the Golden State Warriors and will head to the West Coast in a sign-and-trade deal that will send Anthony Randolph and two other players to the New York Knicks.
Lee’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, told ESPN.com that Lee has agreed to a sign-and-trade worth $80 million dollars over six years with the Golden State Warriors.
“There was a lot of different ways this could have gone and I needed [the Knicks] to help,” Bartelstein said. “They were great about it.”
The deal will send Lee to the Warriors for Anthony Randolph, Ronny Turiaf and Kelenna Azubuike among others.
After free agent forward David Lee spent nine hours in Minnesota, he said it’d likely be two or three days before he makes a decision. According to the New York Post, if the New York Knicks sign Amar’e Stoudemire, it could set up a three-way trade involving the Wolves.
When Stoudemire becomes official, it would end the five-year era of David Lee, but set up a possibility of a sign-and-trade to add another piece. There’s been rumors of a three-way trade talk between Golden State, Minnesota and the Knicks where Lee winds up with the Timberwolves, Monta Ellis comes to the Knicks and Al Jefferson goes to Golden State. Lee visited Minnesota yesterday and it has only $7 million in cap room, meaning he’d want a sign-and-trade.
All along it was going to take a sign-and-trade for the Wolves to sign a bigger free agent, and it seems that they may have a plan to move Jefferson and net one of their top targets in the same deal.
The Timberwolves entertained their first free agent today as they invited in forward David Lee. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune tweets Lee’s busy schedule:
David Lee toured TC, saw some of the city and suburbs and attended Twins game for a few innings during 9-hour #Timberwolves visit
Team President David Kahn made Lee’s stop a lengthy one, but it shouldn’t take long to hear more on his decision. Zgoda tweets that Lee will weigh his options for a few days.
David Lee just left #Timberwolves and MSP headed home for St. Louis to ponder options, mentioned “48 to 72 hours” timetable to mull decision
After Rudy Gay signed a deal to remain in Memphis earlier this week, the Timberwolves’ list of visiting free agents was slimmed down to just one. Today, that player arrives in Minneapolis. Forward David Lee will get a good look at what the team and city has to offer:
David Lee in Twin Cities today – will take a tour of TC facilities, Lake District, & Twins GM
If the Wolves do indeed make an attempt to sign Lee, it’s almost certain that either Al Jefferson or Kevin Love will be on the way out of town first.
Earlier we noted that John Hollinger was no big fan of the Darko Milicic signing for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Shortly thereafter, Stop-n-Pop of SB Nation’s Canis Hoopus provided a similarly pessimistic assessment of the signing as he compared it to the potential drafting of Kentucky big man DeMarcus Cousins, who slipped past Minnesota to the Sacramento Kings.
Stop-n-Pop goes so far as to say that the team would be better if fans were allowed to make decisions instead of current general manager David Kahn.
That being said, my faith in David Kahn to be able to pull this off in practice is pretty much lying at a low level these days. Kahn is busy at work at his masterpiece and I have a bad feeling that while we’re all hoping for a second version of Appetite for Destruction, we’re going to get a double album mess of a flame out. Use your illusion indeed.
What is especially problematic for Wolves fans is that their way forward during the past few seasons has been soooooooo obvious as to set itself firmly in the minds of even the most casual Minny sports fan. Brandon Roy should have been taken over Randy Foye. Jonny Flynn didn’t make a lick of sense in relation to Stephen Curry. In terms of the editorial wing of this website, our last four drafts would have gone Noah, Love, Curry, and Cousins with players like Mario Chalmers, Ty Lawson, and DeJuan Blair thrown in for good measure.
While there is obviously a lot of behind-the-scenes action that goes on in an NBA front office that would leave even the most dedicated fan dizzy and overwhelmed, I honestly do not think it would be too much of a stretch to say that the team would have had better luck in the draft had they simply crowdsourced their player selection. The point of all of this isn’t to brag or boast about anything or to say that the team should be handed over to a group of fans; rather, it is simply to point out that this is a fan base that has absolutely zero tolerance for GMs and POBOs who think they are too cool for school. At this point we want the simple move. Take the BPA. Don’t get too attached to an abstract plan. Make the most of your small-market assets…stuff like that.
ESPN’s John Hollinger pans the Minnesota Timberwolves for their signing of free agent center Darko Milicic.
The two questions I always have to ask when I see a deal like this are: (1) Who were they bidding against, and (2) What’s a reasonable expectation for this player going forward.
The answer to the first query is nobody. Nobody else in the NBA wanted Milicic at anything close to that price, and his threat to return to Europe was just that if money was going to be any kind of factor. In all likelihood, Minnesota could have comfortably won the bidding for Darko’s services at a fraction of the price.
The answer to the second is shown by his statistical performance — even last season he was a subpar offensive performer, while defensively he was decent but nothing special. (Unless, that is, you had been watching Al Jefferson all season.) He’s a backup center, basically, and backup centers aren’t supposed to make this kind of bank — especially when their attitude and motivation have been questioned at every stop in a seven-year career.
For everything Timberwolves, head over to SB Nation’s excellent Canis Hoopus.
The Timberwolves have been among the busiest teams on the first day of free agency, landing Serbian big men Nikola Pekovic and Darko Milicic. Mark Deeks of ChicagoNow runs the numbers and explains that they now have “$5,121,595 in cap room to an estimated $56.1 million cap.” That number won’t be enough to lure any big free agents their way:
Minnesota were earlier rumoured to be interested in David Lee and Rudy Gay. However, barring significant moves elsewhere, they now don’t have the cap space to do this. Minnesota never figured amongst the big free agent suitors now anyway, but they previously had the cap space to be significant. Now, they don’t. There’s one less competitor on the market.
Deeks later adds this potentially painful note for Wolves fans:
It’s also worthy of note that, had they not done their terrible draft night trade with the Blazers (trading the #16 and Ryan Gomes’s unguaranteed contract for Martell Webster), they would have $7,550,395 in cap room instead. Giving up cap space for Martell Webster is never a good idea.
That additional $2.4 million may have come in handy, but you never know with David Kahn; he might have just used it on another Serbian center anyway.
In his write-up of the Darko Milicic signing for ESPN.com, Chad Ford cites sources who say the fourth year of Milicic’s four-year, $20 million contract is merely partially guaranteed. Perhaps that softens the blow for Wolves fans, who’ve just seen, in the first day of free agency alone, their GM commit $33 million to the combination of big men Milicic and Nikola Pekovic, while they already employ Kevin Love and Al Jefferson.
After the Minnesota Timberwolves gave Darko Milicic an opportunity to play last season, the 7-foot center averaged 8.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game while averging nearly 26 minutes in 24 games.
ESPN’s Chad Ford tweets that Milicic is staying put in Minneapolis:
Breaking News: Wolves agree to a 4 year, $20 mil deal with Darko Milicic.
Chad Ford has posted his full story regarding the contract agreement with Nikola Pekovic. It includes some promising language for Timberwolves fans.
One league source said that had Pekovic been in this year’s draft he would have been a top-10 pick.
“He’s one of the most dominant big men in Europe right now and I think he can have an immediate impact in the NBA,” said the source.
With the strike of midnight, the 2010 NBA free agency period has opened. Within minutes the Minnesota Timberwolves were already active. First, according to ESPN's Chad Ford, the team has agreed to a deal with Serbian prospect Nikola Pekovic.
Later, Jonah Ballow of Timberwolves.com tweets a quote from general manager David Kahn stating that the team has scheduled meetings with two high-profile free agents for later this week.
We'll email you a reset link.
If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.
You must be a member of SB Nation Minnesota to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Minnesota. You should read them.
You must be a member of SB Nation Minnesota to participate.
We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Minnesota. You should read them.
Choose an available username to complete sign up.
In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.