Minnesota has decided to rebuild — to gut their roster, build through the draft, and lose some games in the process — in the middle of a recession.
Smart basketball. Bad business.
The Wolves have won only 14 of 59 games this season, and while their attendance is up over last year’s anemic figures, the team expects to lose close to $25 million, and some of the minority owners would like to sell the part of the team they own. However, owner Glen Taylor said he doesn’t have any thoughts of either selling or moving the team, and he is confident that the present management will eventually have the Wolves competing with the best teams in the NBA.
“Nope, I’m too competitive to give up,” said Taylor, who also is in deep red ink operating the WNBA’s Lynx but believes that professional women’s basketball should get its opportunity.
Sun Tzu talked about how winning a war has to start with fully committed backing from the government and people at home. Winning in the NBA has to start with the ownership — if they undercut the management, everything else is moot. See Clippers, Los Angeles.
Taylor is doing it right. He’s giving it a chance to work. He’s doing what the Lakers and Spurs owners do, instituting a plan from the top down. It takes time for young players to develop. It takes time for a team to become good at running the triangle offense Kurt Rambis has installed. It takes time for the wins to come. It takes longer for the fans to come around and realize that their team is pretty good.
David Kahn and Rambis may not work out. But if Taylor remains this steady at the helm, the Timberwolves will work out. And that will turn out to be good business.
On Monday, Dion Waiters agreed to a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Heat, far less than most people thought he would get as one of the few significant free agents still on the market. Tuesday afternoon, he posted an explanation on Instagram for his deal.
Here’s what he said:
I didn’t do it for the money… I did it for the opportunity to go out & ball & have fun. Everything else will take care of its self!!! I just felt like it was the best situation for me…& my family. I could have waited & got wat I wanted. But I rather be happy then miserable at the end of the day!!! Meaning Yu can have everything & still not be happy… #heatnation let’s get it!!! #provethemwrong #stamped #Philly
It seems clear, based on the market, that the kinds of offers Waiters was hoping for weren’t out there for him. In Miami, with Dwyane Wade gone, he’ll probably start at shooting guard and have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in hopes of landing a long-term deal next summer.
While we wait for the Celtics to make a bigger move to trade for another star, they’re filling out the end of their roster. Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto is reporting that they’ve signed Demetrius Jackson, the No. 45 pick in last month’s draft, to a four-year deal.
Jackson declared for the draft after his junior season at Notre Dame. Talent-wise, he has the chance to be a major steal for Boston — DraftExpress has him ranked as the 17th-best overall prospect in this year’s draft class. But he might not play much his first year. The Celtics’ roster is already crowded and there’s still the chance that they’ll make another move with some of their much-vaunted assets if the right star becomes available.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed undrafted rookie free agent center Matt Costello of Michigan State.
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Costello averaged 5.7 points and 5 rebounds on the Hawks’ summer league team in Las Vegas.
Costello averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior at Michigan State. He holds the school’s career record with 146 blocked shots.
Terms of the deal were not released.
Jamal Crawford knows how to get buckets.
He does it against NBA level defenders, so put him in a free-flowing pro-am — let’s say the Seattle pro-am in his hometown — and he barely breaks a sweat dropping 44. And nailing the game winner.
Doc Rivers hopes to see a lot of that next season.