Why on earth is Minnesota meeting with David Lee?


Thumbnail image for timberwolves_logo.gifSo you’re David Kahn. You’ve just signed Darko Milicic for $20 million. You drafted a 23-year-old combo wing the same night you traded for Martell Webster (and drafted another small forward). You have one significant trade chip, Al Jefferson, who’s a phenomenal young player that for some reason you don’t want and who has great trade value, except you’ve buried it because you’ve tried offloading him too hard. So what’s your next move after locking up all your cap space?

Inviting David Lee for a meeting, of course!

The Minnesota Star-Tribune reports that Mark Bartlestein, Lee’s agent confirmed that Lee is still meeting with the Timberwolves today despite the fact that the Wolves have less than $7 million in cap space after their offseason moves thus far. So why is Lee headed up north?

The Wolves could conceivably trade Al Jefferson and cap space to New York in a sign-and-trade for Lee.

That’s right. David Kahn could be looking at trading a versatile offensive post player whose defense he questions for a talented, high-function power-forward whose defense is questioned by everyone else.

Lee’s rebounding numbers are terrific,and he’s certainly worth a hefty contract, much bigger than the one-year deal the Knicks tossed at him last year. But Minnesota makes no sense. For Lee, or the Wolves. And certainly not for Kevin Love, who has to wonder what in Kevin McHale’s name he’s got to do in order to garner significant support from the Wolves.

In the words of many, many of my colleagues:


Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.