Bet you didn’t see this coming: the Minnesota Timberwolves could be short point guards to start the season.
Jonny Flynn, who started 81 games for the Timberwolves last season at the point, will likely miss the start of this season after having hip surgery, according to Marc Spears of Yahoo. Flynn missed Summer League for the surgery.
If Flynn is out for training camp and the start of the season, look for off-season acquisition Luke Ridnour to get the starting job. Which is a good thing. Flynn had no love for setting up the triangle offense and slashed his way into the lane with a 41.7 shooing percentage. He got to the line a little, got the Wolves four assists per game but added three turnovers to that. He wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t a good starter, either.
Ridnour found his shooting stroke last season in Milwaukee and hit 47.8 percent of his shots, plus shot better from three than Flynn, got an assist on a higher percentage of his touches and had far few turnovers. He was flat out better.
Flynn should be back in the opening months of the season, but he will have to fight to get his job back.
Behind Flynn, the Timberwolves are thin at point guard. They traded away Ramon Sessions and are expected to buy out the contract of just traded for DeLonte West. Reports out of Minnesota suggest they plan to buy out the full deal of Sebastian Telfair as well, which seems odd, especially now that they need another point guard. Would be smarter to keep him around for that overpriced $2.7 million contract Kevin McHale signed him to. Ricky Rubio will not be much help either, he has another season in Barcelona coming.
Until this season, Jason Thompson had never been to the playoffs. He spent seven seasons in Sacramento before getting traded to the Warriors last offseason, and then signing with the Raptors midseason when Golden State waived him to make room on the roster for Anderson Varejao. His NBA days appear over, at least for now. International basketball reporter David Pick reports that Thompson has agreed to a deal to play in China.
Since the CBA’s season ends in March, Thompson could theoretically join an NBA team for the stretch run next year. But he didn’t appear to have much interest on the free-agent market this summer.
After five years in Washington, French forward Kevin Seraphin signed a one-year deal in New York last offseason. He played 48 games for the Knicks, averaging 3.9 points and 2.6 rebounds in 11 minutes per game and wasn’t a big part of their rotation. Now, as a free agent, he’s looking for a new NBA home, and Yann Ohnona of L’Equipe reports that he’s worked out for the Indiana Pacers and has interest from the Spanish club FC Barcelona.
The translation of that tweet reads:
Kévin Seraphin, always courted by Barcelona, is in the United States for a trial with the Pacers of Indiana
With Barcelona in pursuit, Seraphin appears to have a solid fallback option if he can’t land a spot on an NBA team. He can be useful as a fourth or fifth big, it’s just a matter of a team having room.
Lakers forward Julius Randle has suffered a minor setback in his summer workouts. The team announced he received stitches on his right hand and will be sidelined for two weeks.
Lakers forward Julius Randle suffered a laceration to his right hand (webbing between middle and ring fingers) yesterday while practicing. He received seven stitches and will be re-evaluated in approximately 14 days.
That sounds painful, but the timing works out such that the two weeks will be up and he’ll have plenty of time to get back into things before training camp kicks off the last week of September.
One of the most surprising developments of the summer came when Evan Fournier, coming off an excellent year with the Magic, was left off the French national team that went to Rio to compete in the Olympics. Fournier himself doesn’t have a good answer for why he wasn’t included, according to an interview with the French magazine L’Equipe (translation via EuroHoops.net).
“I hated not being in the Olympic Games,” he said. “I had suspected that I won’t make the cut a week before I was informed about it. I was reading interviews where only Rudy (Gobert) was mentioned among the players who didn’t play in the OQT but would go to Rio. In the end, I received a voicemail by Vincent Collet that briefly explained the reasons I was left out.”
Fournier said he didn’t have much communication with the national team, except for when head coach Vincent Collet asked him for tickets to a Magic game.
“The only time I’ve heard from the Federation this year was during a visit from Patrick Beesley (French NT technical director) in Orlando where he told me the dates of the qualifying tournament and Olympics. He didn’t tell me ‘If you do not come in Manila, then you do not come in Rio’. The second time was from an sms by Vincent Collet. It was our only contact outside competitions in the last three years. He was asking me for tickets to a game for his friends. I never closed the door to the French national team but these events sent me a clear message. That i’m not in the project. It’s that simple and it hurts.”
It’s a little bizarre that Fournier, at 23 years old and one of the better basketball players from France, isn’t on the team and a clear reason hasn’t been given. But it sounds like that isn’t going to change anytime soon.