Rick Adelman

Adelman would like to see Kevin Love’s contract get done


Agent Dan Fegan — who represents Kevin Love — was courtside at Staples Center Friday night to watch his star power forward. Timberwolves GM David Kahn also was seen walking around the building.

Rick Adelman would like the two to get together and talk.

They have until next Wednesday to reach a deal for an extension to Love’s rookie contract, but the sides reportedly are $20 million apart. Adelman is too savvy to step in the trap of what is a far deal, but he was happy to talk about how he wants to see it get done.

“I think from a coaching standpoint he’s really important — he’s crucial to us,” Adelman said before his team took on the Clippers. “I’m hoping that is going to happen for his sake. He came out with a great start and hopefully they are going to come to some resolution.

I don’t know what would happen if it didn’t… It certainly would help him and that would help us. Not to have it hanging over there.

The Wolves reportedly are set to offer him four years, $60 million — which matches what other teams could offer but is short of the max deal of five years, $80 million that could be offered. What Love’s teammate at UCLA Russell Westbrook just got from the Thunder.

If no deal is reached by next Wednesday, the Wolves would extend a qualifying offer to Love ($6.1 million next season) and he would be a restricted free agent. Meaning he could go seek out other offers from other teams, but the Wolves could match it. And they would — no offer would be higher than what the Wolves have already put on the table.

The concern for Minny — Love signs the qualifying offer, plays for one year then becomes an unrestricted free agent.

It is likely the Wolves are trying to get Love to take less than the max, but there are questions about if he would. Or should. He is already one of the best power forwards in the game and the guy that is the face of the Wolves marketing. He puts butts in seats.

Adelman just likes what he sees on the court — and wants to keep that.

“He really came in (to camp) in terrific shape,” Adelman said. “I’ve known him a lot of years and he is so much more active right now. He’s moving better, he’s running better, just everything about him is much quicker. But he’s been consistent in his rebounding, he’s relentless at both ends of the court, he’s shot the ball really well. With the point guards we have it’s really good for him, it can open up a lot of things for him on the pick and rolls and he gets a lot of shots that way.

“He’s just a guy you center (your franchise) around.”

Sounds like a max guy to us.

Report: Suns signing Bryce Cotton

Bryce Cotton
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Eric Bledsoe missed the Suns’ loss to the Spurs on Monday with a knee injury.

So, Phoenix is bringing in a reinforcement – Bryce Cotton.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Jazz waived Cotton before the season despite Dante Exum‘s injury leaving them with just two other healthy point guards. That says something about Cotton – but also Utah’s depth.

Cotton – who went undrafted out of Providence last year – is quick, varies his speed well and can leap. There’s reason to believe in his potential at age 23. But his 6-foot-1 frame limits him defensively, and he’s not much of a distributor.

Phoenix will rely on Brandon Knight and Ronnie Price at point guard if Bledsoe is unavailable. The Suns can also use fewer two-point guard lineups – giving more minutes at shooting guard to Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin and Sunny Weems.

Cotton provides insurance while Bledsoe is banged-up with what seems to be a minor injury. But he might have to show something to keep drawing an NBA paycheck once Bledsoe gets healthy.

Jimmy Butler wants Mason Plumlee to pay fine after scuffle (video)


Jimmy Butler and Mason Plumlee got into an altercation in the Bulls’ win over the Trail Blazers last night.

Plumlee lowered his head and tried to barrel through Butler’s chest on a Butler screen. Butler fell and retaliated by putting Plumlee in a leg lock, causing Plumlee to fall.

You might remember a leg lock as what Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova did to Bulls forward Taj Gibson during last year’s playoffs. For all the talk then of Dellavedova being a dirty player, Butler seems particularly aggrieved after getting a technical foul, which comes with a $2,500 fine – the same penalty Dellavedova eventually received. (Plumlee got a flagrant foul.)

Butler, via Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago:

“He thought he was playing football for a second there,” Butler said. “Almost had to let the Fort Greene Projects out of me, Brooklyn, you know what I’m saying?”

It was said tongue in cheek considering Gibson was a few feet over and Butler wanted to draw some laughs. Gibson is a Brooklyn native and grew up in the Fort Greene Projects while Butler grew up in Tomball, Texas.

It was no laughing matter when he said he would find a way to approach Plumlee about the fine money, jokingly suggesting he would have his agent email him at “Mr. Dukie@yahoo.com or something” and made a joke about Mike Dunleavy applauding Plumlee’s act.

Plumlee and Dunleavy are products of Duke University.

“Yeah, he cost me 2,500,” Butler said. “I’m not happy about that. Gonna ask him to pay me back and I’m not playing.”

Is that MisterDukie@yahoo.com, MrDukie@yahoo.com or Mr.Dukie@yahoo.com. Or is it Dookie?

These are important questions – at least if you’re trying to turn the conversation away from your dirty play and toward your colorful quotes.

Breaking news: Leandro Barbosa dunked


The Warriors became the first team in NBA history to start 16-0.

In the process of getting that record-breaking win over the Lakers, something nearly as historic happened.

Leandro Barbosa dunked.

The 32-year-old Golden State guard last jammed in January 2011.

For a little more perspective, look how Barbosa handled a breakaway layup earlier in the fourth quarter:

You think that man can still slam?

Yes. Yes, he can.

Magic benching Victor Oladipo, starting Channing Frye

Stephen Curry, Victor Oladipo, Channing Frye
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Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo, Evan Fournier, Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic have started eight of the Magic’s 14 games, including the last three.

But after Orlando dropped two straight, Scott Skiles hinted at lineup changes.

The Magic coach will deliver against the Knicks tonight, swapping Channing Frye for Oladipo.

Skiles, via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

“It’s nothing punitive,” Skiles said after the Magic’s shootaround.

“It’s just we feel like we’ve got to try to find a little bit better balance. I’d like Victor to have some more opportunities like he’s had a little bit in the past where he can be on top of the floor and attack and get a little bit more vertical and not only get to the rim but just be a little bit more on the attack but not necessarily start the game that way.”

Here are the offensive/defensive/net ratings for the

  • Former starting lineup: 94.7/111.2/-16.5
  • New starting lineup: 117.2/90.3/+26.8

The new unit has played just 33 minutes in two games, so major sample-size caveats apply. But I like idea of seeing more of what has worked.

I suspect Skiles also wants to keep his players from becoming content. At 6-8 and coming off three straight seasons outside the playoffs, they should have no reason to feel satisfied, but the hard-driving Skiles will be proactive.

If Oladipo – whose defense Skiles values – can get sent to the bench, anyone can.

At some point, the Magic must determine whether Oladipo and Payton – both below-average 3-point shooters – can share a backcourt. But it’s also worth knowing whether Oladipo can excel as a super sub leading bench players.

This switch might help the Magic win now, but at worse, it’ll give them more information for evaluating their young roster. Seems smart all around.