Rick Adelman

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

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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.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.

Russell Westbrook: ‘Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—’ (video)

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Did Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant talk during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night? Westbrook said no, though video and first-hand accounts indicate otherwise.

Even more clearly: Westbrook – who walked near teammates Enes Kanter, Anthony Morrow and Jerami Grant – didn’t want someone talking to someone as they left the floor after the game. ESPN caught Westbrook saying, “Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—.”

You will never convince anyone Westbrook is referring to anyone but Durant.

Russell Westbrook commits epic travel (video)

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Between getting laid out by Zaza Pachulia and apparently talking with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook committed a travel for the ages.

The Thunder guard took an inbound pass against the Warriors and just started walking up court without dribbling. The violation was so blatant, NBA officials even called the travel.

And it’s not as if they’re inclined to blow a whistle in that situation. Before Westbrook, Kemba Walker set a high bar last season, but he got away with this walk:

Are Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on speaking terms after apparent conversation? Westbrook: ‘Nah’ (video)

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Russell Westbrook deleted Kevin Durant‘s goodbye text and, months later, told the whole world they still hadn’t talked.

That apparently changed during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder yesterday – though not if you ask Westbrook.

Westbrook dunked in the third quarter, and according to ESPN commentator Mark Jackson, Westbrook told Durant, “Don’t jump.” Anthony Slater of The Mercury News also wrote of the same quote.

ESPN’s telecast caught Durant clearly speaking to Westbrook shortly after. It appears Westbrook is talking back, but his back is to the camera.

After the game, Westbrook denied the exchange:

 

  • Reporter: “Are you and KD on speaking terms?”
  • Westbrook: “Nah.”
  • Reporter: “You guys had a little exchange in the third quarter.”
  • Westbrook: “What exchange?”
  • Reporter: “You and KD said something to each other.”
  • Westbrook: “Oh. You gotta maybe sit closer to the game. You maybe didn’t see clearly.”

This is so Westbrook – stubborn to the point of denying reality.

That approach worked for him when everyone rightly told him he was a significantly lesser player than Durant. Westbrook ignored that fact until it became false.

I suspect he wants to forget this exchange so he can maintain a cold animosity toward someone he prefers to resent.