We were talking with you earlier today about how the Minnesota Timberwolves want to sign one more big man, but they are limited. They would like to bring back Anthony Tolliver but he wants more than the veteran minimum. And Minnesota can’t offer more than that right now.
But they are looking into ways to free up money, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (hat tip to IamaGM.com).
They’re still asking Anthony Tolliver to remain patient as they explore deals that would allow them to trade a guard and create salary-cap space to sign another player. Right now, they can only offer league-minimum contracts and you know guys like Tolliver and Mehmet Okur are waiting, looking for more than that.
What guards, you ask? Well, we can take a few educated guesses. Off the top we can rule out moving Ricky Rubio, Brandon Roy or just-signed Alexey Shved.
That leaves J.J. Barea, Luke Ridnour and Malcolm Lee. Barea has three seasons and is owed $14.5 million, which is not an easy deal to move. Ridnour is owned $8.6 million over two years, a deal someone might take for a backup point. Lee is on a minimum deal for the next two seasons.
The report that Kevin Durant told Russell Westbrook he’d re-sign with the Thunder before choosing the Warriors?
Royce Young of ESPN:
I misspoke in saying that Durant specifically told Westbrook he was coming back.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center Anderson Varejao will miss the Olympics for host Brazil because of a herniated disc in his lower back.
The Golden State Warriors announced the injury Wednesday and say that Varejao should be ready for the start of training camp but will not be healthy enough to play in the Olympics. Varejao recently experienced back pain while training with the Brazilian National Team and returned to California to be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins earlier this week.
Varejao averaged 2.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 22 games after signing with the Warriors on Feb. 22. He re-signed with the team earlier this month.
PHOENIX (AP) — Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson completed his staff Wednesday, naming Jay Triano associate head coach and Tyrone Corbin and Nate Bjorkgren assistant coaches.
Triano spent the last four seasons as assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers, including Watson’s final season as a player in 2013-14. The first Canadian-born head coach in NBA history when he directed Toronto, he also is the coach of Canada’s national team.
Corbin was Sacramento’s interim head coach for 28 games in 2014-15. He played the Suns in 1987-89.
Bjorkgren remains with the Suns after spending last season as assistant coach/player development coordinator. He also was head coach of the Suns’ NBA Summer League team the past two years.
The Suns also named Marlon Garnett assistant coach/player development coordinator, and Scott Duncan and Jason Fraser player development coaches.
The Los Angeles Clippers still have Paul Pierce under contract. Not many minutes for him, but he has a roster spot.
Pierce probably wants come back but is thinking it all over, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.
Pierce has been debating this with himself for a while now.
Pierce saw a dramatic drop off in production and how much he was used last season by Rivers. Pierce averaged a career-low 6.1 points per game on an also career low 48.9 true shooting percentage. His PER of 8.2 was also a career low. You get the idea. By the end of the season Pierce was mostly an afterthought for Doc Rivers (although he did start one game after Blake Griffin was out and the Clippers’ playoff dreams were toast).
Pierce would be more mentor than a key player on the court, but he would be on probably the third best team in the West, a team that capable of making a deep playoff run. Does he want to do that for one more season? You know Doc would welcome him.