This is a bigger surprise than the things that will come out of your Uncle Phil’s mouth at the family Thanksgiving dinner once he’s had a few too many beers. But Timberwolves fans don’t care because this is great news:
Love broke his hand while doing knuckle pushups before the season started, has not played in a game yet, and the timeline was he was expected to return around Thanksgiving. However, aside the fact he took part in a team walkthrough this week there was no indication he was this close.
Love is an All-Star and Olympic gold medalist who gave Minnesota 24 points and 12.3 rebounds a game last season. He is strong on the offensive glass but has the touch to shoot 37 percent from three. Minnesota’s offense just instantly got better.
Minnesota went 5-4 without Love (and they still await the return of Ricky Rubio some time in December). That keeps them in the playoff hunt in the West, and with other teams experiencing injuries they have a real shot at making the cut.
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The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
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