Author: Kurt Helin

Zach LaVine and Glen Robinson III of the Minnesota Timberwolves Portraits

Report: Glenn Robinson III signs guaranteed deal with Timberwolves


Minnesota got a good look at Glenn Robinson III during Summer League, and they must have liked what they saw.

He was the No. 40 pick in the last draft, a second rounder which means they didn’t have to offer him a guaranteed contract. They could bring him in, run him through camp and then decide.

But instead Minnesota is giving Robinson (and yes, he’s the son of that Glenn Robinson) a guaranteed deal for this season, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Robinson is going to have to fight for minutes. He’s a three at the NBA level and the Timberwolves are loaded there — Andrew Wiggins has to get run, they have Corey Brewer and Shabazz Muhammad behind him, plus there is Robbie Hummel. Maybe they go small and try him at the four, they did that at Summer League but he struggled some with that transition.

Robinson had his moments at Summer League but when I saw him he looked like a guy trying to get used to how much faster and how much more athletic guys are at the NBA level (even Summer League is a big jump from college, and it’s another leap to the NBA). Robinson averaged 7.7 points a game on 39 percent shooting and didn’t really impact the boards. On the bright side he shot 40 percent from three.

He’s going to get a chance to prove he can stick beyond this season.

Deron Williams says after surgery his ankles feel the best they have in years

Deron Williams

Just as a reminder, here is the known list of procedures Deron Williams had done on his ankles last season: Three PRP blood platelet injections, multiple cortisone injections in both ankles, and an anti-inflammatory injection before Game 7 against the Raptors in the first round of the playoffs (and likely at other points during the year).

Right after last season he had surgery on those ankles, which have held him back for a few seasons.

Now Williams tells the New York Post he is feeling good.

“[Before the surgery], I was just walking around and my ankles would swell up,” Williams said Monday at his charity dodgeball tournament in Manhattan, which benefited his Point of Hope Foundation. “Any time that happens, that’s bad….

“Last year was tough,” he said. “I missed all of training camp, most of the preseason. … I practiced one time, played nine minutes in a preseason game and was thrown into the fire at 60 or 70 percent.

“It’s definitely different this year, and I think it’s great. I’ll be able to participate in training camp. I’ll be practicing with the guys right now, and I’m able to play with the guys before training camp, which is great.”

If D-Will is healthy and ready to go at the start of the season, that is the first time since he came to Brooklyn. Which would be huge for him and them. If the Nets are going to be any kind of real threat they need the Utah D-Will that has only shown up in flashes in Brooklyn.

Him starting the year healthy would be a great start down that road.

But what they really need is those ankles to be healthy in December. And February. And late April. Those are the real tests.

Nets coach says Kevin Garnett will play this season, start in Brooklyn

Game 2 between the Brooklyn Nets against the Miami Heat 05/08/2014

There were questions about if Kevin Garnett would return this season to Brooklyn since his friend Paul Pierce is with the Wizards and the Nets are not going to be title contenders. I mean, there are 12 million reasons we thought he might come back ($$), but it was possible he decided not to put his body through that one more time and retire.

Nope, he’ll be back — and he’s going to start.

Nets coach Lionel Hollins finally spoke with KG and got the word he will return for a 20th NBA season, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News spoke with Hollins.

Garnett isn’t the offensive force he once was but the Nets don’t need him to be. Well, so long as Brook Lopez and Deron Williams can stay healthy next to Joe Johnson. What they need KG to do is direct the defense.

What Lionel Hollins needs to do is something Jason Kidd did not last season — figure out how to make the team click when Lopez and Garnett are on the court at the same time.

The Nets should be in the crowded middle of the East (making the playoffs but behind the Bulls and Cavaliers). You’ll learn a lot more about what the Nets should look like next season by reading the PBT season preview of Brooklyn.

Ryan Hollins says Lakers, Spurs, Bulls among teams interested in him

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Clippers

For much of last season, Ryan Hollins was one of the first bigs Doc Rivers had to go to off the bench with the Clippers — and the fact he played 7.9 minutes a game should tell you why Doc went looking for help. Big Baby Glen Davis took the role by the playoffs. This season Spencer Hawes and Ekpe Udoh are massive upgrades.

Which means Hollins is looking for a new gig.

He was on the Bottom Line Sports Show on SiriusXM NBA Radio this weekend and said a number of teams are interested.

Sure thing, Ryan. We’ll just say not all of those are great fits.

The Heat have the roster spots available technically (only 11 guaranteed contracts but a few guys like James Ennis that are still likely to make the cut) but they have Chris Bosh and Chris Andersen at center, not sure that’s a fit.

The Spurs… just no.

Along those lines I can’t see Tom Thibodeau playing Hollins much plus they have Joakim Noah and Nazr Mohammed at the five spot, plus are talking to Miroslav Radulijca and Gustavo Ayon,. The Lakers have roster spots but is Hollins good depth behind Jordan Hill and Robert Sacre (maybe they play Ed Davis at the five if they go small)?

The Kings… maybe but they have guys coming to camp they reportedly like better. They start DeMarcus Cousins and then can give minutes to Jason Thompson or whoever.

Basically, somebody is going to call Hollins either during camp or during the season, he’ll get a chance, but it will be because said team feels out of options.

Kevin Durant calls Allen Iverson “pound for pound” best ever

durant iverson

Kevin Durant and Allen Iverson were hanging out and Durant wrote this to go with the above photo on Instagram:

Chuck too real. He changed the way we play ball. He changed the culture of ball. He is pound for pound the best. He paved the way. I can go on and on. But he’s a legend and I’m just walking the path he created.

LeBron James said the same thing about Iverson.

To this day Iverson remains a controversial figure — his fans believe he was one of the greatest players of his generation, close to Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. His inefficient stats don’t fit well in today’s NBA. When SB Nation’s Tom Ziller suggested last week that Chauncey Billups was better than Allen Iverson, an internet storm broke out. Iverson’s defenders are passionate.

You can put Durant in that group.

I loved watching Iverson, but I wouldn’t have wanted my team built around him. We should note he led the Sixers to the 2001 NBA Finals, he was an 11-time All-Star, and he averaged 26.7 points, 6.2 assists and 2.2 steals a game. But mostly he is beloved because he had one of the more entertaining styles of play the league has seen — he was maybe six feet tall and was rail thin guard who brought some playground to the HGA with a fearless style of attacking the rim and finishing over and around the trees that populate the NBA’s paint. More than that, Iverson changed the game off the court with his style — he brought hip-hop to the NBA with his look and swagger. (David Stern tried to kill that with the dress code.)

All that said, I don’t think you could have won a title with Iverson at the front of the offense. Efficiency does matter, and it’s something Durant has in droves.

Pound for pound… It’s a fun barstool debate. Isiah Thomas. Jerry West. Bob Cousey. Iverson and others. Have at it in the comments.