Tag: Anthony Bennett

Kevin Garnett

Flip Saunders: Kevin Garnett will start for Timberwolves


The Timberwolves didn’t sign Kevin Garnett just for his leadership.

They want him to play.

Minnesota coach Flip Saunders, in a Q&A with Zach Lowe of Grantland:

Is KG going to start?

He’s gonna start. That’s who he is. KG is a starter. He’s the best power forward on our team, actually. No one rebounds better. He’s the best help defender. No one communicates better. He knows the offense, and he can pass it.

That leaves Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Pekovic and Gorgui Dieng battling to start at the other big-man spot.

Towns was just the No. 1 pick, a productive two-way player who seems relatively NBA-ready for a rookie. Saunders said Pekovic is still hurt, but the center has been a steady starter the last four years when healthy. Dieng broke out late in his rookie season, and he maintained that level while starting a majority of Minnesota’s games last season.

Towns has the brightest future among that group, and maybe he should start for that reason. It will be pretty tough for the Timberwolves to make the playoffs next season, so maybe they should think long-term.

It’s also possible Towns is already better than Pekovic and Dieng, though I wouldn’t be surprised if the veterans are ahead when the season begins.

Simply based on productivity, Garnett belongs in the mix in a four-man race. But he’s clearly getting the nod based on stature. The 39-year-old also might be better off physically starting rather than sitting on the bench and getting cold to begin games.

I don’t expect Garnett to play typical minutes for a starter, which should leave playing time for those younger players. Enough to maximize their development? That’s a different question – especially with Anthony Bennett, Adreian Payne and Nemanja Bjelica also on the roster.

Perhaps, though, that issues takes care of itself. Garnett played just five games after Minnesota acquired him before the trade deadline, missing the final 21 games of the season. Injury is always an increased concern for players his age.

I’d hardly be surprised if, for one reason or another, Garnett is no longer starting by the end of the season.

Canada beats USA at Pan Am games; Kentucky-bound Jamal Murray looks good

Men's basketball, Semi final round action,

First things first: Canada beat the USA in basketball at the Pan American games, 111-108 in overtime. This is not a big deal, both nations sent second or third tier squads to this event for some experience. The Canadians sent some NBA players — Andrew Nicholson (31 points against the USA) and Anthony Bennett (18). The USA’s best player has been Bobby Brown, who has spent a little time in the NBA but played last year in China.

Canada is closing the gap with the USA on the court, they sent the better team to this tournament, but they are still well back when both teams bring their A-listers.

The guy who has turned heads at the Pan Am Games for Canada is Kentucky bound Jamal Murray, who had 22 against the Americans. You can see his highlights above. Right now Draft Express has him as a bubble lottery pick, but don’t be shocked if he climbs that ladder higher by the time we get to the draft itself. Murray and Skal Labissiere will make the Wildcats title contenders once again (Rob Dauster at CollegeBasketballTalk has them No. 3 in his way-too-early poll for next season).

Report: Kevin Garnett to re-sign with Timberwolves

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett spent the first 12 years of his NBA career in Minnesota with the Timberwolves, and was traded back there in what was mostly a feel-good move by the franchise at the deadline last season.

Garnett appeared in just five games in total for the Timberwolves, and sat out the team’s final 21 games of the regular season.

He was always expected back, though, and met with several players as part of Minnesota’s pre-draft process. Garnett’s return now appears to be somewhat official.

From 1500ESPN:

Long expected to re-sign in Minnesota for at least another year at age 39, Garnett’s contract is “done,” according to 1500ESPN contributor Darren Wolfson.

Terms of the deal were not immediately known.

“I’m incredibly excited and rejuvenated to be a part of this talented, committed team,” Garnett said, in a statement passed along to Wolfson.

Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports that it’ll be a two-year deal once the free agency moratorium is lifted later this week.

Garnett will likely act as a mentor for the team’s stable of young bigs, which includes a reigning Rookie of the Year in Andrew Wiggins, a former No. 1 overall pick in Anthony Bennett, and this summer’s top pick in the NBA Draft, Karl-Anthony Towns.

This will be Garnett’s 21st season, which ties him with Robert Parish and Kevin Willis for the most all-time in NBA history.

Report: Timberwolves sign Euroleague star Nemanja Bjelica to three-year, $11.7 million contract

Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul- CSKA Moscow: Turkish Airlines Euroleague

Nemanja Bjelica has been a sleeper for five years.

Now, after a little negotiating, the Timberwolves will see just what the No. 35 pick in the 2010 draft can do. They are bringing him over to the USA.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

Euroleague star forward Nemanja Bjelica has agreed to a three-year, $11.7 million deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Timberwolves are paying an additional $625,000 – the most allowable contribution – for his buyout clause in Europe, sources said.

Bjelica fits in with the NBA trend of big men who are versatile — he can play inside or out, at the three or the four, plus take on some ball handling responsibilities. He shot 37 percent from three last season, and he pulled down more than eight rebounds a game as well for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce Ulker.

Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieng, Shabazz Muhammad, Zach LaVine, Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin, Adreian Payne, Anthony Bennett – and now Bjelica. The Timberwolves are stockpiling a lot of talent.

It’s unclear how ready the youngest of that group is to compete, and though Bjelica is already 27, he also must adjust to the NBA. The fit of those players is unclear, too. And he Western Conference is not the least bit forgiving.

But talent is the place to start, and Minnesota is doing just fine there.

Report: Timberwolves in talks with Euroleague MVP Nemanja Bjelica

Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul- CSKA Moscow: Turkish Airlines Euroleague

On draft night in 2010, Minnesota agreed to a trade with Washington for the No. 35 pick, the rights to Serbian Nemanja Bjelica. Then they stashed him overseas, where he has continued to develop and look like a guy they could use — last season he was the Euroleague MVP.

Now the Timberwolves are looking to bring the 6’10” point forward over for the next few seasons, reports Shams Charania at Real GM.

Euroleague star Nemanja Bjelica is in serious discussions with the Minnesota Timberwolves on an approximate three-year, $12 million-plus deal, but the two sides have been exploring all options, league sources told RealGM…. Around the league, there’s active trade interest in the Serbian forward, sources said.

In an NBA trending toward spacing the floor and versatile lineup, Bjelica is a good fit because he can play the three or the four, plus take on some ball handling responsibilities. He shot 37 percent from three last season, and he pulled down more than eight rebounds a game as well for Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce Ulker.

Minnesota is strong at the three with Andrew Wiggins and Shabazz Muhammad. At the four there is Gorgui Dieng and behind him Anthony Bennett (who is being shopped) as well as Adreian Payne. You could see Bjelica being able to step in and get good minutes off the bench at the four, sort of in a Nikola Mirotic kind of way (with a different style game, but in terms of usage they could be similar).

Minnesota is assembling a very nice roster, one that could do a lot of damage in a few years if they can keep the core together and develop them.