Tag: Kevin Love

2015 NBA Draft Lottery

Timberwolves owner on possibility of trading No. 1 pick: ‘It’s got to be part of any conversation’


NEW YORK — Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor was his team’s on-stage representative at the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday, and once Minnesota had secured the number one overall pick, he was of course giddy when discussing the possibilities.

“It’s very exciting for me and I think for our fans,” Taylor said. “There’s going to be a lot of enthusiasm [as far as] who you’re going to pick and how you’re going to do that. And that’s a process that will start now.”

Part of that process will be to consider all options — and that includes trading the pick, as the Cleveland Cavaliers did when they sent Andrew Wiggins to Minnesota in the Kevin Love deal last summer.

While Taylor doesn’t view such a scenario as likely, he did admit that the team wouldn’t take that topic off the table during any potential trade discussions.

“I think it’s got to be part of any conversation,” he said. “But tradition, I think tradition says it’s fairly unlikely to happen.”

The Timberwolves not only have a Rookie of the Year in Wiggins, but they also have Zach LaVine, who joined his teammate in earning All-Rookie honors. Adding some veteran pieces to the mix may make sense at some point, especially when the goal in Minnesota starts with simply making the playoffs.

If the right player were to be made available, an established All-Star caliber talent with some years still remaining on a reasonable contract, then Minnesota may be tempted to include an unproven player that would come with the draft’s top selection.

The Timberwolves won’t be picking up the phone and calling other teams to dangle the pick just to see what kind of offers it could potentially bring back. But they won’t rule out dealing it at this early stage of things, either.

“[You listen] because you never know what it could mean, if you could get the right one or two guys that could just change your team,” Taylor said. “You already have a bunch of young guys, so you have to look at this type of stuff. But I think it’s a very hard decision to make. I mean, I think of Cleveland. They didn’t want to do that [give up Wiggins in the trade for Love], I can tell you because I ended up negotiating with their owner. They didn’t want to do that, really, because you just don’t know how good Wiggins can be in the future. And then you’re going to hear about that forever and ever and ever.”

Taylor made it clear that the prospect of trading away a pick that could end up being a future cornerstone like Jahlil Okafor or Karl-Anthony Towns wasn’t his preference. But he made it just as clear that doing so would not be considered impossible.

“I think it’s probably highly unlikely,” Taylor said. “But I think it’s worth having the discussion.”

Kyrie Irving on his early relationship with Matthew Dellavedova: We ‘damn near almost fought every single day’

Brooklyn Nets v Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers have come together quite nicely this season, especially when considering just how much and how quickly the roster has changed.

The addition of LeBron James and Kevin Love changed the dynamic in Cleveland, as well as the expectations. But that was only the beginning of a personnel shake-up that wasn’t complete until the mid-season deals to acquire Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith and Timofey Mozgov — while sending Dion Waiters out of town — were completed in January, and Kendrick Perkins was signed a month later.

Kyrie Irving and Matthew Dellavedova are key players in the rotation, and two guys that have been constants since before the previous season began. While it’s clear now that they’ve developed a bond, it was a rocky start for the two as the relationship was being formed.

From Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com:

“Yeah, they used to f— each other up,” said Tristan Thompson, recalling the times he’d have to play peacemaker in Cavs training camp in the fall of 2013 when Irving, the franchise player and former No. 1 pick, was matched up with Dellavedova, the undrafted rookie free agent just trying to make the team. “They used to go after it every day. There would be times when they’d be ready to fight each other.” …

“I played him in the summer time and he was going into summer league, I was going into my third year and I was like, ‘Who the hell is this kid?’ I was like, I’ve never heard of him,” Irving said. “I had heard of him, because of St. Mary’s, but I had never played against him. So, I’m coming in and he just basically, every fast break, he was just fouling the s— out of me. I was like, ‘OK, well, maybe I’ll see him in training camp.’ So, we went through training camp, every single day we went against each other and damn near almost fought every single day.” …

“Probably the first three months of the season he was irritated by Delly,” Thompson said, “but he realized Delly is not going to stop and it was going to make him a better player.”

Irving was a young, budding superstar, and Dellavedova was unheralded, likely fighting for a roster spot.

Now that Cleveland is contending for a title, and Dellavedova has come through in some of the team’s bigger moments, he’s earned the respect of his teammates. But it wasn’t something that came quickly, and it certainly was anything but easy.

PBT Eastern Conference Finals Preview: Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

LeBron James


Hawks: 60-22, first place in Eastern Conference.

Cavaliers: 53-29, second place in Eastern Conference.

Atlanta won the season series, 3-1.


Hawks: Thabo Sefolosha is done for the year after a leg injury suffered during a nightclub incident in New York in April.

Cavaliers: Kevin Love (shoulder) is out for the season. Kyrie Irving is expected to play in Game 1, but he was limited in the Bulls series by foot and knee issues.


Hawks: 102 points scored per 100 possessions (9th in NBA); 98.2 points allowed per 100 possessions (2nd in NBA).

Cavaliers: 108.2 points scored per 100 possessions (1st in NBA); 98.8 points allowed per 100 possessions (4th in NBA).


1. How much help will LeBron get? With Irving hobbled, the Cavs are going to need plenty of help from their supporting cast. J.R. Smith, Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert and even Matthew Dellavedova all stepped up at various points in the Bulls series, which was enough to make up for a relatively inefficient showing from James. DeMarre Carroll will be in the Jimmy Butler “LeBron stopper” role this series, and if he’s able to slow James down, it’s going to come down to how the secondary pieces fare. If LeBron has to win this series by himself, it’s not going to be an easy task against a team as deep as the Hawks.

2. The point guard battle: In February, a matchup between Kyrie Irving and Jeff Teague would have been the most exciting part of this series, when they were both All-Stars. But Irving has been hurt and largely ineffective, and Teague, who normally jumps a level in the playoffs, has been wildly inconsistent through the first two rounds. What was once a position of strength for both teams has become perhaps their greatest liability, and whichever point guard can give more could end up swinging the series.

3. Can Atlanta’s offense expose Cleveland’s defense? The Cavs’ defense has been outstanding in the first two rounds, but their strong performances came against an offensively limited Celtics team and a Bulls group that had been prone to long scoring droughts all season. Cleveland’s defense ranked 20th in the league in the regular season. In theory, Atlanta’s offense should shred them. But the Hawks haven’t been themselves on that end for most of the playoffs. Mike Budenholzer’s gameplan has remained the same, heavy on ball movement and a read-and-react philosophy—they just haven’t been able to execute it as effectively as they did in the regular season. If they can find that consistency, it will be very difficult for Cleveland to defend.


It’s difficult to pick against LeBron, but Irving’s health is worrisome and Al Horford was outstanding at both ends of the floor in the Wizards series. Carroll is as capable as anyone when it comes to defending James, and if he can make him work for his points even close to the way Butler did in the second round, that places a heavy burden on Cleveland’s supporting cast. This could go either way but I’m going to take Hawks in 7.

Report: Flip Saunders ‘really likes’ Jahlil Okafor, won’t necessarily take Karl-Anthony Towns No. 1

Wisconsin v Duke

Most teams would reportedly take Karl-Anthony Towns with the No. 1 pick.

But most teams don’t have the No. 1 pick.

The Timberwolves have the No. 1 pick.

Whom will Minnesota president Flip Saunders select, Towns or Jahlil Okafor?

Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress:

First of all, as the Kevin Love trade saga showed, Saunders is perfectly willing to misdirect. Even if he says he prefers Okafor, Saunders doesn’t necessarily prefer Okafor.

Plus, he might not even know his choice yet. Neither Towns or Okafor participated in the combine, and the Timberwolves will surely try to bring in both for visits.

I’d take Towns. Okafor would probably fit with Andrew Wiggins and Minnesota’s other young talent, but this team is still a work in progress. Towns’ versatility could only help down the road. The main issue: Towns – because of his ability on both ends of the floor – seems a little better than the offensively minded Okafor.

There is a case for the Timberwolves picking Okafor, though. The Lakers, who pick second and probably prefer Towns, would be happy to make it.

Minnesota Timberwolves win No. 1 pick in NBA Draft lottery, Lakers move up to second

2015 NBA Draft Lottery

The Minnesota Timberwolves are about to have the last three No. 1 draft picks on one team.

Last summer they moved Kevin Love to Cleveland for both Andrew Wiggins (2014) and Anthony Bennett (2013).

This season they won the NBA Draft lottery.

The Los Angeles Lakers moved up to the No. 2 spot in the draft, Philadelphia 76ers is third, and the New York Knicks fall two spots to fourth. The rest of the draft order held to form in order of record.

“It’s very important to us,” Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told ESPN on the broadcast of the Draft Lottery. “We have a young team and one more outstanding young player may really help us.”

The Timberwolves had the worst record in the NBA last at 16-66 last season, they had a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick because of it. That’s the point of the lottery — the last time the team with the worst record in the NBA got the No. 1 overall pick was 2004.

It is expected that Timberwolves will take Karl Anthony Towns, out of Kentucky, or Jahlil Okafor of the national champion Duke Blue Devils. Rumblings are that Minnesota GM Flip Saunders prefers Okafor. Whichever one the Timberwolves don’t take, the Lakers likely will (and they prefer Towns).

The Timberwolves have a nice young core with Ricky Rubio at the point, Zach LaVine at a guard slot, Gorgui Dieng and Bennett up front, and now a key piece in the paint.

The Sixers reportedly have been high on D’Angelo Russell, the point guard out of Ohio State, don’t be surprised if he goes No. 3.

The Knicks fell one spot to No. 4, which makes it even more likely they will move their pick for a veteran that can help now rather than down the line.

Here is the order of the NBA Draft lottery.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. New York Knicks
5. Orlando Magic
6. Sacramento Kings
7. Denver Nuggets
8. Detroit Pistons
9. Charlotte Hornets
10. Miami Heat
11. Indiana Pacers
12. Utah Jazz
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Oklahoma City Thunder

The rest of the first round:

15. Atlanta Hawks (via Brooklyn Nets)
16. Boston Celtics
17. Milwaukee Bucks
18. Houston Rockets (via New Orleans Pelicans)
19. Washington Wizards
20. Toronto Raptors
21. Dallas Mavericks
22. Chicago Bulls
23. Portland Trail Blazers
24. Cleveland Cavaliers
25. Memphis Grizzlies
26. San Antonio Spurs
27. Los Angeles Lakers (via Houston Rockets)
28. Boston Celtics (via Los Angeles Clippers )
29. Brooklyn Nets (via Atlanta Hawks)
30. Golden State Warriors