Justin Hamilton

Timberwolves signed a player because he was near New York


Why did the Timberwolves sign Sean Kilpatrick?

Sure, he played well enough in the D-League after going undrafted out of Cincinnati.

But that was far from the only reason.

NBA teams are required to have eight players available for each regular season games, and with a long list of sidelined players – Nikola Pekovic, Shabazz Muhammad, Robbie Hummel, Anthony Bennett, Kevin Garnett, Justin Hamilton, Gary Neal and Ricky Rubio – Minnesota was down to just seven healthy players for its game against the Knicks in New York last night.

Enter Kilpatrick, whose D-League team was in nearby Delaware.

Timberwolves president/coach Flip Saunders, via Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press:

“We had to fulfill our rules, so we had to go find somebody that was within a train ride away,” Wolves coach Flip Saunders said.

Kilpatrick actually drove, arriving in the Wolves’ locker room at Madison Square Garden about 45 minutes before the start.

“We had him in before so we worked him out, so we knew about him and we’ve been following him, but there’s no question that geography helped,” Saunders said. “We had to have a guy here ready to play at 7:30.”

Kilpatrick played 10 minutes, missing his lone shot, grabbing a rebound and turning the ball over in Minnesota’s win.

He’ll earn $29,843 for this contract, more than he would have made all season in the D-League. Not bad for being in the right place at the right time.

Saunders also had a cool story about a player arriving even closer to tip-off than Kilpatrick did. Mahoney:

When Saunders was coaching in the CBA, Sidney Lowe – now a Wolves assistant – arrived half a game later.

“For the (postseason) he had to be eligible for seven games and the seventh game we were playing at La Crosse. So he flew in and got in at halftime,” Saunders said.

“He got in playing the second half to be playoff eligible.”

76ers claim Glenn Robinson III off waivers


If the 76ers see a talented Robinson on the waiver wire, they pounce.

So, after claiming Thomas Robinson to reach the salary floor and get a better-than-free look at the recent No. 5 pick, Philadelphia again sprung into action when the Timberwolves waived Glenn Robinson III.

The 76ers claimed Robinson, the No. 40 pick in last year’s draft.

Philadelphia coach Brett Brown, via Dei Lynam of CSN Philly:

“We are excited to have him,” Brown said before Saturday’s game against the Hawks. “We liked him when we looked at him prior to the draft. Part of our plan is identifying young people who have a chance to be keepers. He ticks a lot of boxes in regards to it being a no-brainer in why we would be interested in him. Funny enough I coached his dad in San Antonio for a little while.”

Announcement: ProBasketballTalk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $150,000 fantasy basketball league for Monday’s NBA games. It’s just $2 to join and first place wins $10,000. Starts Monday at 7:00pm ET. Enter now!

Robinson has the frame and raw ability of an NBA small forward, but he has yet to put it together – not that he had much opportunity in Minnesota. He played just 108 minutes in 25 games for the Timberwolves. The biggest negative indicator on his career is them choosing Justin Hamilton over him.

Did they cut Robison too soon, or did they have good reason?

The question is worth exploring for the 76ers, who add Robinson the many talented second rounders they’re trying to develop.

They can make Robinson, who signed a one-year contract, a restricted free agent after the season. Unlike K.J. McDaniels, who also signed a one-year deal in a similar position before being traded, Philadelphia probably doesn’t have to worry about matching a big offer with Robinson. If he warrants anything above the minimum, things went very well the last few weeks of the season.

Report: Timberwolves claim Justin Hamilton on waivers, waive Glenn Robinson, III


Justin Hamilton was one of the many pieces included in last month’s trade between the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns that sent Goran Dragic to Miami. Hamilton, a former D-League big man, ended up going to New Orleans, and the Pelicans promptly waived him. Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting that Hamilton has a new home in Minnesota.

In 25 games for the Timberwolves, Robinson had averaged just 1.2 points in 4.3 minutes per game. Hamilton hasn’t contributed much more than that in Miami, but the Timberwolves are essentially swapping out one end-of-bench player for another.

Report: Goran Dragic sees Lakers as ‘perfect fit’ in free agency this summer


Goran Dragic was traded to the Heat as part of a slew of deadline day deals, and while Miami was reportedly on the list of destinations he’ll consider signing long term as a free agent this summer, he may currently view Los Angeles as a more interesting option.

From Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

The Lakers expressed a “ton” of interest in guard Goran Dragic, according to an NBA source familiar with the situation. But the Lakers “just didn’t have assets,” the league source said. Instead, the Phoenix Suns traded Dragic and his brother, Zoran, to the Miami Heat for Danny Granger, Justin Hamilton and two first-round picks. …

A person familiar with Dragic’s thinking said he “loves the opportunity” to join the Lakers and sees them as a “perfect fit” when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. But the Heat can sign Dragic a five-year deal worth up to $100 million, while other teams can offer up to a four-year deal worth $80 million.

The part about the Heat having that extra contract year to offer is true, but it means less than ever before. More and more players are choosing to sign shorter deals now, in exchange for bigger paydays once the salary cap spikes (thanks to the league’s lucrative new broadcast rights deal) in advance of the 2016-17 season.

The Lakers are at the point where they’ll have to overpay a bit to get a free agent to come. Dragic is a borderline All-Star and a terrific attacking point guard, but a four-year deal worth $80 million may scare most suitors away. The Knicks may come with that type of offer, too, but the only thing that’s clear now is that Dragic will have no shortage of free agent options.

Three-team trade: Michael Carter-Williams to Bucks, Brandon Knight to Suns, 2015 first round pick to Sixers


In what was an insane final rush before the trade deadline, the Philadelphia 76ers sent reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams to Milwaukee as part of a three-team deal that included Phoenix.

In return, the Sixers get the Lakers’ top-five protected 2015 first round pick that was owed to Phoenix, while the Suns get Brandon Knight from the Bucks (to help replace Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas, who were sent out).

Milwaukee also receives Mason Plumlee and Tyler Ennis from Phoenix.

Adrian Wojnarowski was first with the story, but it was quickly confirmed by multiple sources.

This trade broke all at once — with some false reports along the way — but here’s how it shakes out.

What the Sixers got that they wanted more is picks. Maybe some very good picks.

That pick is top five protected this season and next (it’s likely the Lakers are one of the five worst teams in the league this year, but 2016 is up in the air).

The Bucks are fans of Carter-Williams and they landed their man (on a rookie deal) along with Tyler Enis and Miles Plumlee of the Suns. That’s three guys with some potential. They wanted to get rid of Knight because they were afraid he would get overpaid this season.

The Suns may be willing to pay Knight because he will make less than Dragic. Knight is averaging 17.8 points a game, shooting 40.9 percent from three and has a PER of 18.5. He was a borderline All-Star in the East and can be a solid fit next to Bledsoe.

The Suns made massive changes to the roster through multiple deals — they traded away both Goran Dragic and Isaiah Thomas, they get in return two Miami first round picks (likely 2017 and 2019), the Cavaliers 2016 first-round pick, Marcus Thornton, Kendall Marshall, Danny Granger, Shawne Williams, and Justin Hamilton, in addition to Knight. They have remade the roster, and not in a way that’s just about grabbing the eight seed this season.