Ramon Sessions signs offer sheet with Minnesota Timberwolves: Where does this leave Johny Flynn?

September 4, 2009

flynnby Jack Maidment

With ‘point guard’ and ‘Minnesota Timberwolves’ in the same sentence you could be forgiven for jumping to conclusions. Ricky Rubio’s decision to remain in Spain for at least another two years barring something more than miraculous happening has entirely dominated not only news regarding the Wolves but also the NBA in general.

But apparently the world, or at least the NBA, has more stories to tell with the news coming out of Minny that Ramon Sessions of Milwaukee Bucks fame has agreed to an offer sheet.

It has been said that all publicity is good publicity but for David Kahn, Rubio’s snub can only be seen as a major problem for a GM who is not only trying to rebuild a team but also salvage and re-brand a franchise long deemed moribund.

The swift play for Sessions is clearly a bid to try and wash away the bitter taste of rejection left with Kahn since Rubio’s statement of intent. Swift the move may be, but the extent to which it will assuage the collective feeling of disappointment felt by all those associated with the Wolves will be minimal at absolute best.

The prospect of having arguably the most exciting young player in the world on your roster is a damn fine way to sell tickets and give your lowly franchise a boost. Bringing in a solid and improving player in Sessions? Just not the same.

And that is to say nothing negative about Sessions. Making it to the League from the D and proceeding to drop 20+ assist nights is something that deserves props: the fact that he has landed a 4 year $16 million contract is testament to the potential he has displayed in his relatively brief stint in the NBA.

This news cements a sense of finality regarding Rubio’s migration West: it’s not happening for a while.

As one case closes, albeit temporarily, another one opens: where does this leave Johny Flynn? The fact that the Wolves drafted two points back to back suggested that they had the faith in both of them to do things in their back court from the off, learning and growing on the job. Kahn said so.

Having Sessions join him in Minnesota must have Flynn a little perturbed to say the least. Bringing in another player at your position is hardly the best way of saying ‘we have confidence in you’ especially given the fact that Session is hardly a veteran himself. He may have played a lot more ball than Flynn but half a season in the NBA hardly puts him light years ahead of the Syracuse man in terms of leadership or savvy.

Training camp is going to be one hell of a ride.

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Ricky Rubio to remain in Spain, signs for Regal Barcelona

September 1, 2009

rixckyby Jack Maidment

Spain’s prodigal son, Ricky Rubio, will be remaining in his homeland for at least the next year, probably two, before heading to the NBA.

Despite the prolonged negotiations between DKV Joventut and the Minnesota Timberwolves an agreement could not be reached. Ultimately it came down to the fact that the Wolves were legally prohibited from contributing a substantial enough amount toward Rubio’s ridiculous buyout clause which hovers somewhere around $5 Million.

Considering that the point guard earned less than $100,000 last year, the amount written into his contract to release him would appear to be obscene enough to be overturned by some court in the land, but apparently enough.

With the Wolves bound tightly by the law, Rubio will instead be playing his basketball for Regal Barcelona who have agreed to Joventut’s buyout numbers making Rubio the most expensive transfer in European basketball history.

The fact that Barcelona have agreed to pay such a fee for his services suggests that they expect/demand Rubio to remain in Spain for the foreseeable future.

If that is the case, Minnesota must place their hope in Johnny Flynn, the second point guard that they elected to pick in the Draft Lottery. The clarification of Rubio’s status officially puts the pressure on the Syracuse man to perform: their will be no help from Europe just yet.


Washington Wizards add Mike Miller and Randy Foye, Timberwolves in strong position to go after Ricky Rubio

June 25, 2009
Please be Healthy.

Please be Healthy.

by Jack Maidment

If points were the only thing that mattered, the Washington Wizards would likely be in the mix for the title next year.

In exchange for the #5 pick in this year’s draft and 3 veterans the Wiz are now the proud owners of one of the most offensively capable teams in the League.

A squad which now includes Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, DeShawn Stevenson, Nick Young, Mike Miller and Randy Foye should be capable of hanging with any team in the scoring department.

Their trade partners, the Minnesota Timberwolves, now hold 4 first round picks: 5, 6, 18 and 28.

It is thought that they will try and trade up to acquire the #2 pick, currently held by the Memphis Grizzlies. If successful, the Wolves will take Ricky Rubio second overall on Draft night.

They believe that the Spaniard’s talents and personality might be enough to reinvigorate a franchise that has struggled for support in recent years, especially since Kevin Garnett’s departure to the Boston Celtics.

Even if they are unable to swap with Memphis, picking at 5 and 6 gives them a great chance at upgrading their squad with at 2 exciting, young players.

Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan and Tyreke Evans are all likely to still be on the board when the Wolves’ time comes.

The deal also puts the Timberwolves in a strong financial position for 2010 with a large number of expiring contracts in their possession.

This means that the Wolves will have the chance to sign some big time free agents. Only for them to be rejected.

Even so, the Wolves will be young and exciting next year.

Not so young but perhaps more exciting will be the Wizards. Injury dependant that is.


NBA Trade Rumors: Minnesota Pursuing Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love Offered To Memphis?

June 16, 2009

loveby Jack Maidment

The Los Angeles Laker’s returned to the City of Angels, trophy’s and all, drawing to a close the 2009 NBA season.

All of the year’s meaningful, competitive basketball has now been played and teams around the League must now look forward to what can be achieved heading into a new year when currently dirty slates can be wiped clean: here’s looking at the Suns, Clippers and Wizards especially.

With the Draft less than two weeks away, every team is looking to make moves; whether that be to improve roster talent or to shed salary.

Perhaps the most interesting and intriguing draft possibility to emerge over the past couple of days has the Minnesota Timberwolves looking to trade Kevin Love plus filler to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for the #2 pick in this year’s draft.

All of the noise up to this point has suggested that the Wolves are extremely keen on Ricky Rubio and believe that he could be the man to help persuade the citizens of Minnesota to part with their hard earned cash and come watch.

Brining Rubio in would undoubtedly boost ticket sales given his penchant for flash. Yet, given the strength of Love’s rookie season, which saw him lead rookies in rebounds a game and most double doubles, sending him to Memphis for an unproven NBA point may raise a few eyebrows.

However, if the deal did go through, the Wolves would still hold the #6 pick where they could likely take Jordan Hill, the athletic power forward out of Arizona as Love’s replacement.

The fact that Rubio is looking to avoid Memphis like the plague, the move makes sense for the Grizz who would acquire a player who would compliment Marc Gasol in the paint.

The tandem of Gasol (Jr) and Love would be one of the League’s best rebounding front courts which would leave Rudy Gay to get his on the offensive end.

It would also allow Memphis to stick with their current backcourt pairing of Mike Conley and future League Top-Scorer O.J. Mayo, giving them the time needed to grow as individual players and as team mates.

Even if Rubio did want to play in Memphis, would a ball hungry pair of Mayo and Rubio click? In all likelihood, no.