Friday, June 29, 2007

No Draymond for Gophers

It's official. Draymond Green has committed to Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans for 2008.

Green, who originally committed to Kentucky, is the #21 PF according to, and 78th overall according to Rivals. Green backed out of his commitment to Kentucky after Tubby Smith left for the Gophers. After reopening his recruitment, Minnesota was in the mix up until Green narrowed to three teams - Michigan, Michigan St, and Indiana.

This is a bummer, but to be honest, I don't expect to get recruits in the top 100 just yet. Even though we have Tubby Smith now instead of Monson, we are still Minnesota. The Gophers aren't even on the radar for a lot of kids right now, and Tubby can't change that in three months. I fully believe he will turn it around within a few years, and we'll have a better shot at this caliber of player.

Offers are still out to Devoe Joseph, who's ranked #100 and Verdell Jones, who's ranked #101, as well as Ralph Sampson, who is unranked, but is shooting up the charts.

NBA Draft Thoughts

A few draft thoughts, not Wolves related:

- The Celtics are getting killed for the Ray Allen trade, but I think they'll be fine. Pierce, Allen, and Jefferson is a nice base, and their two second round picks of Gabe Pruitt and Glen Davis are quality players who could have been first round players.

- I don't think Acie Law will be a good pro

- JamesOn Curry got drafted actually. Good for him. He won't make the Bulls roster.

- Houston had a bad draft, getting Aaron Brooks in round 1 (too small to be a 2, not really a great PG) and Carl Landry in round 2 (passed on Glen Davis).

- Great draft for the Clippers, getting Al Thornton at #14 when he slipped, and picking up a sneaky good PG in Jared Jordan from Marist (who lit up the Gophers this past season) in round 2

- Daequan Cook is still an idiot, even though he got picked #21. He would have been a lottery pick next year.

- It's bizarre that Milwaukee took Yi. When a guy from China says he doesn't want to play in your city, you don't take him. This could get ugly.

- Adam Haluska got drafted? Seriously?

- 76ers had a great draft. I think they should have taken Thornton over Thaddeus Young at #12, but they also added Jason Smith in round 1 and both second round picks (Derrick Byars and Herbert Hill) could end up contributing.

- Alando Tucker at 29 and DJ Strawberry at 59 were excellent values for the Suns

- Portland had a great draft and is going to be a force for a lot of years.

- Nick Young at #16 was an excellent pick for Washington

Overall, it was really a pretty boring draft. Most of the picks were in line with what was expected, without any severe curveballs.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I will have more thoughts on the draft later, but for now let me just say that I could not be happier with the Timberwolves pick of former Florida Gator and Final Four Most Outstanding Player Corey Brewer.

I said it before, and I stand by it, that Brewer will be the best player to come out of this draft not named Greg Oden or Kevin Durant.

Outstanding. Back-to-back years with good draft picks, I'm stunned.

Now, Chris Richard in the second round is a little bit confusing, but maybe his potential was stunted a bit by all the talent Florida had. We'll see.

I'm also a little bummed they weren't able to trade KG, but it's better to keep him than to get too little. Hopefully something can be worked out down the road.

Newest Garnett News

The latest, as reported by Chad Ford at, is that the Charlotte Bobcats have been contacted to be the third team to work out a KG deal with the Wolves and Suns.

The Wolves would receive the #8 pick and undisclosed players from Charlotte, KG would go to the Suns, and Amare Stoudamire and Marcus Banks would head to Charlotte.

Rumors have been swirling around Charlotte trading the #8 pick, since they have a nice base of young players and were looking for veteran help. However, I'm not so sure the Bobcats have the salaries to get this trade done.

It would have to involve some kind of sign and trade with Gerald Wallace and maybe Jake Voskuhl. Of the players the Bobcats have under contract, the only guys I can see them parting with are Othella Harrington ($2.2 mil), Brevin Knight ($4.4 mil), and Primoz Brezec ($2.8 mil). That's not enough money to get it done. I don't really know how sign and trades work and all that, but I think that would be the only option here.

ALSO: There's a rumor that there is already a trade in place to get rid of Ricky Davis as well, but now I can't freaking remember who they said he was going to get traded to.

Y.S.N. $ LDUB $ SIKC 6

I was bored, so I went to myspace and managed to find Lawrence Westbrook's Myspace Page. Unfortunately, it's private so I can't find anymore out about it, but his name he goes by is: Y.S.N. $ LDUB $ SIKC 6

I have no idea what that means. Well, the LDUB is obvious, but that's it. I don't know, maybe I'm too old.

His motto or whatever is "Last of a Dyin' Breed."

For the record, I think LDUB is going to much improved this year. He's one of the players I'm most excited to see play. I think he wasn't used correctly by Monson, and has the potential to be an excellent player for the next three years.


Looking over this year's basketball schedule for Long Beach State, they play at Pepperdine on November 20th.

Long Beach State. Who hired Dan Monson.

Pepperdine. Where Rico Tucker transferred to after Dan Monson basically ran him off the team even though Tucker was the best athlete on the team and with some patience and a good coach could have been a very good player.

Rico vs. Monson. November 20th. I hope Rico goes for 40.

Thanks once again to the Gopher Hole for bringing this up.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

KG to Suns back on?

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, over at, KG is very close to being a Phoenix Sun once again.

This version of the trade would send KG to Phoenix, Amare Stoudamire to Atlanta, and the #3 and #11 picks along with Zaza Pachulia and Anthony Johnson to the Wolves.

I like getting the #3 and #11, but the last Atlanta rumor I heard had former top 10 picks Josh Childress and Shelden Williams as the players involved, not mediocre players like Pachulia and Johnson. (well, Childress and Williams' stats aren't that great yet, but at least they are mediocre with upside.)

The Wolves also don't get rid of any of their bad contracts with this deal, but it's become pretty apparent at this point that KG needs to be moved after all of this.

Maybe the #3 and #7 would be enough to move up to #2 and get Durant..........

Gophers Offer Another 2008 Point Guard

Even with Nathen Garth already committed to the Gophers for 2008, Tubby Smith has offered a scholarship to 2008 PG Verdell Jones III out of Illinois.

Jones is a 6-4, 160 lbs point guard, ranked as a three-star recruit by both Rivals and Scout. He is ranked as the 16th or 17th best point guard in the class, depending on which site you check.

With that height to weight ratio, as you can guess one of his listed weakness is his strength. Scout says his strengths are his ball-handling, ability to create, and passing, with perimeter shooting and decision making joining strength as his weaknesses. Contradicting Scout, says he has an excellent jump shot, and can slide over to the 2 if needed.

A poster at, combes, has more information and a first hand opinion here.

It's also been reported that Draymond Green has narrowed his list to Michigan, Michigan State, and Indiana.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Watch Out for Tennessee

Former Iowa freshman Tyler Smith received word from the NCAA that his transfer year will be waived, and he will be immediately eligible to start playing for the Tennessee Volunteers.

He joins a team that reached the sweet 16 last year, and returns all but one starter. Along with Smith, the Volunteers also will get a boost from former top recruit and Arizona Wildcat J.P. Prince, who transferred two seasons ago and will be eligible this year. They have also signed the #17 SG in the country in Cameron Tatum (great name too) who will be eligible this coming season.

Seriously, between Tennessee and Memphis, that state is going to have two of the top teams in the country.

Mock Lottery

Since there's nothing else happening, I'll give take a shot at the top 13 picks in Thursday Night's NBA Draft:

1. PORTLAND - Greg Oden, Ohio State
No brainer. You can't pass up a franchise center, even if I think Durant has a higher ceiling.

2. SEATTLE - Kevin Durant, Texas
An even easier pick, just take the guy Portland doesn't.

3. ATLANTA - Al Horford, Florida
I can see them going Conley here too, especially since they've passed on point guards the past couple of drafts, but everything I read says Horford has cemented himself as the third best player in the draft.

4. MEMPHIS - Brandan Wright, UNC
A very, very bad team who has to just take the best player available, and it's Wright.

5. BOSTON - Yi Jianlian, China
This really seems like the kind of thing Ainge would do, take a chance on something like this. Paul Pierce will not be happy.

6. MILWAUKEE - Mike Conley, Ohio State
Both the Bucks's point guards are free agents, and it doesn't look like Mo Williams will be resigned, so the Bucks go with the top PG in the draft.

7. MINNESOTA - Spencer Hawes, Washington
The pick here should be Corey Brewer, but after hearing that McHale is in love with Hawes, I'm guessing he'll go with his feelings instead of taking the smart pick.

8. CHARLOTTE - Corey Brewer, Florida
The Bobcats can't believe their luck, as they get one of the best players in the draft at #8.

9. CHICAGO - Jeff Green, Georgetown
The Bulls are a contender, and need a player who is ready. They can't go with Noah as Ben Wallace is already enough of an offensive liability, and Green fits.

10. SACRAMENTO - Julian Wright, Kansas

Nothing special about this Kings team, so they take a player with upside, hoping to get lucky at #10.

11. ATLANTA - Javaris Crittendon, Georgia Tech
The Hawks finally get the point guard they've been missing for years.

12. PHILLY - Joakim Noah, Florida
Noah's slide finally stops, and the 76ers will have a tough defensive frontcourt with Noah next to Dalembert.

13. NEW ORLEANS - Al Thornton, Florida State
The Hornets are basically Chris Paul and not much else. Thornton will give them another scorer.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Another Possible Gopher?

According to poster BleedGopher over at the Gopher Hole, there's another class of 2008 highly rated player eyeing the Gophers as a possible landing place.

Martez Walker, a 3-star, 6-6 small forward from Florida has said that Minnesota (along with Arizona State) is one of the leaders for his services in the future. Other schools he's considering include UCLA, Florida State, Florida State, Cincy, Kentucky, and Texas.

Walker had originally signed with Louisville after his freshman year, but both he and Louisville decided they should go their separate ways (which is like a mutual break-up, I'm not buying it.)

I'm a little leery of Walker, since he has yet to receive an offer from any school, and I'm thinking Pitino decided Walker wasn't going to cut it.

The scariest part of him, however, is that he considers pro player Stephen Jackson his mentor. And Stephen Jackson is the craziest player in a league with Ron Artest in it. He could be the next Miles Tarver, but with talent. And more crazy.


Video totally stolen from

A Big Damn Mess

It seems this KG trade is becoming a giant mess.

Apparently, McHale and Ainge had agreed to trade KG and Troy Hudson (woo-hoo) to the Celtics in exchange for Al Jefferson, Wally, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, and the #5 pick. But KG said no.

He doesn't actually have a no-trade clause, but he can opt out of his contract after next season, and all he has to do is threaten to do that and Boston backs out.

It sounds like the one place he wants to go is Phoenix. Only problem is, it sounds now like Phoenix won't trade Stoudamire, but will only trade Shawn Marion.

So best case scenario would be KG to Phoenix for Shawn Marion, Raja Bell, and next year's pick (from Atlanta), which could be lottery, and maybe one of Phoenix's picks this year (they have 24 and 29).

That trade sucks. Phoenix doesn't even have any bad contracts we could get for salary cap relief, except Marcus Banks, and he's only 3.6 per.

And if we don't end up trading him, I'd say there's a pretty decent chance he opts out after next season, and we lose him and get nothing in return.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

This is Totally what Should Happen

Thanks to's Trade Machine, I've engineered the world's most perfect trade:

WOLVES: get Lamar Odom, Ben Gordon, Al Jefferson, Wally Szczerbiak (give KG, Jaric, Hassell)

LAKERS: get Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, Luol Deng, Ben Wallace, #5 pick this year, #9 pick this year (give Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom)

CELTICS: get KG, Trenton Hassell (give Jefferson, Green, Ratliff, Wally, #5 pick)

BULLS: get Kobe Bryant, Marko Jaric (give Deng, Gordon, Wallace, #9 pick)


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

KG being Shopped?

I've heard now in a few different places two different rumors about KG being traded from the Wolves. As I've said before, I'm in favor of trading him for two reasons, even though he is my favorite player ever, with the possible exception of Magic.

The first reason is so the Wolves can get younger and start over, since the way they are built and the assets they have will never make the team a winner unless they blow the whole thing up and start over.

Second, and somewhat related, is that KG deserves better. Much better.

The two trades I've heard are:

1) KG to the Suns for Amare Stoudamire and Marcus Banks (to make salaries work) - first brought up by Bill Simmons but now sounds like an actual possibility.

2) KG to the Celtics for Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Sebastien Telfair, Theo Ratliff, and the #5 pick this year.

I don't like the first trade at all. Banks is worthless, and is on the hook for three more years at $3.5 per. He'd just be another worthless, overpaid guard under contract for way too long on a team with too many of them.

Additionally, getting one player back isn't going to fix anything. Stoudamire is younger, is under contract for five more years, and is an all-star level player, but that's not much different than what the Wolves have now. And with first-round picks owed to Boston and the Clippers, there's no way to build. It's a lateral move. This trade is worthless.

I love the second trade. Jefferson is the best young PF in the East other than Dwight Howard, Green has a lot of potential, the #5 pick to go with the #7 this year would be awesome, and Ratliff is a large contract that will be off the books, I believe after next season, to free up some cap space. Telfair is an idiot.

As much as I would hate to see KG go, and I would die a little inside, this lineup has real potential:

PG Randy Foye/Troy Hudson
SG Ricky Davis/Rashad McCants
SF Gerald Green/Corey Brewer
PF Al Jefferson/Juwon Howard
C Mark Blount/Spencer Hawes

There's a lot of young pieces there, and who knows if it would work out, but with a stagnant team, no draft picks, and only one movable asset, who is very valuable and only under contract for two more years, I think it has to be done.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Next Wolf?

If Spencer Hawes stays in the NBA Draft, it looks like there's a decent chance he could be the Timberwolves pick at #7. According to NBA Expert Chad Ford of, the Wolves are very high on Hawes after his workout vs. Joakim Noah last week.

Hawes is a 7-0 freshman out of Washington, and averaged 15 pts and 7 rebounds per game last season.

I didn't get much of a chance to see Hawes play last season, but the few games I saw he looked good. He's a true center with a solid back-to-the-basket game, and certainly the Wolves could use somebody like that.


According to ESPN's profile of Hawes, his best comparison would be Vlade Divac. compares him to Brad Miller. Is this what you want from a lottery pick? I know Divac and Miller were both all-stars, and maybe it is tough to get a decent center these days, but it just seems so blah. Maybe I'm biased due to the Luc Longleys and Felton Spencers who have run through Minnesota, but I just don't know about Hawes.

His positives sound great: great passer and ball handler for his size, dazzling array of inside moves, soft touch, range out to 18 feet. Sounds great, but there's more.

Both sights mention the same weakenesses: Average athlete, average rebounder for size, needs to bulk up, and STRUGGLES AGAINST MORE ATHLETIC PLAYERS.

That's what the NBA is. It's all athletic players (mostly.) I don't like the sound of this one bit. Even worse, according to Ford, McHale says that Hawes reminds him a lot of himself as a player. I'd guess that means it's pretty much guaranteed he'll be picked if he's available at #7.

Let's hope he's more like McHale, and less like Paul Grant.

This Year's Rick Rickert

Is junior JamesOn Curry of Oklahoma State. Curry announced he is staying in the NBA draft, even though he is a second round pick at best, and likely to be undrafted at all.

Curry is a pretty good player, and I thought he had star possibilities as a freshman on the OK State Final Four team, but he hasn't developed as anything other than a scorer. At 6-3, he needs to be able to play point if he's going to be anything at the next level, and he hasn't been able to do that to the level needed in his three years. He can still score, as he averaged 17ppg last season, but he doesn't really do anything else.

Maybe he can light up the D-League or dominate somewhere in Europe. He still hasn't hired an agent, so if he isn't drafted he can still return to school. At least that's what ESPN says, although I didn't know that was the rule.

Ramon Sessions of Nevada, Jeff Green of Georgetown, DeVon Hardin of Cal, and Thaddeus Green have all announced they will be staying in the draft as well, with Dominic James of Marquette and Marcelus Kemp of Nevada announcing their intentions to return to school.

Georgia Tech's Thaddeus Young and Washington's Spencer Hawes are the two highest rated players who have yet to announce their official intentions. They have declared for the draft, and have until 5pm EST today to pull out. They are both expected to picked in the early teens if they stay in the draft, so they probably will.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Can you Feel the Excitement?

Not the most exciting trade ever, but very good news nonetheless, the Timberwolves have finalized a trade which would send underachieving bum Mike James down to Houston in exchange for Juwon Howard, who apparently is still in the NBA.

The Wolves managed to get rid of James after only one season, following him conning them into to signing him to a huge deal, something like 4 years/24 million. James was the most disappointing player in the history of the NBA, going from 20.3 pt/5.8 assists and 44% from 3 to 10.1 pts/3.6 assists and 37% from 3, basically doing nothing to earn his money and not even trying, as his FG attempts per game dropped from 15.5 to 8.6.

Howard, whose best season was in 1996, has only two years left on his deal, at a similar dollar amount, and averaged 9.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season. He does give the Wolves some much-needed size inside, even though he's even older than I am. And getting rid of James is really, truly awesome. I can't believe somebody actually took him off our hands. Is Isiah Thomas in charge of the Rockets now?

The Timberwolves also had to throw in Justin Reed, however I've barely even heard of him so I'm going to assume he's just a throwaway.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

This is Officially Scaring Me

This is the depth chart for next season:

PG: Kevin Payton/Lawrence McKenzie/Lawrence Westbrook/Al Nolen

SG: Lawrence McKenzie/Lawrence Westbrook/Blake Hoffarber

SF: Jamal Abu-Shamala/Brandon Smith/Blake Hoffarber/Damian Johnson

PF: Dan Coleman/Bryce Webster/Damian Johnson

C: Spencer Tollackson/Jonathan Williams/Bryce Webster

I plan to get into this in more detail as the season approaches, but I was thinking about it today, and I'm not sure what is more scary, the lack of an actual PG (other than Nolen, who may or may not be Big Ten material) or that two of the projected starters and heavy minute players are a couple of the worst defensive players I've ever seen.

Tubby has his work cut out for him.

As Expected

Gopher Juniors (or would they be seniors at this point?) Dan Coleman and Spencer Tollackson have withdrawn from the NBA Draft, as expected. The deadline to withdraw from the draft is June 18, and there are still a lot of guys entered who are likely to be late second rounders or undrafted.

Also as expected: The NBA Finals are boring.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I Really Hope this Doesn't Happen

Sid Hartman thinks Joakim Noah of Florida, who worked out for the Timberwolves last week, would be a great fit for the team. Just the fact that Sid thinks it's a good thing is a pretty big red flag, but seriously, please don't draft Noah.

He's very limited offensively, and based on his shooting form, I don't see him developing a reliable jump shot any time soon. He has positives, such as energy and intensity, is a tenacious rebounder and good defender, and would probably blend with KG pretty well (although I'm still hoping KG is gone before the draft.)

But if you draft somebody, and he is a good energy guy who is tough around the basket, a good rebounder and defender, but not much of a scoring threat, shouldn't that be what you're looking for in the second round, not in the lottery?

I'm not saying Noah should be a second round pick, but I don't have faith he'll develop enough from here to justify being picked seventh. Hopefully some stupid team will take him before number seven, so I won't even have to worry about it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Garth on Video

Highlight video of Nathen Garth:

Another Offer is Out

I'm not sure how I missed this, but according to, the Gophers have made an offer to 6-3 Shooting Guard Devoe Joseph from Pickering High School in Ajax, Ontario, Canada. Yes, Canada.

According to Scout, Joseph is a four-star player who they rank as #19 SG in the country. Over at Rivals, he's also a four-star, ranked the #22 SG, so the kid can definitely play.

What really got me excited however, was his scouting report:
1) Big Time Scorer
2) Mid-Range Game
3) Upside/Potential
4) Can Really Shoot it
5) Played in four tournaments this year and won MVP in all four

His negatives, ball-handling and penetration, shouldn't matter too much, since Nathen Garth is already signed on for that class to play point guard.

Joseph is another player (like Draymond Green) that Tubby was recruiting at Kentucky, and has continued to recruit now that he's at Minnesota. He's being looked at by several schools, but according to scout has only received offers from the Gophers, Duquesne, and Washington State so far. The Gophers, I would think, are the most attractive offer of the group, so hopefully he can get signed before anybody else gets a hold of him. I like what I'm hearing, and I think a 2008 class with Joseph, Garth, and Draymond Green would be pretty sweet.

Plus it would be awesome to have a guy named Devoe so we could yell Devoe the same way Chris Tucker yells it in Friday.

Recruit may not be Smart Enough for Marquette

Trevor Mbakwe, a 6-8 power forward from St. Bernard's (Via Henry Sibley) is in danger of failing to qualify academically for Marquette, where he signed a Letter of Intent, according to Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press.

If Mbakwe fails to qualify, he would need to enroll in prep school or a junior college, and would be available to re-recruit for either the class of 2008 or 2009. Mbakwe was also ineligible for part of his freshman season in high school due to academics.

Although I've read a couple of things questioning his heart and desire, Mbakwe seemingly has the talent to be a good player at the high-majors, and I wouldn't mind seeing him in Maroon & Gold in a few years if things don't work out at Marquette, although I'd be a little nervous about the academic issues.

Mbakwe is ranked a four-star and the 29th best PF in his class by Scout, and a three-star and 38th best PF by Rivals. It sounds like he's your typical big, raw player: A terrific rebounder and tough inside, with little ability away from the basket. The perfect kind of guy to head to JUCO for a couple of years and then come back to Minnesota with more polish and help out the Gophers.

Dick is my Favorite Announcer Ever

From last night's Twins vs. Angels game.

Chone Figgins made a great play at third, robbing Torii Hunter of a hit and an RBI. Then he lead of the next inning. Dick's comment,

"How often do you see this. A player makes a great play in the field to end an inning, and then one out of nine times he leads off the next inning."

Awesome. Just awesome.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Minnetonka Guard heads to Iowa

Anthony Tucker, a 6-4 combo guard from Minnetonka, has signed on to attend the University of Iowa.

Tucker averaged 17 points per game this season, and is a three star prospect according to, ranked as the 28th best PG in the class of 2008.

I read over at that when Tucker recently visited the University of Minnesota campus, he was told by Tubby that he wouldn't be offered a scholarship. I'm guessing that a scholarship at Iowa looks pretty good compared to trying to walk-on.

I trust Tubby's judgement, and looking at the others schools that offered him besides Iowa (Utah State, Western Michigan, and UW-Green Bay) it looks like he may be a mid-major type player that Iowa made a mistake on. Or maybe everyone is stupid except new Iowa coach Todd Lickliter.

Friday, June 1, 2007


PREDICTION: Kevin Slowey is going to get destroyed tonight. Won't get past the fourth. Book it.

UPDATE: 6 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 3 K's, 2 walks. Oops.