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Timberwolves May Want Pau Gasol, But Acquiring Him from Lakers Will be Difficult

The Minnesota Timberwolves have a surplus of attractive assets and will likely be a busy team over the next few days. They hold the second pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft and could take forward Derrick Williams. The Cavs reportedly are locked in on Kyrie Irving with the top overall pick and Williams is viewed by many people as the second-best prospect (our Patrick Crawley argued Williams should actually be the top pick).

In addition to holding the second overall pick, point guard Ricky Rubio, who was drafted two years ago, has arrived in the U.S. and is ready to play in the NBA this season. Because of Rubio’s arrival from Spain, countryman Pau Gasol has become an attractive trade target for Minnesota, according to Chad Ford.

Minnesota’s desire to acquire Pau Gasol is understandable; even if he played poorly in the playoffs, he’s still one of the top forwards in the League. The problem is a trade would be difficult to be arranged because of salary cap restrictions, as Eric Pincus outlined on Hoops World via Speculative Sports.

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Minnesota Timberwolves Sell Out $2 Season Tickets After Promotion

The Minnesota Timberwolves may get mocked because of GM David Kahn’s questionable decisions, but there definitely is one thing the franchise does well and that is create ticket promotions. Two years ago we praised them for lowering prices, and now we have to applaud them for their fourth annual “Pay the Pick” promotion.

Here’s how the promotion works: “Fans will have the opportunity to purchase an upper level season ticket that corresponds to the Wolves first-round draft selection — as low as $1 per seat per game if the team gets the No. 1 pick and capped at $4 per seat per game. Fans need to purchase their tickets prior to the NBA Draft Lottery to take advantage of the “Pay the Pick” promotion.”

Does it get any easier than that? At the maximum, season tickets were going to cost $164 and at minimum they would be $41. Season tickets turned out to be $82 for anyone who bought the “Pay the Pick” promotion which is something that yields few complaints. In fact, we learned that it was promptly sold out.

Between this, lowering prices, and their canned food giveaway, the T-Wolves sure know how to run a ticket promotion. Now if they can just do something about the product on the court …

Briefcase bump to Darren Rovell for the story

LeBron James Catches Timberwolves Sleeping After Free Throw (Video)

LeBron James had a one-and-one situation at the foul line in the fourth quarter of Miami’s game with Minnesota Friday night. Apparently nobody from the Timberwolves (or Heat except LeBron) realized that, because they were all caught sleeping at the line. Check out this video:

With plays like that, it’s no surprise the Minnesota Timberwolves are the worst team in the Western Conference. It’s one thing not to have much talent and be over-matched in games, but it’s completely inexcusable to just not have your head in the game. That’s truly pathetic. It actually reminds me a lot of this middle school football play which is pretty sad.

Thanks to Ball Don’t Lie for the video

Darko Milicic Will Never Be an All-Star, Sorry David Kahn

Minnesota Timberwolves center Darko Milicic was infamously picked second overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons, ahead of superstars like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Detroit GM Joe Dumars pulled the trigger on Darko ahead of even Chris Kaman, David West and Mo Williams — all solid contributors who have made All-Star teams. Milicic has career averages of 5.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game, or the elusive career triple-single. During Monday’s Timberwolves-Celtics game, Minnesota President of Basketball Operations David Kahn had this to say about Milicic’s future:

There’s no way. While Milicic is having a “career” year, that’s not saying a lot. This season he’s averaging career highs in points, blocks and assists per game with 9.3, 2.3 and 1.9 respectively. He’s only 25, but in his eighth year in the league it seems like he is what he is — a bust. He’s not the first high draft pick not to pan-out and won’t be the last, but he’s never shown anything to the contrary.

This also isn’t the first time Kahn has made ridiculous statements about Milicic. Kahn and former NBA superstar Chris Webber had an interesting conversation about Milicic last summer, and Kahn was not very happy about it.

Thanks to YouTube user blazersedgeben for the video.

T-Wolves Have Nothing to Show for Dealing Garnett

Don’t confuse this claim with one that would attempt to convince you that the Minnesota Timberwolves would be better off if they still had Kevin Garnett. What I would like to call to your attention is that after trading Al Jefferson to the Utah Jazz for two future first-round picks, the T-Wolves have now rid themselves of every piece they received from the Celtics in return for Kevin Garnett in 2007, excluding draft selections. After getting what looked like a ton in exchange for The Big Ticket at the time, this can’t be what Kevin McHale and the Minnesota front office envisioned.

When you deal the greatest player in your franchise’s history — one who, at the time, was still at the peak of his game — you intend to get something out of the players you dealt him for. If the T-Wolves had known that Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, and journeyman Theo Ratliff would all turn out to be duds and trade bait, they would have looked elsewhere to make a deal. Had they envisioned Al Jefferson becoming expendable at the age of 25, they wouldn’t have wasted their time even speaking to the Celtics’ brass. Obviously, Minnesota received something in the form of draft picks and other players when they dealt all of the former Celtics, but at this point it doesn’t appear they’ve gotten their hands on anything promising.

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Kevin Love on Timberwolves Taking Three Point Guards ‘What Are We Doing?’

Heads were being scratched when the Timberwolves took point guards with their back-to-back picks at five and six in the draft. First they went with Spanish guard Ricky Rubio at five and then they took Syracuse guard Johnny Flynn sixth overall. The Rubio selection prompted Minnesota forward Kevin Love to say “great pick” and then he said “dont sleep on flynn people” after the Flynn pick, all on his twitter feed. As if taking both those guys wasn’t enough, they really had people questioning their sanity when they took yet a third point guard with the 18th overall pick, Ty Lawson. Love’s reaction was predictable, and pricless:

what are we doing????????????????? omg we better trade….what are we doing??????????? i dont even know

Be careful what you wish for….i love ty lawson but all point guards?

tweeting on emotion…i need to stay away from the update button…but this is a lot of point guard

I was equally surprised, but I didn’t have the same reaction — I immediately figured they had a trade worked out and that’s why they took the first two guards. They’ll probably keep Flynn and deal Rubio and then let Lawson battle Flynn for the starting job. I’m guessing they went Lawson because he was the best player on their board, so I don’t mind the pick. Honestly though, I figured they had a trade ready to be announced at the same time they made the selection and I’m surprised they haven’t made a move yet. UPDATE: They traded Lawson to Denver.

Thanks to LBS hand Botros for the Love tip. (wow, does that sound awkward or what??)

Minnesota Timberwolves Know How to Help the Fans, Dropping Ticket Prices

In these harsh economic times, not only should cuts be reflected in the amount of money players are being paid and the revenue a club generates, but first and foremost, ticket prices. Apparently the Minnesota Timberwolves have the right idea, and for that, they should be patted on the back. Check out this great announcement by the T-Wolves, a pattern I recommend most teams follow:

The average price for season tickets will decline 18.2 percent — 11.4 percent in the lower deck and 44.3 percent in the upper deck. More than 75 percent of all season tickets will be priced at $35 per game or less, with prices ranging from $5 per game in the upper deck to $1,550 per game for seats next to the bench in the Lexus Courtside Club.

The Timberwolves also introduced a new nine-month, zero-interest payment plan for all season ticket purchases, and a “No-Risk Pledge” that guarantees season ticket holders a full refund for their unused tickets if they lose their jobs in 2009.

Those specials are for people who sign up for season tickets by July 1st, so of course there is some caveat. The team knows it’s putting a product on the floor that isn’t too competitive, so the least they could do is cater to the fans. Seriously, 75% of season tickets at $35 or less? Now that’s a very fair range right there. And I also love the “no-risk pledge” thing, just as long as there isn’t small print involved. Now that’s the way to handle your customers and reward your fans! I hope other teams take notice and follow suit.