al-jefferson
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Wednesday , Aug , 10 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Greivis Vasquez: Marc Gasol will be better than Dwight Howard

Yes. Marc Gasol is a very key player on our team. He’s one of the best centers in the league and will end up being the best center in the NBA in 2-3 years.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There’s having a teammate’s back. Then there's stretching the truth for a teammate.

How do view Greivis Vasquez’s comment that fellow Memphis Grizzly Marc Gasol will soon be the NBA’s best center?

The younger Gasol has made strides. He’s already a top-ten center and, as the second half and playoff showed, there’s room for further growth.  

Could he honestly become the NBA’s best center?

Suppose Gasol reaches his potential. The Spaniard still wouldn't top the Olando Magic’s Dwight Howard, who is seen as ‘The Man in the Middle’.

Grizz’ executive Christopher Wallace (not that Christopher Wallace as my esteemed editor jokes) would take Howard over Gasol if given the choice.

Privately, behind closed doors, the Notorious GM (again, hat tip to my editor) would surely go with the rebounding champion.

Would Wallace take Gasol over Andrew Bynum, Al Horford, Nene, and Joakim Noah? How about the next group of fives with Andrew Bogut, Al Jefferson, Brook Lopez, and Emeka Okafor?

Howard and Bynum aside, Vasquez could argue Gasol is equal to or better than any of these players. There'd be a counter argument, though.

Vasquez is stretching the truth to suggest Gasol would ever be superior to Howard. At least his hyperbole is for a good cause: a teammate.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment boxes below.

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Tuesday , Mar , 22 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Al Jefferson praises Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Who says the youth of today don't respect their elders?

The Utah Jazz’s Al Jefferson is a soft-spoken gentleman, and has no problem paying homage to established superstars like Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett.

Watch the video and get at us with thoughts on the interview with Jefferson.

--Oly Sandor.

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Thursday , Dec , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Timberwolves considered trading Kevin Love?

Kevin Love is making a name for himself in the NBA with his breakout season for the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

It turns out he's been on the Denver Nuggets' radar for quite some time. Nuggets coach George Karl said Wednesday night that the team asked Minnesota about trading for Love this summer. "I know there were inquiries," Karl said before the Nuggets played the Timberwolves. "In some of the meetings we talked and his name was out there. It never got close, I know that."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The best trades are sometimes the ones you don’t make.

Case in point: the Minnesota Timberwolves and Kevin Love. This summer, the Wolves made Love available and, according to the Denver Nuggets, took offers for him.

Thankfully, they didn’t move Love because he has improved from promising post to legit' superstar. Best of all, he’s become the face of this downtrodden franchise.

To be fair: perhaps the Wolves were justified in shopping Love, the current league leader in rebounding. Before this year, Love was often injured, out of shape, and shooting off his mouth via twitter.

Of course, the Timberwolves also had to decide between Love and Al Jefferson. Both were talented power forwards, and it became obvious a platoon system at the four-spot wouldn’t fly.

So Executive David Kahn listened to offers for both, kept Love, and dealt Jefferson to the Utah Jazz. It could have been the other way, though. Love changing area codes; Jefferson staying in The Frozen Tundra of Sota.

Whether by luck or design, the Timberwolves kept Love. And this is one decision they got right.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

2010-2011 Top Stat Centers pt. 1
Saturday , Dec , 04 , 2010 J.N.

2010-2011 Top Stat Centers pt. 1

This list is put together for the sake of armchair general managers lazy to research. Many centers will not make their way to the All Star game, which is a travesty. These big men can definitely be nabbed in a trade. If you have an abundance of small forwards and guards, get these guys. Ask Pat Riley. The Miami Heat would love to have any of them.  I know the centers listed here do not contain star power. There is nothing wrong with that. They can make or break your team depending on how it’s built. They are better to have than Chris Kaman or Yao Ming since they are consistently injured. Numbers up to date as of December 3, 2010.

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Thursday , Nov , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Houston and Portland interested in Kevin Love?

One team that would be an ideal fit for Love, Houston, has explored the possibility to the point of presenting trade scenarios to the Wolves. Those overtures, sources say, have been met with an icy response. Another team to keep an eye on with regard to Love is the Trail Blazers.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: For NBA stars, the Minnesota Timberwolves are Siberia.

Minnesota is cold. The Timberwolves have annual reservations at the league’s draft lottery in New Jersey. And the franchise has never recovered from wasting Kevin Garnett’s golden years.

Make no mistake about it, Kevin Love wants out of Minnesota. He knows their rebuilding efforts are failing. And he knows lottery-pick Ricky Rubio will stay in Europe until he gets a trade.

The Rockets would be an interesting fit. Love could platoon with center Yao Ming and international four-man Luis Scola.

The Blazers would also be interesting. Love is from Lake Oswego, an affluent Portland suburb. However, LaMarcus Aldridge is firmly entrenched at the four-spot. He could clash with Love –like former Timberwolf Al Jefferson.

Bottom line: look for Love to continue lobbying for a trade. Minnesota, also known as Siberia, is no place for an up-and-coming star.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Tuesday , Jul , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Utah reacting not reflecting with acquisition of Al Jefferson

The Utah Jazz have quickly moved into the lead to acquire Al Jefferson and were actively working Monday night to complete a deal with Minnesota, according to NBA front-office sources. 

Sources told ESPN.com that the Jazz and Timberwolves are on the verge of completing a trade that would slot Jefferson's contract into the $14 million trade exception that Utah created earlier this week in its sign-and-trade deal with Chicago for Carlos Boozer.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Instead of reflecting they’re reacting.

Recently, the Utah Jazz lost co-star Carlos Boozer when the power forward became a free agent and inked a five year, $80 million contract with the Chicago Bulls.

While the Jazz had repaired their contentious relationship with ‘C-Booz’, they wisely decided against overpaying the undersized power forward, especially since Paul Millsap and Andrei Kirilenko were on the roster.

So why the infatuation with the Minnesota Timberwolves’ Al Jefferson?
 
Recent reports had the Jazz acting like the Portland Trail Blazers, and impulsively trying to acquire Jefferson, a good but hardly great post.

Jefferson is the kind of player who posts good number on a bad team. Like Tony Campbell, Cedric Ceballos, Armen Gilliam, and David West, he gets his when the first option.

This makes him perfect for fantasy leagues or stat-heads, however, he’s ill-equipped to be a key cog on a collectivist squad like the Jazz.

For instance, Jefferson struggled alongside Kevin Love in Minnesota, so how will he fit with fellow ‘fours’ like Millsap and AK-47? And why are the Wolves, one of the league’s worst teams, desperate to dump him?

The answer is simple: Jefferson is overrated and due an excessive $42 million over the next three years.

Of course, the Jazz’s system is so airtight and concise that Jefferson will probably be fine. And he does have considerable length, something that was missing with Boozer’s compact frame.

Still, Utah could have used the cap space to upgrade the shooting guard position instead of adding another power forward, especially one who has struggled with conditioning in Boston and Minnesota.

It’s surprising the great Jerry Sloan and Utah didn`t figure this out. Perhaps they were reacting and not reflecting on what`s already on their roster.

--Oly Sandor.
   
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Monday , Jul , 05 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Al Jefferson to Golden State, David Lee to Minnesota, Monta Ellis to New York?

There are rumors of three-way trade discussions among Golden State, Minnesota and New York, in which Al Jefferson would be sent to the Warriors, David Lee to the Timberwolves, and Monta Ellis to the Knicks.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Good franchises make moves to improve. Bad franchises make moves for the sake of making moves.
 
So here's the question: are the Warriors, Timberwolves, and Knicks better if they go through with this trade?
 
The answer: probably not.
 
Al Jefferson would likely get lost in Golden State, playing for mad-scientist Coach Don Nelson; David Lee would post numbers and never, ever see the playoffs in The Frozen Tundra of 'Sota; and Monta Ellis would score but do little else for New York.
 
However, rumors are good for teams. It appeases their ignorant fans. It gives those fans something to chat about and distracts them from the real problems.
 
For instance, Golden State needs a new owner and coach, not Jefferson. Instead of Lee, Minnesota needs to follow Oklahoma City's model of trading veteran assets and continuing to rebuild via the draft. And New York needs to realize Amar'e Stoudemire and Ellis can't replace the dream of signing Chris Bosh and LeBron James.
 
If these three teams want out of the cellar,  they must think of real, tangible ways of getting better. And this deal doesn't do that.
 
--Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at us in the comment box below! 
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Thursday , Jul , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Light the Victory Cigar: Darko Milicic re-signs for $20 million with Minnesota Timberwolves

Darko Milicic has agreed to a four-year, $20M deal with Minnesota.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: No surprise here.
 
Reports had the Minnesota Timberwolves trying to re-sign Darko Milicic because he impressed during his 24 game audition with the club last year.
 
And those same reports had the left-handed Serbian staying in 'Sota because he felt he'd finally get regular minutes.
 
The real story is what happens next.
 
With Milicic returning, the Wolves can try to move Al Jefferson and his $40 million long-term contract. There's no rush, though. Milicic's salary is reasonable, so the club could platoon him with Jefferson and youngster Kevin Love.
 
Hopefully, Milicic - a well traveled and infamous second overall selection in the 2003 NBA Draft ahead of superstars Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh - finally gets his opportunity.
 
-- O.Sandor     
     
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below!
 
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Saturday , Jun , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Minnesota keeping Darko Milicic, trading Al Jefferson?

David Kahn admitted on Friday that he is exploring a trade of Al Jefferson and the likelihood of a trade increases if the Wolves re-sign Darko Milicic.

"It's the right time finally for us to explore this," Kahn said of a possible Jefferson trade. "I've met with Al and discussed this. If Darko comes back, there could be a need to create some playing time. We really need to get our front line settled."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Minnesota wants to trade Al Jefferson, the power-forward who was supposed to be their lead wolf.
 
Remember, Jefferson was acquired from the Boston Celtics, as the key to the blockbuster trade involving Kevin Garnett. He initially responded to his new surroundings by posting 20-10 numbers in his first season with the Timberwolves.
 
Their relationship has suddenly soured, though.
 
Minnesota's new head suit, David Kahn, sees Jefferson as a guy who posts good statistics on bad teams. For instance, talented players should always be able to play together, but Jefferson struggles next to youngster Kevin Love.
 
And Jefferson seems to have lost faith in Minnesota. He probably sees the franchise as incapable of ever becoming more than the NBA's Siberia. For instance, lottery pick Ricky Rubio has stayed in Europe rather than joining the Timberwolves.
 
Of course, Jefferson's DUI charge in late February didn't help.
 
Unfortunately, club and player should invest in therapy or counselling because they're likely stuck together. Jefferson's contract - three years and $42 million - will be tough to move in this economy.
 
Re-signing Milicic, also known as The Human Victory Cigar, is an interesting development. Most thought the left-handed Serbian would catch the first flight back to Europe and sign in the ABC League when the NBA season ended.
 
Clearly, the Wolves believe Milicic's career can be salvaged. And he has a most intoxicating skill-set for a seven-footer. Hopefully, the former second overall pick gets a legitimate opportunity if he stays in the NBA.
 
However, Milicic might not stick in Minnesota because of Jefferson's big ticket contract can't be dealt.
 
Got thoughts?
 
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Tuesday , Jun , 22 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Draft Rumor: Memphis and Minnesota swapping first round picks?

The Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves are close to swapping first-round draft picks, a source with direct knowledge of the situation tells ESPN.com's Andy Katz. The Grizzlies would send their 25th and 28th overall picks to Minnesota for the Timberwolves' 16th pick.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: On the surface, this rumor seems insignificant.

However, it does show that Memphis and Minnesota are looking to improve and will be active during Thursday`s draft and free agency.

For instance, the Grizzlies recently called the Hornets about Chris Paul, while the Timberwolves turned down the Pacers' lottery pick for point guard Jonny Flynn.

Both squads also have larger issues to contend with.

Memphis wants to re-sign restricted free agent Rudy Gay -but only for reasonable money. A sign-and-trade involving Gay is an option.

And Minnesota must decide if forwards Al Jefferson and Kevin Love can play together. They`ve also got to convince 2009 lottery pick Ricky Rubio to cross the Atlantic and run the offense in 2012.

These teams will be linked to more rumors and will be stay all summer.

Got thoughts?

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Sunday , May , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Minnesota trade Flynn, Jefferson, Love, or Rubio to move up in draft?

Minnesota GM David Kahn is actively trying to trade up from the fourth pick to the second pick for a chance to take Ohio State's Evan Turner. Also, don't be surprised if either Al Jefferson or Kevin Love is traded by draft night.

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HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Yes, change is coming to 'The Frozen Tundra of Sota'.

Simply put, Jefferson and Love, while both talented, have too similar a style. Each is a natural four-man and can't effectively play a different position. One factor worth considering: Jefferson may be hard to trade because he has three years and $42 million remaining on his big ticket contract.

So Kahn has too many power forwards. He also has too many point guards, with Jonny Flynn and Spanish prospect Ricky Rubio plying his craft in Europe.

As Tillery mentions, the Timberwolves are considering moving up in the draft and may use the above assets as part of a package to swap spots or rebuild.

What changes do you see coming to Minnesota? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.