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Sunday , Jan , 01 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

LeBron James on T-Wolves: ‘They’re going to be a really good team’

"They're (the Minnesota Timberwolves) going to be a really good team," James said. "If it's not this year, soon."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There's good news. And there's bad news.

The good: LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are right that the Minnesota Timberwolves absolutely have the talent to compete in the Western Conference.

After all, JJ Barea, Mike Beasley, Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and Derrick Williams are young, skilled, and dynamic.

Now the bad: good organizations have direction from the top creating a trickle down effect. To contend, not just compete, the Timberwolves need direction from ownership and the front office.

Unfortunately, the Minnesota franchise is owned by Glen Taylor, who is one of the worst owners in sports.

For instance, Taylor couldn’t provide Hall of Fame post Kevin Garnett with a supporting cast, chased The Big Ticket out of town, empowered Kevin McHale who fired defensive guru Dwyane Casey after forty games, and, worst of all, hired David Kahn as GM.

Speaking of Kahn, he has yet to prove he can manage. Sure, he has drafted well, but the former reporter looked unprofessional when he let former coach Kurt Rambis languish for months.

James and Wade are correct -the Wolves have talent. Sadly, talent isn't enough.

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

 

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Tuesday , Aug , 30 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Michael Beasley breaks wrist playing in China?

The exact details remain somewhat murky. But here’s what’s being reported by HoopChina: Michael Beasley may have a fractured left wrist.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: When it rains, it pours. Isn’t that so Mike Beasley?

First, the Minnesota Timberwolves drafted Derrick Williams, who plays the same position as Beasley, second overall in June‘s entry draft.

Second, Beasley was cited for marijuana possession after getting pulled over by Minnesota area police.

Third, Beasley was involved in a skirmish with a fan/heckler while playing in a streetball run. The incident was captured by cell-phone camera and is now a youtube favourite.   

And now there are reports Beasley broke his wrist playing in an exhibition game in China. The injury does not appear career threatening and Beasley, since NBA players are locked-out, isn’t in violation of his contract. He probably has  insurance, too.

Still, this should alert players about the risks of playing overseas with clubs or exhibition tours.

--Oly Sandor.

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

 

 

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Saturday , Aug , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Minnesota to hire Rick Adelman?

Rick Adelman is definitely interested in #Wolves job, from great source, he has made calls to line up potential assistants.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It would appear the Timberwolves have their coach. Most importantly, it would appear they have the right coach.

Reports indicate that Rick Adelman, the veteran sideline boss, is phoning contacts around the league to find assistants to join him in Minnesota.

So it would seem Adelman and Minnesota, the NBA’s one-time laughingstock, will soon make their union official. If this occurs, all parties deserve credit.

Minnesota executive David Kahn should be praised for hiring the best coach available, and avoiding the temptation to hire his former mentor in Larry Brown.

Minnesota owner Glen Taylor should be commended for meeting Adelman’s considerable salary demands while also honouring the final two years on Kurt Rambis’ pact.

Adelman could have retired, however, he opted for the challenge of turning around lowly Minnesota and developing young pieces like Mike Beasley, Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio, and Derrick Williams.

Adelman joining Minnesota would be good for all involved. Hopefully, it happens and the NBA's version of Siberia can begin a much-needed turnaround.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Saturday , Jul , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Love expects Wolves to ‘have a lot of success’

But I can see, especially with Derrick Williams, Ricky Rubio, Mike Beasley, Anthony Randolph and Wes Johnson—all the way down the line to Lazar Hayward and myself, we have a slew of guys that can really have a bang in this league and make moves and have a lot of success.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Kevin Love is right. His Minnesota Timberwolves are young, talented, and optimistic.

For years, the Wolves have finished at the bottom of the Western Conference, allowing them to stock the cupboard with blue-chip prospects like Love, Ricky Rubio, and Derrick Williams at the NBA draft.

Unfortunately, the Wolves are poorly run. Owner Glen Taylor is a disaster. His right-hand, David Kahn, has made more missteps than the worst of  boogying ‘celebs’ on Dancing With The Stars.

For instance, Taylor and Kahn had no issue letting former head coach Kurt Rambis dangle for months, even requesting he submit a homework assignment, before finally firing him.

No doubt about it, Rambis did not meet expectations. However, Taylor and Kahn embarrassed the former Laker reserve. Worst of all, they embarrassed themselves and, by extension, the Wolves.

Their new sideline boss will be well aware of the Rambis boondoggle. Trust between the coach and GM and owner will be an issue.

The players - like Love, Rubio, Williams, and Mike Beasley - surely see their GM and owner as dysfunctional. Sooner or later, if they want to win, they’ll leave.

--Oly Sandor.


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


 
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Wednesday , Jul , 06 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

What will Wolves do with Mike Beasley after marijuana citation?

Minnetonka Police say Minnesota Timberwolves forward Michael Beasley was cited for marijuana possession and speeding in Minnetonka last week. Beasley was pulled over on June 26 for speeding around 3 a.m. on Interstate 394 and Carlson Parkway. He was clocked at 84 mph in a 65 mph zone.  Police also found 16.2 grams of marijuana in Beasley's vehicle.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: We were wrong.

We were wrong to think Michael Beasley was passed this. We wrong to think he left his troubles at the clubs in South Beach. And were wrong to applaud his fine season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

He fooled us. All of us.

Reports indicate police pulled Beasley over for speeding last week and found 16 grams of marijuana in his vehicle.

This is not a good look for anyone, especially a pro athlete who has battled addiction and mental health issues.

Clearly, Miami's nightlife wasn’t the issue. The issue is Beasley, who found trouble in quiet Minnesota. Once again, he has slipped. Once again, he needs help.

Then there’s the basketball side of this. The Timberwolves seemed interested in giving Beasley a multi-year extension when the lockout ended.

They’ll reconsider. In fact, they'll probably pass.

Expect the Wolves to commit more resources, time, and money to developing second overall pick Derrick Williams, a talented and athletic forward with none of Beasley’s baggage.

Problem is, there won't be much of a market for Beasley. Few, if any, teams will take a chance on him via trade or by floating an offer in free agency.

He still has time; time to change. Just ask Lamar Odom, Chris Webber, and Jason Williams. The clock is ticking, though.

Hopefully, Beasley gets it right. And fast.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Thursday , Jun , 23 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Breakdown of 2011 NBA Draft, Picks 1-10

Finally, the NBA Draft is here. The gossip, speculation, and home videos of mysterious Euro prospects is no more.

Below is how things officially unfolded in real time, with live analysis at the HoopsVibe News headquarters. So get at us with thoughts, ideas, and opinions in the comment box below.

1) Kyrie Irving to Cleveland Cavaliers.

Details: PG, 6-2, 181, Duke Blue Devils, Fr.

Pros: Irving is a good athlete, who uses his quickness and feel for the game to attack the basket. He’s smart, tough, and had little issue leading more experienced teammates during the NCAA tournament.

Cons:
While Irving is a good athlete, he isn’t explosive or big. And he missed much of his freshmen year with a toe injury. So the New Jersey native is a risk.

Fit: He'll be fine as long as he doesn't follow Baron Davis' training routine or try to replace that LeBron guy.

2) Derrick Williams to Minnesota Timberwolves.

Details: PF, 6-9, 248, Arizona Wildcats, So.

Pros:
He’s a pick-your-poison scorer. In his second season, Williams improved his ability to attack the basket, while also being able to knock down jump shots. This combination of skill and athleticism should make Williams a difficult match-up for opposing defenses.    

Cons:
Some feel Williams is a ‘tweener’, stuck between the 3 and 4 spots. And they’re unsure if his athleticism can compensate for his 6-9 height,   

Fit: Is there room for Kevin Love, Mike Beasley, and Williams in the frontcourt?

3) Enis Kanter to Utah Jazz.

Details: C, 6-10, 260, Turkey, 19 years of age.

Pros: Strong, skilled, and tough is how most describe Kanter. His polished game and physical tools should make a pretty good NBA player.

Cons: Kanter is undersized and not especially explosive for a five-man. And can his knee hold up to the grind of an NBA season?

Fit: His strong IQ and blue-collar approach makes him perfect for the Jazz.

4) Tristan Thompson to Cleveland Cavaliers.

Details: PF, 6-9, 225, University of Texas, Fr.

Pros: Thompson should have a nice NBA career because of his wingspan, improving body, and lefty skill-set. His energy and work on the glass is also a plus.

Cons: Despite shedding baby fat, Thompson is still a little undersized to handle NBA power forwards. 

Fit: The Canadian can play, but going fourth overall was a surprise. He'll need time to develop his offensive game for the Cavs.

5) Jonas Valanciunas to Toronto Raptors

Details: PF, 6-10, 230, Lithuania, 18 years old.

Pros: Valanciunas is an energetic player, who is active on the offensive glass and gets his share of put-back points. At 18, some believe he has the most upside of any player in the draft.

Cons: He’s extremely raw and could take several years before making an impact.

Fit: Of course, GM Bryan Colangelo had to take a Euro. But the young Lithuanian has a chance to be real good.

6) Jan Vesely to Washington Wizards.

Details: PF, 6-11, 240, Czech Republic, 21 years old.

Pros: He’s not your typical Euro. Long, athletic, and explosive, Vesely loves to get up the floor and throw down monster jams. His length and versatility makes him a force on both ends of the floor.

Cons: Vesely needs to extend his offensive range beyond put-backs and highlight reel jams.

Fit: Strap up Washington. This kid is a walking highlight reel.

7) Bismack Biyombo to Sacramento Kings (picking for Charlotte Bobcats).

Details: PF, 6-9, 243, Congo, 19 years old.

Pros: He’s an athlete. Biyombo has scouts drooling with his frame, wingspan, leaping ability, and quickness.

Cons: But he’s raw. Many of those same scouts are worried about his lack of skill and age.

Fit: Some say he couldn't score if locked in a gym by himself. He also needs to negotiate a buyout with his FIBA club. But he’s an incredible athlete.

8) Brandon Knight to Detroit Pistons.

Details: PG/SG, 6-3, 177, Kentucky University, So.

Pros: Knight was always a terrific scorer, but showed he could involve others towards the end of his season at Kentucky. His athleticism and outside range makes him a strong prospect. 

Cons: Some feel he’s more of a shooting guard than a natural point guard.

Fit: Hopefully, he survives a Piston team that was highly dysfunctional in 2011.

9) Kemba Walker to Charlotte Bobcats.

Details: PG, 6-1, 172, University of Connecticut, Jr.

Pros: Walker has the ‘quicks’ to get to the basket and can also punish sagging defenders with his much-improved jumper. This made him unstoppable during his terrific 2011 season at UCONN.  
 
Cons: Well, size. Walker plays like a shooting guard, but has the body of a point guard.

Fit: Walker will bring leadership and confidence to Michael Jordan's Bobcats.

10) Jimmer Fredette to Sacramento Kings.

Details: PG, 6-2, 190, Bringham Young Unviersity, Sr.

Pros: He's a magical shooter with a cult-like following at Bringham Young University. 

Cons: Can he defend NBA point guards? Is he a point guard? 

Fit: Fredette`s range will mesh nicely with Tyreke Evans and the offensive-minded Kings.

--Oly Sandor.

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

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Tuesday , Jun , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

How Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams are superior to John Wall

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: There is much the first overall pick in the 2011 draft can learn from John Wall, the first overall pick in the 2010 draft.

Rookies must become professionals; deal with pressure; handle outside distractions like friends, family, and hanger-ons.

However, Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams, two high profile prospects in Thursday's draft, won't be asking Wall for advice on one thing: his pitching form.

Click the video, watch Wall's comical first pitch at a minor league baseball game, and get at us with thoughts in the comment box.


--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , May , 29 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cavaliers trying to land Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams?

According to the report, the Cavs would send their $14.5 million trade exception to the Pistons for the eighth pick and veteran shooting guard Richard Hamilton. They then would trade the fourth and eighth picks to Minnesota for the second pick. If the reported trade is executed, the Cavs would possess the top two picks -- and use them to take Duke point guard Kyrie Irving and Arizona forward Derrick Williams. The report also said the Cavs would buy out the remainder of Hamilton's $25 million contract.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Give the Cleveland Cavaliers credit.

Clearly, Dan Gilbert has instructed his front office to be active –despite the unknown status of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and financial environment.

Landing Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams would effectively turn the page on The Decision and the tenure of LeBron James. Two blue-chip pieces would give the Cavs hope.

Such a move would be complicated, though. As the news article states, the Detroit Pistons are changing owners, so trades are difficult.

Also, teams know the Cavs’ must use their $14.5 million trade exception before the old CBA expires on July 1st. Under the new CBA, trade exceptions may no longer be valid.

So potential trading partners will surely play hardball with the Cavs’. They have leverage and will hold out for more compensation because Gilbert’s staff are on a deadline to use the trade exception.

At least, the Cavs’ are active. Eventually, they’ll swing a deal. Then they can truly move forward.

--Oly Sandor.

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

NBA Combine Concludes in Chicago
Sunday , May , 22 , 2011 Paul Eide

NBA Combine Concludes in Chicago

 

On Thursday of last week, the NBA’s version of the Combine begin. A three day event, similar to players participating in the NFL Combine, the biggest name player chose to sit out the event rather than risk his stock falling.
 
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Friday , May , 20 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Derrick Williams believes he can replace LeBron in Cleveland

"I think I'm the No. 1 pick because I have more star quality I would think," the small forward said. "I'm just a bigger person. Just trying to fill in for a big star like LeBron like they're missing. That missing piece. I think that's me."

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HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call:  Put a check next to confidence.
 
Clearly, Derrick Williams thinks highly of his talent and ability, telling reporters he can replace LeBron James as The Man for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
 
That`s right: LeBron.
 
Williams can play. No doubt about it. He possesses an enviable combination of athleticism and skill, and certainly had a banner NCAA tournament.
 
He, or Kyrie Irving, is the best player in the draft. But replace LeBron?
 
Not once have I thought Williams is the second-coming of King James. And not once have I thought he`d be the league MVP and best player in the NBA.
 
Now Williams has a problem. He must perform like a superstar or, by his own standard, he`ll be a disappointment. He also appears arrogant.
 
Here`s a question worth considering: where are 'his people' to check these comments?
 
Hopefully, Williams` agent or advisor realizes his client needs media training –and fast. There`s nothing like setting yourself up to fail before playing a single game.
 
--Oly Sandor.

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