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Sunday , Aug , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Cavs open to trading Ramon Sessions?

(Mary Schmitt Boyer) Based on everything I'm hearing, I would be surprised if the season started before January. As for Sessions, I'm not sure if the organization has made up its mind to trade him. I think the team is intrigued by playing any two of these point guards together. If a move is made, I would expect an attempt to get more scoring and athleticism on the wings.

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Once again, his spot seems at risk.

Ramon Sessions is a solid third guard and spot starter, however, he has the unfortunate habit of joining teams who are stocked in the backcourt.

For instance, he left Milwaukee because the Bucks had Brandon Jennings and Luke Ridnour at the one-spot. Minnesota deemed him expendable with Jonny Flynn, Ridnour (again), and Ricky Rubio's eventual migration from Spain.

So, the Wolves dealt him to the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. And it seemed he finally had a home and regular minutes.

Well, wrong.

The Cavaliers acquired Baron Davis at the trade deadline, assuming the remaining two years and $29 million on his contract, while Kyrie Irving was drafted first overall and anointed The Future.

Both are point guards. It would seem Sessions will get his minutes playing next to Davis and Irving -or he won't get minutes at all.

And the Cavaliers will likely be listening to any or all offers for the nomadic guard.

--Oly Sandor.

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Friday , Jun , 17 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Report: Rubio still joining Wolves

Ricky Rubio has already signed a contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves and the holdup keeping him from leaving Barcelona is related to his buyout agreement, multiple sources told ESPN.com. "This is just a bump in the road for (the Timberwolves)," said one source. Rubio's Spanish club won the ACB championship Tuesday, after which Rubio said: "We are talking with Barcelona and we will soon see."

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Don’t assume the worst. The Prodigal Son is still coming. He’s just taking care of business first.

Ricky Rubio will join the Minnesota Timberwolves, the team that drafted him two years ago. The Spaniard is negotiating the terms of his buyout with FC Barcelona, who currently hold his rights.

Of course, it would be understandable if the worst was being assumed. Rubio crossing the Atlantic Ocean and joining Minnesota has had more delays than a Dr. Dre album.

When he arrives, there will be changes. Jonny Flynn, the Wolves other young point guard, will most certainly be moved -either to Toronto or perhaps Charlotte.

Then the hard work begins in Minnesota. Rubio, Mike Beasley, and Kevin Love will have the monumental task of righting the Wolves ship.

--Oly Sandor.

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Saturday , May , 14 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Ricky Rubio to sign with Minnesota, Jonny Flynn to Toronto?

If Rubio does indeed sign as expected, point guard Jonny Flynn's days in Minnesota are numbered. Sources also indicated to HOOPSWORLD that Flynn is almost sure to be traded in that case with the Toronto Raptors being one of the most probable destinations.
 

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Whenever Ricky Rubio crosses the Atlantic and joins the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jonny Flynn becomes very available.
 
Sources say Rubio’s migration will happen this summer –and sooner rather than later.
 
Unfortunately, Flynn’s stock is at an all-time low, so the Timberwolves won’t get much for the sixth pick in 2009. Hopefully, executive David Kahn reflects on how he wasted this asset.
 
For instance, Kahn could have traded the lottery pick two years ago for an established pro, young asset(s), draft picks, or cap relief.

He could have drafted a player at another position like Stephen Curry (and used him at off-guard), DeMar DeRozan, Tyler Hansborough, James Johnson, or even Taj Gibson.
 
If Kahn was absolutely determined to have another table-setter, he could have drafted Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Ty Lawson, Jeff Teague, or Darren Collison.
 
Just not Flynn, who has underperformed. Now Kahn has the unpleasant task of trying to get something for his underperforming asset.
 
The above report cites Toronto as a likely home for Flynn. The former Syracuse star had expressed interest in suiting up for the Raptors.
 
Perhaps this happens. However, MLSE, the wealthy and dysfunctional holding company that owns the Raptors, has bigger fish to fry, specifically executive Bryan Colangelo.
 
Colangelo’s contract expires next month, and there has been no indication on whether he’ll be extended or let go. Instead, he twists in the wind.
 
Under such circumstances, it’s hard to imagine Colangelo acquiring Flynn. He’d have to trade veteran Jose Calderon and make a call on youngster Jerryd Bayless.
 
And he probably doesn’t have authorization to do anything except focus on the draft.
 
So the Rubio saga will continue when he lands in ‘The Frozen Tundra of Sota’. Only his presence will create a stir with Flynn.

Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Dec , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Timberwolves looking to trade Jonny Flynn?

The Timberwolves grow more confident by the day that Rubio will finally come over from Europe to join their squad next season, effectively making Flynn expendable. Recognizing this, no fewer than seven teams have reached out to the Timberwolves with interest in Flynn, with interest ranging from teams looking for a solid back-up to teams looking for a long-term starter.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Minnesota Timberwolves may soon have an embarrassment of riches at point guard.

In a few months, the Messiah known as Ricky Rubio may finally cross the Atlantic Ocean and lead the lowly Timberwolves out of the Western Conferece cellar. Some believe this makes 2009 lottery pick Jonny Flynn expendable.

Of course, the Timberwolves are acting like Rubio’s migration is a sure-thing, and according to reports are listening to offers for Flynn.

Two words: slow down.

Rubio is unpredictable. He could stay in Europe in hopes of forcing a trade to a larger market. And if he does come to The Frozen Tundra of ‘Sota’ next fall, he’ll need time and help.

Holding onto Flynn, who had a great rookie season, makes sense. He would provide insurance if Rubio gets cold feet and decides not to sign with the Timberwolves. Flynn and Rubio could also form a nice 1-2 punch at point guard and play extended minutes together in the backcourt.

In short, there’s no rush to move Flynn. The Timberwolves should enjoy this rare embarrassment of riches instead of spoling it.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Dec , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Beasley on Minnesota: ‘I would love to stay here long-term’

Michael Beasley, dealt from Miami to Minnesota last summer, loves his new surroundings. So much that the forward would like to sign a long-term contract extension with the Timberwolves. "I would love to stay here long-term,'' Beasley said in an interview with FanHouse before Saturday's game at Denver. "Maybe we'll talk about it when the season's over.''
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is breaking news. A pretty decent NBA player has announced publicly his desire to re-sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Michael Beasley, a talented scorer and former second overall pick, wants to make The Frozen Tundra of ‘Sota home.

Good for Beasley; good for the Wolves.
 
Both player and team have had issues. In Miami, Beasley struggled with marijuana, the distractions of South Beach, and depression.
 
Since trading Kevin Garnett, Minnesota has regressed into an oddball, outpost for NBA players. Think Siberia, with friendly people.

Things could be changing.

While 6-22, Minnesota has a pair of young forwards in Beasley and Kevin Love. There are also point guards Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio.

For the first time in a long time, the Wolves have a foundation. And the future isn't so bleak.

--Oly Sandor.

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Sunday , Aug , 01 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

No Way Jose: Why Colangelo and Toronto can’t trade Calderon

"My future will be known when Toronto and my agents make a decision," Calderon said. "They are working daily for the best solution for me and the franchise. Now, there isn't anything new to say."

Calderon is Toronto's highest-paid player with the departure of All-Star Chris Bosh. He'll make $9 million this coming season, but his contract increases to $9.7 in 2011 and $10.5 million in 2012.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: One man's junk is another man's, well, junk.

It's no secret Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is having difficulty trading Jose Calderon and the remaining three-years and $30 million on his contract.

After all, Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats exposed Colangelo and Calderon when 'His Airness' pulled an audible in mid-air and cancelled a trade to acquire the Spanish point guard in July.

For a variety of reasons, Calderon could be staying put:

1) The recession is lingering. A lockout is coming next July. In this economy, few teams have the resources or desire to assume Calderon's big-ticket.

2) The teams that can afford Calderon want better value. For instance, he's earning star money but - with his poor defense and health - is really a reserve.

3) The league is stacked with point guards. Last year, Tyreke Evans, Jonny Flynn, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, Jrue Holiday, Eric Maynor, Ty Lawson, and Darren Collison entered the league, and proved they could start or come off-the-bench.

Two years ago, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, D.J. Augustin, Jerryd Bayless, George Hill, Mario Chalmers, and Goran Dragic were drafted and have also shown they can play.

These young table-setters, who are tied to cheap rookie contracts, have killed the trade market for expensive veterans like Calderon.

4) Calderon thrived when Toronto played an up-and-down system. Back then, offensive basketball was enjoying a brief renaissance.

Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns aside, the renaissance is over. Defense is in demand, which means Calderon - the NBA's worst perimeter defender - is not.

So Colageno could be stuck with Calderon, a player he supported, paid, and has turned on. Things could get awkward if Calderon is in Toronto for 2011.

All will be noted by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the wealthy holding company that owns the Raptors, when Colangelo's contract expires next summer.

And the organization will not have any of these difficulties cutting ties with their underachieving executive.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Jul , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Ramon Sessions: ‘I’m a Timberwolf right now, and I expect to be one’

Sessions, rumored to be on the trading block, said, "I'm a Timberwolf right now, and I expect to be one next season."

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Credit Ramon Sessions for taking the high road.

One summer after signing a multi-year contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he no longer fits the club's plans.

Jonny Flynn will start at point guard. Newly signed Luke Ridnour will be the back-up. And next summer Ricky Rubio could swap the European professional circuit for the Frozen Tundra of 'Sota.

So Sessions will be traded, but still said the right things at the Timberwolves' basketball camp. He could have taken a different approach like a certain retired sharpshooter turned analyst who shall remain nameless (click video below). 

('Don't call me 3D no more.')

Expect Sessions to soon find a new home as a reserve combo guard. The former D-league star could still develop into a Vinnie Johnson, instant offense type off the bench.

And his positive, professional attitude can only help.

--Oly Sandor.

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Wednesday , Jul , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Wolves signing Ridnour, sending Sessions to Bobcats?

The Timberwolves are close to signing free-agent point guard Luke Ridnour to a multiyear deal, according to league sources. The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that the contract is worth $16 million over four years.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Luke Ridnour is in. Ramon Sessions is apparently out.

Reports indicate the Minnesota Timberwolves are on the verge of signing Ridnour, a veteran table-setter who'd make an ideal mentor and back-up to Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio -provided the Spaniard ever arrives in The Frozen Tundra of 'Sota.

Landing Ridnour is a solid move; however, it's surprising how quickly the Wolves soured on Sessions. One year ago he also signed a four-year, $16 million deal to serve as the club's reserve point guard.

Something changed last season. And now something else has to change before next season.

Expect Minnesota to shop Sessions, and the Charlotte Bobcats - who wisely backed out of a deal with the Toronto Raptors for Jose Calderon - will have interest.

After all, Charlotte executive Michael Jordan has a hole to fill at the one-spot after Ray Felton signed with the New York Knicks.

So the Ridnour signing won't be the last of the Wolves' busy off-season.

--Oly Sandor.

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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.