The Scoop: Wolves Talking Trade
Created: 01/18/2013 4:15 PM KSTP.com
By: Darren Wolfson
Until recently, Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn was busy taking trade calls from rival executives, not making them.
But a team source said that has changed in the last week. In fact, Kahn was aggressively working the phone Wednesday and Thursday way more than normal for mid-January and is making some progress on a trade. The source said it's for more of a big guy, not a wing.
The most likely player to be sent elsewhere is forward Derrick Williams. Multiple team and league sources say he's being shopped heavily.
The Wolves' target is unknown, but there are guys who can be ruled out. They don't have interest in Portland's J.J. Hickson, who in the final year of his deal is available. They also don't have interest in Atlanta's Josh Smith, who is being shopped.
The Wolves are still figuring out if Memphis' Rudy Gay makes sense. They turned down an offer last week that was said to be a no-brainer call. That doesn't mean though that they've completely ruled out trying to get Gay.
The source said if a trade for Gay comes, expect center Nikola Pekovic to go out, likely in a three-team deal. The Wolves won't have Gay and Pekovic together, fearing the salary ramifications starting next year.
There's a bit of a divide on whether it makes sense to pay Pekovic $12 million or more per year on a long-term contract this summer. The source said for now the feeling is he'll stay at least for the rest of the year. Then, a re-assessment will come before a contractual decision needs to be made on July 1.
As for guard Brandon Roy, the best bet is his contract is used very close to the Feb. 21 deadline to facilitate a trade, but likely not sooner.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is said to have called the Wolves recently about forward Dante Cunningham. But with a reasonable, $2.1 million team option for 2013-14, Cunningham won't be easy to get.
Dallas owner Mark Cuban has made it known that he's open for business, but a league source said the Wolves have not inquired about any of Dallas' guys.
No trade happens without coach Rick Adelman's approval.
• Word is interest in buying the Wolves is as high as ever. One potential buyer is former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley. Multiple sources insist that he's kicking the tires. Before any transaction occurs, the Target Center renovation plans need to be finalized. The Wolves and Minneapolis officials were scheduled to meet on Wednesday.
• It's still unclear what's wrong with Adelman's wife, Mary Kay. A team source said Adelman is not expected to coach in Saturday's home game against Houston or in Monday afternoon's road game at Atlanta. His status beyond that is unknown.
• As of Thursday late afternoon, the Wolves had not let forward Lazar Hayward">Lazar Hayward's camp know if they planned on re-signing him to a 10-day contract. But a team source said he's a goner. Euroleague wing Mickael Gelabale agreed to terms on Thursday and took the open roster spot.
• The Wolves did not apply for a disabled players exception (DPE) by Tuesday's deadline. They could've gotten a tiny bit of salary cap relief with guard Malcolm Lee declared out for the year.
• There was definitely frustration internally with the delay in surgery for All-Star Kevin Love. As indicated last week, the total timeframe absence is expected to be 12 weeks, not 10 weeks.
• There's been no talk between the two sides about what Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko is thinking with a $10.2 million player option for next year.
• Wolves forward Chase Budinger was told by his doctor last week that he's ahead of schedule in rehabbing his knee. We could see him back in game action in late February.
• Rob Babcock, the Wolves' director of scouting, and scout Will Conroy spent time this week with the D-League affiliate in Sioux Falls. There's some thought the Wolves are trying to take over the basketball operations.
• The Wolves never inquired about guard Shelvin Mack, who signed a 10-day contract with Philadelphia on Thursday.
• Because of Wolves scout Steve "Hat Man" Gordon's relationship with free agent center Greg Oden, it has been presumed for a while that the Wolves would make a run. But the Wolves haven't done due diligence on Oden like a handful of other teams.
• In spite of indications to the contrary, the Twins never called to inquire about the availability of pitcher Anibal Sanchez. He re-signed with the Tigers for five years and $80 million.
• The Twins had interest in free agent starter Freddy Garcia in December but have not checked in on him since.
• The Twins have also cut off contact with free agent pitcher Manny Parra.
• The Twins never had an interest in free agent starter Aaron Cook, who signed a minor league deal with the Phillies on Wednesday.
• The Twins could have free agent starter Armando Galarraga on a minor league deal but have no interest.
• The Twins still have interest in free agent outfielder Scott Podsednik, but don't in free agent outfielder Ryan Sweeney.
• The Twins have not inquired about free agent shortstop Jason Bartlett, nor free agent second baseman Kelly Johnson.
• The Twins never made an offer to shortstop Cesar Izturis, who signed a minor league deal with the Reds on Wednesday.
• Former Twins pitcher Kevin Slowey is getting married this weekend in Pittsburgh. A few Twins players, including closer Glen Perkins, will be there.
• Gophers basketball recruit Rashad Vaughn (2014) is busy with finals at Cooper High School, so he couldn't make Thursday night's game against Michigan. Vaughn will soon be taking unofficial visits to Iowa State and Kansas.
• Gophers basketball recruits Tyus Jones (Apple Valley 2014) and Reid Travis (DeLaSalle 2014) were at Thursday night's game.
• A correction from the "Scoops" on KSTP-TV (Ch. 5) from Thursday night: Gophers coordinators Tracy Claeys and Matt Limegrover are working under multi-year deals. Athletic director Norwood Teague acknowledged in a conversation last week that he has to find a way to compensate Kill's assistants more -- and Kill for that matter, eventually.