The Scoops: Luke Ridnour Preparing for a Trade
Created: 02/15/2013 12:23 PM KSTP.com
By: Darren Wolfson
Five years ago, in Luke Ridnour's final season in Seattle, he played with future hall of famer Kevin Durant.
While a reunion with Durant is unlikely, Ridnour could soon call another expected hall of famer a teammate: New York Knick Carmelo Anthony.
The Knicks are one of several teams with interest in the Minnesota Timberwolves guard, according to a league source.
The others to varying degrees are Boston, Philadelphia, Utah and probably a couple more.
Wherever it is, a source close to Ridnour said he's mentally preparing for a trade by Thursday afternoon's deadline.
Ridnour, who is the Wolves' only player to appear in every game this season, is the most likely Timberwolves player to be moved.
Guard Brandon Roy's financial advisor is still rejecting overtures on a buyout, which seems to be the Wolves' preference over a trade.
Center Nikola Pekovic's camp has been given verbal assurances he isn't going anywhere, for now.
Forward Derrick Williams is available, but a trade seems more likely this summer.
• The Wolves still have no interest in Atlanta hybrid forward Josh Smith.
• If the current standings hold, the Wolves will have two first-round picks in June's draft, according to president of operations David Kahn. Clearing up confusion on the pick the Wolves will eventually give Phoenix to complete the Wesley Johnsontrade, Kahn said via email it won't come this year because of certain protection based on the Wolves missing the playoffs and Memphis making it. So, the Wolves will have their pick and the pick acquired from Memphis in a 2011 trade. The Wolves' pick is top 13-protected once again in 2014.
• Big man Chris Johnson is under contract for next year, according to a source. The Wolves have decided not to announce it. It's likely that the deal is non-guaranteed at the minimum.
• Ex-Suns assistant coach Elston Turner is back home in Houston. He has spoken with his good friend, Wolves coach Rick Adelman. It's very possible Turner joins the Wolves' staff in the summer.
• For those laughing at the Wolves' idea to give anyone who renewed their season tickets or purchased a new season-ticket package for next season a 10% discount if the team failed to make the playoffs, know this: the plan was created before the season started.
• "U" athletics director Norwood Teague reached out to at least one semi-influential basketball donor after Sunday night's loss to Illinois. It's not known what specifically was discussed, but I'm told the call was a little out of the ordinary.
• Teague, when asked on 1500 ESPN this week how much buyouts factor into his thinking when deciding to fire a coach: "Not that much, because you know what they are when you do the contract. ... At VCU, I did (coach) Shaka (Smart's) buyout and I did Tubby (Smith)'s here. ... They don't come into play too much. ... You don't want to spend money foolishly, but not that much." Reminder: 95% of Smith's contract extension was done prior to Teague's arrival, but he was able to get the buyout lowered from north of $3 million to $2.5 million.
• Gophers coach Tubby Smith watched Apple Valley junior point guard Tyus Jones on Tuesday night.
• North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams will be in town Friday to watch Cooper junior guard Rashad Vaughn. This will be Williams' second visit since early January. Kansas coach Bill Self is expected to make a second visit to see Vaughn as well in the next two weeks.
• UCLA is showing football interest in DeLaSalle junior quarterback Reid Travis. A cavalcade of football coaches are expected to visit with Travis the first week of April.
• If the Indians decide to trade outfielder Drew Stubbs, Twins general manager Terry Ryan will probably get a nudge from special assistant Wayne Krivsky. During his tenure as Reds general manager, Krivsky had a hand in taking Stubbs eighth overall in the 2006 draft.
• Before the Rays traded shortstop Reid Brignac to Colorado on Thursday afternoon, the Twins had some interest.
• The Twins never inquired about pitcher Jon Garland. He signed a minor league deal with Seattle earlier in the week.
• Twenty-one teams had a scout watch reliever Mark Lowe throw recently in Arizona. For some reason, the Twins didn't have a regional scout present. Lowe signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers.
• Speaking 1-on-1 Thursday morning with Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher, I asked him about the prospects of making another trade in the foreseeable future. "I think there's a lot of what you've seen: teams are looking to tweak their roster and make smaller moves," Fletcher said. "It's going to be difficult to make big deals because everyone is in it. Everybody thinks they can make the playoffs. ... But we'll see. We're happy with our team. If we can make an adjustment or tweak, we'll look at it. But we're not actively looking right now. What we need is a little bit better performance from the guys that are here. We believe that will come."
• Fletcher has told rookie defenseman Jonas Brodin he can move out of his hotel room. He's here to stay.
• Former Lightning general manager Brian Lawton would've interviewed for the Columbus job if asked, but there's a different team that he's set his sights on.
• Gophers running back Donnell Kirkwood had a big smile when I asked him on Wednesday about quarterback Philip Nelson: "I've seen a change. I have to say that. He's become more of a vocal leader. He's taken charge of captain's practices, the runs, this team. He's become more outspoken and is stepping out of that shy role he had a year ago."
• The Vikings have not inquired about former Giants defensive lineman Chris Canty.
• Some sort of tweak to the Vikings' jerseys is expected for 2013.