Morning shootaround — Aug. 27


VIDEO: Relive the top 5 plays from the USA-Slovenia exhibition game

NEWS OF THE MORNING
Wolves’ owner, Love in war of words after trade | Recapping Team USA’s final tune-up | Agent: Big Z won’t be making comeback

No. 1: Taylor, Love exchange words over trade — Tuesday afternoon, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers either moved on from or moved into their respective eras with Kevin Love. The All-Star big man was officially introduced the the Cleveland media yesterday, while the Wolves introduced the haul they got from the Cavs and Philadelphia 76ers — Thaddeus Young, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett — in the offseason mega-deal. Now that the move is in the past, Wolves owner Glen Taylor opened up to the media about trading his superstar and his regrets in not signing him to a longer contract a few years ago. Derek Wetmore of ESPN1500.com in Minneapolis has more:

Afterward, Taylor spoke freely about the blockbuster Kevin Love trade that landed the Wolves this year’s No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and Thaddeus Young. He said that his preference would have been to keep Love, but after it became clear that would not happen, the Wolves accommodated the disgruntled star and got a nice haul in return.

Still, if he could do it all over again, Taylor said he would have signed Love to the five-year maximum contract in 2012. That way Love would have three seasons left on his contract and the team’s outlook would be considerably different. With the benefit of hindsight, it appears safe to say the contract was a mistake. Love made it known that he wanted out and would exercise the opt-out clause that would make him a free agent following this season. So the Wolves once again have hit the reset button.

“I spoke the truth when I said if Kevin [Love] would stay here then we would have the best season. Inside I knew Kevin wasn’t giving us that alternative even though it’s what I wanted,” Taylor said Tuesday. “So now you have the thing where Kevin kind of said, ‘trade me or you’re going to pay the fine next year if you don’t trade me.’ I think once we got going on that, we had about four teams that came to us with significant offers. But this one truly had the biggest upside. Flip [Saunders] pushed it and negotiated it the best he could so I’m really happy with it.”

“Kevin and I have always had a good relationship. Kevin always said, ‘I want to win.’ I said, ‘I do, too. Stay here, let’s win together.’”

In the end, that didn’t happen of course, and the Wolves settled on a backup plan that may end up working out for the team. That’s yet to be determind. As for Love, Taylor said he questions if Cleveland is the right landing spot for him, where he’ll play alongside the best player in the world, LeBron James, and point guard Kyrie Irving. Taylor also nitpicked portions of Love’s game.

“I question Kevin if this is going to be the best deal for him because I think he’s going to be the third player on a team. I don’t think he’s going to get a lot of credit if they do really well. I think he’ll get the blame if they don’t do well. He’s going to have to learn to handle that.

“I think he’s around a couple guys are awful good. Now I’m not saying that Kevin’s not good, but I think where maybe he got away with some stuff, not playing defense on our team, I’m not sure how that’s going to work in Cleveland. So I would guess they’re going to ask him to play more defense. And he’s foul-prone,” Taylor said.

After these comments surfaced, Love had his say about them and basically told Taylor to worry about his own team, not him:

Love, appearing on ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” on Wednesday morning, responded to Taylor’s comments about how he may get exposed for his play on the defensive end and that Love may wind up being the scapegoat if the new-look Cavs struggle.

“I think emotions are definitely running high right now,” Love told “Mike and Mike” on Wednesday. “For Glen to say that, I just think that he should be focusing on the players that he just received. I mean, he has two of the No. 1 picks in the last two drafts: Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett. He has another guy who can really play in Thaddeus Young.

“I think he got a lot for me. So I’d be focusing even more on that. More than anything, I’m just excited to start my time in Cleveland, get to work with my new teammates, and start with this new family here.”


VIDEO: GameTime’s crew talks about the Minnesota Timberwolves’ new faces

***

No. 2: USA still hasn’t lost since 2006 — The U.S. Men’s National Team has impressed throughout the exhibition portion of its schedule as it warms up for the FIBA World Cup in Spain that tips off this weekend. Our John Schuhmann was on hand yesterday for Team USA’s 101-71 rout of Slovenia and has some takeaways from the win, which keeps the team undefeated since the semifinals of the 2006 World Championships:

  • So … many … fouls. The officiating in this game was a stark contrast to that of Friday’s game against Puerto Rico at Madison Square Garden, when both sets of guards got away with a lot of contact on the perimeter. Hand checks were called on Tuesday, with the two teams combining for 53 fouls in 40 minutes.
  • The U.S. was the bigger beneficiary of the whistles, getting to the line 46 times. But they shot just 29-for-46 (63 percent), leaving several points at the stripe. They had shot 81 percent through their first three exhibition games.
  • At the other end of the floor, the U.S. paid for its aggressiveness on the perimeter. Stephen Curry fouled out in the first minute of the fourth quarter after just 14 minutes of playing time. Klay Thompson picked up two hand-check fouls on the first possession he was on the court. And Kyrie Irving and James Harden each picked up three fouls apiece. The Americans have depth in the backcourt, but not as much as they’d have if they hand’t brought four centers on the roster. The guards are going to have to do a better job of adjusting to the way games are being called.
  • We got a basic look at the U.S. rotation. Derrick Rose (or Irving when Rose starts), Thompson and Rudy Gay were the first guys off the bench. DeMarcus Cousins backed up Davis, and DeMar DeRozan was the 10th man. Andre Drummond and Mason Plumlee only played garbage time.
  • The U.S. starters had huge plus-minus marks, while the reserves were a mix of low pluses and minuses. In fact, in 14:23 with four or five U.S. starters on the floor, the score was USA 45, Slovenia 8. In the other 25:37, with three or fewer American starters in the game, Slovenia outscored the U.S. 63-56.
  • Thompson shot well (3-for-5 on threes) and Gay was active on the offensive glass, but the bench was otherwise disappointing.
  • Rose did not play well. He showed flashes of his quickness, but did not finish plays. He shot 0-for-3 and committed three turnovers in 20 minutes of action.
  • The U.S. halfcourt offense still needs work. There was some real sloppiness on Tuesday, especially in the fourth quarter.

***

No. 3: Ilgauskas’ agent denies talk of client’s comeback attemptKevin Love is in the fold in Cleveland. Shawn Marion should be inking his deal soon. Ray Allen remains another household name that may be Ohio-bound as well. Retired Cavs All-Star center Zydrunas Ilgauskas was also said to be reportedly weighing an NBA comeback after three seasons out of the league, but according to his agent, that isn’t the case. RealGM’s Shams Charania has more:

Zydrunas Ilgauskas has been retired for three seasons and the Cleveland Cavaliers retired his No. 11 last season, but he could be considering a comeback.

ESPN Cleveland radio host Tony Rizzo first talked about an Ilgauskas return on Sunday and reiterated the possiblity on Monday.

Ilgauskas and LeBron James have remained close friends and the Cavaliers have a clear need at center.

Ilgauskas’ agent, Herb Rudoy, told RealGM’s Shams Charania that speculation on a comeback is a “false rumor.”

***

SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams still hasn’t been cleared for five-on-five drills Sam Smith details Derrick Rose‘s play in the USA-Slovenia gameSteven Adams‘ emergence last season led to the Thunder trading their third-string center, Hasheem Thabeet … Could Carlos Delfino be looking at the end of his career? … Knicks guard Iman Shumpert has been working hard all offseason to strengthen his surgically repaired left knee

50 Comments

  1. interesting to see big z making a comeback

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  3. joanvonnegut says:

    I remember Kevin’s negative reaction when James decided to join Miami Heat. Look at him now, trade me or you will pay for it……LOL .

  4. KMIll says:

    Sounds like sour grapes from Timberwolves owner!! Sad that he couldn’t have just acted professionally, like Kevin Love did.

    • Yep, Taylor's sounding like a real idiot says:

      So, let’s get this straight: just because Love is now on a team with multiple, genuine scoring options, all the sudden the burden of defeat lies with him, no matter the case?!? What a crock! So if K-Love gets 30pts, and 12 rebounds in a match they happen to lose by 5 pts, it’s all his fault? If LeBron & Kyrie combine for 30 pts, and K-Love gets 25 – in a game they lose by 10 pts.. it’s all K-Love’s fault, as well?? Give me a freaking break, Taylor. You wanted your cake and to eat it. There’s not a snowball’s chance in H3ll T’Wolves got Wiggins & kept K-Love. You got two No. 1 Draft picks, from consecutive years, and also Thad Young; only thing i see is T-Wolves being a real playoff contender with a young core like that. Maybe not immediately, but definitely by year 2-3. K-Love is gone.. both teams did great out of the deal – but most importantly, both teams (Cavs & t-Wolves) get to start fresh, with players that want to be on their respective teams.

  5. jake s. says:

    ‘Pek is a poor mans Griffin.

  6. What’s up, for all time i used to check website posts here early in the daylight, because i like
    to learn more and more.

  7. darryl dawkins says:

    Am I the only Thunder fan who is estatic that they finally got rid of Thabeet, the cheerleader/bench warmer with no specific role on the court? That took like a whole season to figure out.

  8. Locke says:

    Taylor needs to stop slagging off ex-players. He did the same thing with Garnett…when Garnett never demanded a trade, and stayed in MN longer than he probably had to. Granted, MN paid Garnett a ton of money, a record amount at the time. But still. The deal worked out for MN as well as it could have. My lord! If the Wolves had done two things differently, the obvious things: draft Curry instead of Johnny F’in Flynn, and sign Love to the max deal, we’re looking at a dynamic, playoff team. Not saying they’d be the best team in the league, but imagine a team with Curry and Love getting set up by Rubio. It would be a pretty thing. But woulda, coulda, shoulda. Wolves screwed it up, and now it’s time to start over again. Kahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhn!

    • charless702 says:

      He was asked a question and he answered it. He’s also 100% right about everything he said. Anyway it’s not like it really matters. Garnett and Love aren’t all time elite greats. Both of them never really accomplished anything when they were the leader of their teams. I remember Garnett struggling to make the playoffs for a very long time and Love has never made the playoffs. Both were extremely overrated. Garnett has played on T-Wolves teams that should have won a title and Love has played on several teams that should have made the playoffs. Love is just another self centered, entitled star who wants to win a Championship without having to work for it.

  9. ricz says:

    I really hope that a team that was build to win a championship by sacrificing other team will not win an NBA championship
    I still prefer the old style build it slowly

    Players nowadays just want to win an easy championship…..

  10. RodRam says:

    I think the Wolf project better than Rubio is, his offense is not constant.

  11. RodRam says:

    We’ll see how the new coach will come Cavs to lead the team. Short and long-term wolf suit them this change.

  12. jr says:

    The east is garbage and always will b that’s your every team in the east has a chance to make it to the finals the Competition is always between the top 3 may e 4 seeds and that’s a maybe mostly it’s always 1 and 2 seed either way it’s garbage and always will b the real teams are in the west and most years the western conference finals are the actual finals look at this year practicly a sweep

    • T gas TT ako says:

      EAST IS GARBAGE?? do you really watch NBA? maybwe its not that strong but GARBAGE? i dont think so,, MIAMI are the champs for 2 seasons,, remember????

      • Kings4Life says:

        The east is garbage lol It’s easier to make it to the Conference finals there than the West.

    • sports fan says:

      If anyyone takes a good look at he east they’ll know it’s not garbage. Chicago, Cleveland, Toronto, & Washington are currently the top 4 & they’re all going to be very good. Charlotte has definitely improved. Miami, Indiana, & Brooklyn still have talent. We all know the west is stronger but anyone who knows basketball knows the east isn’t garbage. Nothing is guaranteed, especially in the east, just ask Indiana.

  13. Paul says:

    The Cavs will make the playoffs for Shure. The East is not a competitive as the West. I think they are in the top four for the East. They should at least make it to the second round of the playoffs. Depending how they build chemistry will be the determination point if they make it to the Eastern Conference finals or farther. This team will need more chemistry in order to beat which ever team is the best in the West. Their team defense will also play a role. I think depending on how they do their rotation this team will be the best rebounding team. They will be at least a top five team in offense. If Indiana’s Paul George was healthy and did not lose Stevenson they would be a top three east team. now they will have trouble making the playoffs. I Believe Washington is the best team in the East. This is because Rose can not stay healthy. Even without Rose Chicago is a lethal team. McDermott will help them on offense, but he is not a reliable defender. as long as he gars the outside shot they will be ok with the defense of Noah. I also think the suns could make the finals depending on if they trade Bledsoe and get a decent piece. The only problem is he wants too much money and I do not know that any teams will take the risk because of his injuries. If the suns do not trade him he will be playing well because its the end of his contract. I think the Suns can make it to the Western conference Playoffs. The suns can beat every team in the west except Memphis. They are the Suns kryptonite.

  14. mvp says:

    its really sad that the greatest players in all of professional sports through the history, are the most hated. it really shows you how much fans actually appreciate the sport for the sport itself vs those who watch it from their couch for entertainment purposes to fulfill their instant gratification. Typically those that never played basketball yet alone any sport, yet they spew their knowledge via the internet

    • charless702 says:

      How does dislike of a player based on their actions have anything to do with appreciating the game of basketball? You slam fans for wanting “instant gratification” and because they dislike a player. The reason they dislike said player/players is because that/those player/players want instant gratification. They force trades or the sign together in free agency to create super teams so they have a shot at dominating the NBA without having to work hard for it. Now tell me again how the fans are a disgrace because they want instant gratification?

  15. Scisca says:

    Pekovic getting a 5 year deal over Love is a mistake only thanks to the benefit of hindsight? No. Just no. That move was so outrageously stupid that EVERYONE knew it was an epic mistake even before the contracts were signed. Everyone except for T-Wolves’ managment that is. These guys should be fired on the spot and never work in anything sport related, as they have no clue as to what they are doing.

  16. NBAFAN says:

    Cleveland’s LeBron, Love and Chicago’s Rose, Casol should be a great match up during the season probably either way 1 and 2 in the east.

  17. bxhoweroll says:

    the guy is a hater. let it all play out before you talk. that’s how da Heat got you boys to stop yappin. Please stop yappin!

  18. El Stone says:

    LeBron just tries to buy championships.

    The honorable thing would have been to develop and win with Wiggins.

    LeBron takes short cuts.

    • mvp says:

      Lebron isn’t paying love

      • charless702 says:

        Lebron is paying Love. He pretty much said “come to Cleveland and I’ll give you a championship.” He’s buying Love with promises of a future payment. Anyway it doesn’t really bother me that he’s doing this though. For every Finals defeat his legacy shrinks. Every team he plays on that has multiple star players makes his accomplishments seem less and less impressive. Honestly his most impressive accomplishment is his ECF win in 07. However even that wasn’t that impressive. Detroit had peaked 2 years before and was never on the same level. Sheed was free falling, RIP was decent, Billups was still pretty good, Prince was still a good defender and their defensive anchor, Ben Wallace, was off the team so Sheed had to play C and the PF spot was taken over by a completely broken down C-Webb. It’s not about what you accomplish it’s about how you accomplish it.

    • Locke says:

      Why is it honorable to keep Wiggins? Jordan’s Bulls teams weren’t winning titles with rookies. They had Jordan, they were lucky enough to draft Pippen…and then they went out and signed or traded for everyone else. Rodman was a huge acquisition for the Bulls. So was a guy like Ron Harper, who came off scoring 20 PPG for the Clippers to go to the Bulls and be a defensive stopper at PG. Talent always attracts talent. Plus, the Wolves had it coming. They had a chance to secure Love, and they failed. It’s their own fault. Cleveland gives the Wolves the best offer, and the best chance at creating something that could succeed…down the road.

  19. Sarge says:

    LeBron is definitely not the reason they lost the last Finals. He played better than anyone on his team, and was probably the best player in the entire series. No, they just ran into a buzzsaw Spurs team that was playing better than they had the entire year. Even if the other guys on the Heat had played well, they would probably lose that series.

    • Locke says:

      No one is beating the Spurs in that series. Lebron averaged some ridiculous numbers. Like you said: didn’t matter. You’re not beating a team that shoots 60% from the field on a consistent basis.

  20. nbafan says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how this team plays together. I’m guessing they will at least make the eastern conference finals.

  21. spguide says:

    Besides the defense, the biggest problem with the Cavs is the fact that all 3 stars are ball hoggers.

    • hilljr says:

      I might need to take a picture, because this is the first human being alive to actually use the word “ball hog” when referencing LeBron. Here’s a fact: LBJ was the third leading scorer in the league, despite finishing outside the top 10 in field goals attempted, for the THIRD STRAIGHT YEAR. Ball hog huh. lmao.

      • Locke says:

        How is Lebron a ball hog? I’ve never seen a scorer share the ball better than he does. This is nuts. They’ll let anyone on these message boards. Plus, Lebron and Love were two of the three most efficient scorers in the league. Love’s not even a ball hog: who else is going to shoot on MN? Nor for that matter is Kyrie.

        This guys a moron.

      • DenH says:

        ball hog doesnt just reference shots attempted, but also usage rate, how long the ball is in his hands (which constitutes being a ball hog..) the fact is, that the cavs now have 3 players who were in the top 20 in usage rate last season, and as good as lebron is, he is not exactly an elite off ball presence, he can cut yes, but someone on that team is going to have to defer, which is where rifts will appear. That and the fact that no one plays D except for lebron. When you count on varejao and haywood to protect the rim you are not going to have a top 15 D

    • MAMBA 24 says:

      Dunno bout that, LBJ gets his team involved. Kevin love had no one else that can take over the game. Kyrie did not have a much better team. So it is a new team, a new dynasty in the making. Just watch, Love is more consistant than bosh any day, kyrie is more athletic and better than D-Wade. D-Wade is old and pretty much done for. So to say they are “ball hoggers” you need to take in consideration the team around them.

      • mvp says:

        Don’t forget. It’s all about the system. Players have to adapt to new roles. Cleveland is a up tempo team. Love is not a up tempo player so he has to adjust. We shall see how he does vs the half court game in Minnesota. Bosh will be the man in Miami since lebron left..count on thay

      • DenH says:

        the difference is that wade and bosh were both 2 way stars who had led their teams to marginal success, kyrie and love are both stellar offensive players, but have not had success primarily because they can’t lead by example on D, wolves made out like bandits in this trade, and they got thad young for basically nothing, now they have a young, athletic and exciting core with a ceiling that towers over the team that love had, led by a new franchise player that actually wants to be there.

      • Caldron Pool says:

        Show some respect. Wade was a champion and MVP without LeBron, Kyrie can only hope to as good as Wade once was. Bosh in Toronto was better than Love ever was in Minnesota. Show some respect for Spoelstra too. We’ll see what this guy who’s never worked in the NBA can put together. It’s going to be a lot uglier than the Heat thing was.

        Hate to say it, but LeBron peaked about a year ago too. He’s not getting any younger.

    • Qsocool says:

      lebron is a ballhog? that should exclude you from talking basketball forever!!! LeBron is the most unselfish superstar in the history of the league along with Big O and Maigic… twirp.

    • anonymous says:

      Im pretty sure he meant all three need the ball in their hands to play. Heck, all three were their teams’ first options on offense.

  22. wooderson says:

    mike loves nephew will fail in cleveland

  23. cavs r going no where this year says:

    really sally? becuz i saw a whole lotta its spo’s, then bosh’s then wade’s then finally chalmers’ fault in miami. guess u werent watching them the last 4 four years. i was becuz i live here. lebron NEVER got the blame. it will be blatt’s, then irving’s, then love’s fault before its ever put on lebron. thats why he jumps from team to team, becuz he even feels its never his fault. this first year it should be the entire team’s fault becuz they r not built to win it all yet. they r not even getting to the finals, and if they do, they will beat the west. the west is too strong right now and nobody in the east stands a chance for a couple of seasons. jdub, love will be the 3rd wheel. he is overrated. good scorer, bad defender. he is not even on bosh’s lvl and look what happened to bosh playing the “king’s” shadow.

    • T gas TT ako says:

      another lebron hater here,,, what do you get on criticizing sum1? just enjoy the game dude,,,

  24. sally says:

    If Cleveland doesn’t do well (which is like having ice water in hell) Lebron will be blamed not Kevin Love, for some reason that’s just the way it is. Lebron always carries the load. Too bad !

  25. jdub455 says:

    i dont think love will be the 3rd wheel in the cavs 3 all-stars…. but i do agree that he isnt aggresive on Defense which is the reason why they should do everything to keep Varejao healthy…. this is why marion was an invaluable pickup… versatile defender who can play the 3 and 4 spot…