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News » Minnesota Timberwolves Roster Report 2008-04-29


Minnesota Timberwolves Roster Report 2008-04-29


Minnesota Timberwolves Roster Report 2008-04-29
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Al Jefferson. The only real reason to believe in the future, Jefferson proved he could place a franchise upon his shoulders and carry it with a 20-plus point, 10-plus rebound night nearly every time out. Whether he makes the next step forward next season that he did this one will depend on whether his focus on shot-blocking and passing late in the season was just a passing fad.

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: Corey Brewer. Wolves' fans hoped the rookie, seventh overall pick and 2007 NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player would prove to be the sleeper of the draft. He demonstrated flashes of great athleticism and enough length and ability to defend the other team's best player many nights. But he also couldn't shoot a lick, averaging 5.7 points on 37.5 shooting for the season. So skinny, Brewer must get stronger and relax with his shot.

FREE AGENT FOCUS: There are five, all restricted free agents: Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Craig Smith, Kirk Snyder and Chris Richard. Gomes developed into a consistent starter who can play both forward spots and appears to be the top priority. Telfair's return depends upon the price and whether the Wolves get lucky in the lottery and win a chance at Memphis point guard Derrick Rose.

"It's going to be an interesting, important summer for a lot of guys," said Smith, a second-year forward.

PLAYER NOTES:

--F Ryan Gomes got married and traded last summer.

"And I thought that was a big summer," he said.

This time around, he and his wife, Danielle, are expecting their first child, a girl due July 11. Two days before that is the NBA's first day to sign free agents and Gomes is one of five young Timberwolves who will be a restricted free agent come July 1.

"It'd be great if my wife gave birth and I got the phone call (guaranteeing a big contract) all in the same day," he said.

Gomes is one of five Timberwolves who will become restricted free agents on July 1. The Wolves will have the right to match any offer made to any of the five players. Gomes was one of five players acquired from Boston in last summer's Kevin Garnett trade.

"And two of the guys are already gone," Gomes said. "Me and Sebastian are the only ones left (unsigned, Al Jefferson is already signed to a $65 million, five-year contract extension). You never know: Both of us might be back, neither of us might be back. You just never know."

--F Ryan Gomes and F Al Jefferson both played all 82 games for the first time in their young careers. They were the only Timberwolves to do so.

Until this season, Jefferson had never played more than 71, and that was in his rookie season when he averaged 15 minutes a game. Gomes had never played more than last season's 73, when he missed nine games because of a foot injury.

"That's a hell of an accomplishment," Wolves coach Randy Wittman said. "That's something you want to hang your hat on and do every year. Al has to find out what he has to do to carry a team and be ready to play all 82 games."

Jefferson vows to come back even better next year.

"I'm going to take it to another level this summer and do things I never even thought about doing," he said. "When I'm tired, I'm going to keep going."

--F Antoine Walker, a 12-year veteran on a team committed to its youth, sat out the season's final 30 games and last played on Feb. 19. When the Wolves didn't trade him or reach a contract buyout on a deal that will pay him $9.3 million next season, he reached an agreement with the team that he would be inactive rather than be asked to play little or no minutes.

He said his agent will meet with team officials, perhaps at the pre-draft camp in Orlando in June.

"A buyout or a trade, something's got to happen," he said. "I want to go play, man."


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 29, 2008

 

 
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