In today’s Seattle Times it was reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves will sign Damien Wilkins a 5 year $15 million offer sheet.
I just spoke with Timberwolves head coach Dwane Casey and he said that is not accurate. “There is sincere interest from the Minnesota Timberwolves but there is no formal offer sheet extended to Damien Wilkins.” Minnesota doesn’t want to have its money tied up the seven day period of restricted free agency.
In addition, the report in the Times said that the Sonics are unlikely to match. The word around the NBA is very different. The Sonics have told Wilkins agent Mark Bartelstein that they will match offers for Wilkins.
An issue that has not be discussed is that Wilkins may not want to return to Seattle. Bartelstein has told the Sonics that his client would like to go some place where he can start. With the Sonics Wilkins chances are minimal for significant playing time with Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis ahead of him on the depth chart. Whereas in the other cities that are suiting Wilkins he would have a chance to start.
Minnesota is very interested in Wilkins, Flip Murray and Reggie Evans. At the current time Minnesota can’t afford to have their money tied up in an offer sheet. However, it is fair to anticipate that at some point Minnesota will extend an offer sheet to either Wilkins or Murray. Minnesota will try to make the Sonics decided.
Other teams interested are Atlanta and Denver.
Friday, August 05, 2005
HoopsHype - Interviews - Vladimir Radmanovic: "My status on the team improves with Weiss": "Vladimir Radmanovic: 'My status on the team improves with Weiss'
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Locked On Sports: It's time for fans to play 'Steroids, Yes or No?': "Sadly, baseball's ostrich approach to confronting a decade-long problem has created an environment in which baseball fans' newest, most favorite game is 'Steroids, Yes or No?' The game is simple. Name the player, check his numbers and then speculate steroids, yes or no? Let's play:"
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
950, KJR is reporting and has confirmed that Ryan Franklin has tested positive for a banned substance and will be suspended 10 games by Major League Baseball. HE will talk with the media around 11:00 am this morning in Detroit.
This becomes another example of how outrageous the steroid and banned substance problem is and was inside Major League Baseball. When a player like Franklin is involved it opens up the entire roster of every team as potential users.
Stay tuned to 950, KJR for more on this developing story.
Monday, August 01, 2005
950, KJR'S Locked on Sports reports that according to sources inside the NBA, the Sonics have come to a one-year agreement with Rick Brunson. Brunson, 32, is a 8 year veteran in the NBA. Brunson will be the back-up to Luke Ridnour.
Last season the Sonics played a three-guard rotation, however in the 2005-06 season the Sonics are anticipating that they will have a 4-guard rotation. Brunson stand at 6 foot 4 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds. His size is a nice compliment to Ridnour.
Last season, Brunson played 80 games, starting 39, with the LA Clippers averaging 24 minutes a game. He scored 5 points per game and averaged 5 assists. In his 39 starts last season he averaged 7 points, 7 assists and 3 rebounds.
His assist to turnover ratio was an impressive 5.1 to 1.56. This is very similar to what Daniels brought to the floor for the Sonics.
His shooting is not a strong point. He is a career 38% from the field. On the positive side he should be able to stretch the defense as a career 36% three point shooter. Over the past two seasons, Brunson has really added the three to his game and has hit 206 of 547 attempts for 38%
This will be the Temple graduates 7th team in the NBA. He started his career as an undrafted free agent with the Portland Trailblazers. Since he has bounced around, but a great sign of what type of player and person Brunson is that three teams have had him back for a second run.
According to sources the contract is a 1 year deal for the minimum contract. That will not count against the Sonics mid-level exception.
LOCKE’S TAKE –
This isn’t going to wow anyone but it makes a lot of sense. The Sonics have decided to play a 4 guard line-up next season with Brunson backing-up of Ridnour. Brunson is the ultimate back-up point guard. He doesn’t turn the ball over. He is just good enough that he can hurt the other team. He has been through so much as a player that you know he isn’t going to rock the boat wanted more time or more shots. His performance this last year with the Clippers was strong enough that if Ridnour gets hurt he could run the team for a short period of time.
The real issue is with Ridnour’s development and the likelihood that he will be playing 34 minutes a night next season the Sonics have moved into a realm where the back-up point guard becomes an interchangeable part every two years or so. Therefore, Brunson is a very good answer at the back-up position.
Interesting comparison to who AD was when the Sonics acquired him. Daniels last year in Portland he average 3.7 points and 1 assist in 13 minutes a night. I doubt Bronson will be able to what AD did last year for the Sonics, but you would have never imagined AD would have done that when he came to Seattle.
The singings and real movement in the NBA is finally going to happen. It moratorium is expected to be pulled on Tuesday and then it is down to business.
Here is what to watch for this week from a Sonics standpoint.
Today, Vlady Radmanovic and his agent, Dave Bauman, will be in town and meeting the Sonics brass. The Sonics currently have a 6 year 39 million dollar deal on the table. The two sides will try to reach a common ground to sign a long term deal. If not Radmanovic will be forced to sign the 1 year tender agreement at 3.2 million dollars. Bauman has said if that is what they are forced to do it is a sign that Radmanoivc’s Sonics career will be over at the end of the year. He says it would show a lack of faith in his client from the Sonics.
Also on Tuesday the not so mystery suitor of Damien Wilkins may be revealed. The Sonics are hoping to keep Wilkins by using a portion of their mid-level exception. According to sources Wilkins turned down a $16 million offer from the Portland Trailblazers. I talked with his agent Mark Bartlestein today and he said, “There are a few teams involved, I don’t want to comment on specifics, because there are still a lot of ways this can go.”
On Wednesday, the Sonics will announce the signing that was the key to the off-season. Ray Allen will hold his press conference and the Sonics will have their franchise piece in tack for 5 years at nearly 80 million dollars.
Flip Murray is a bit of a wild card. The Sonics are planning on signing Murray while his camp is desperately attempting to set his market value by receiving an offer sheet. However, no teams are willing to have their money tied up for 7 days on an offer sheet.
I don’t anticipate much on the Reggie Evans front. Everything sounds like that will linger all the way into September. There is a good chance that Evans is left with the one year tender.
The Sonics will continue discussions with Vitaly Potapenko about returning to Seattle. The advantage of Potapenko is the Sonics don’t have to use any of their mid-level exception.
Lastly, the fringe signing will be the keys for the Sonics. The Sonics have spotlighted various players that they anticipate to slip through the market and could become available very much the way Jerome James did 5 years ago and Antonio Daniels did 2 years ago.
The Mariners purge continued today as they released Aaron Sele from the roster. The Mariners filled his roster spot by recalling Jorge Campillo from Tacoma.
Campillo has been battling injuries over the past month but, made his first start off the injury last week and will now fill the rotation spot of Sele.
This is the beginning of numerous moves to cleanse the roster of pieces that will not be a part of the Mariners re-birth.
Rumors persist that the Mariners are close to calling up Felix Hernandez from Tacoma and placing him the rotation as well. Some reports have Hernandez pitching in Detroit as early as Thursday.
Once again we are experiencing major league tryouts at the big league level. This is what the minor league system is defined to do. Last year, the Mariners struck out completely in finding anyone who was ready for the big leagues in this tryout period.
Julio Mateo seems to have the most consistent stuff on the staff. Why wouldn’t Mateo be moved into the starting rotation.
Other players that may be on the chopping block include Shiggy, Matt Thorton and Joel Pineiro.