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Luke Ridnour nears four-year deal with Timberwolves to add to team's point guard collection

Jul 13, 2010, 8:47 AM EDT

lridnour.jpgThe Minnesota Timberwolves brought in Kurt Rambis to run the triangle, but he had to partially abandon or alter many of those sets last year because he didn’t have the right personnel to do it. It was a team where the offense had to start with a slashing point guard, but the triangle is not an offense that wants a ball-dominating point guard (see Derek Fisher, John Paxson, Steve Kerr).

So, the Timberwolves have gone out and gotten another strong point guard. To go with the two they have and the best one of all still stashed over in Europe.

The Timberwolves are very close to a four-year, $16 million deal with Luke Ridnour, according to Gery Woelfel of the Journal-Times.

Ridnour is a good point guard — better than the two on the roster now, Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions. Ridnour shoots at a higher percentage both inside and beyond the arc than those two and his PER is considerably higher. In that sense, the T-Wolves are getting a better player. The only caution is that Ridnour just had a season far better than any of his previous ones — he could return to earth this season. Even if he does, he’s still the point on the roster, and he runs the pick-and-roll well.

The best teams work because the GM and coach are on the same page, and frankly it’s a little tough to figure out what David Kahn is thinking. Okay, more than a little tough.

They have an offense that does not require a traditional point guard but they are about to have Ridnour, Flynn and Sessions in house (although they are trying to trade Sessions) plus there is Ricky Rubio stashed overseas and he could come out in 2011 (lockout depending, most likely).

Then there are the frontcourt moves, like trying to trade Al Jefferson for next to nothing but signing Darko Milicic to a $20 million, multi-year deal.

I give up trying to figure it out.

  1. Really - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    “I give up trying to figure it out”
    It’s because you are a basketball writer who knows nothing about basketball, let alone the triangle offense

  2. again! - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    Darko and Big Al play different positions. Al is forced to play center because they didn’t have one before Darko, but he should be a power forward, which they have several of (love, Beasley). So they want to keep the one true center and get rid of one of their several PF’s….why is that hard to get? Kahn can be ripped for a lot of stuff, but don’t misstate facts to do it.
    Kahn can be ripped for the PG thing, why did they draft Flynn? Ridnour can be the now, Rubio can be the future. Where does Flynn fit?

  3. Huh? - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    And, please tell me again: How does this GM still have his job? In the last 2 years, he’s drafted 3 PGs, traded away one, signed one in free agency, and is now on the verge of signing another. Oh, and all are starting level PGs, with the one exception of Sessions, who has started in the past. That’s 5 PGs, one traded away, and one more playing in Spain. Meanwhile, they don’t have a SG or SF to save their life, and their team is a consistent loser.
    Their GM, to the TWolves’ owner:
    “Listen, I just need 4 more PGs, and then you can watch my plan begin to materialize. But those 4 additional PGs are CRUCIAL.”

  4. Amin - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:34 AM

    The best part about the Ridnour deal, as Woj from Yahoo pointed out last week, is that the contract is IDENTICAL to the one they gave Sessions. Four years, $16 million. It’s like Groundhog Day.

  5. Huh? - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    And…please don’t tell me that Ellington is a starting-level NBA SG, he’s 6’4″ and has a LONG way to go. I will give them Corey Brewer at the 3, he is serviceable. Still, they should have just taken Rubio, signed Sessions, and then drafted a complimentary player like Demar DeRozan. Oh, and they should have taken Cousins this year. Wes Johnson, while a great college player, is too soft to be effective at this level. Cousins and Jefferson would have helped Minnesota to a lot more wins.

  6. Brewhah - Jul 13, 2010 at 10:21 AM

    First, let me say: I have no idea what Kahn is trying to accomplish. I have taken my fair share of shots at him. That being said….
    I think we have to wait and see what the finished product of all this will be. To me, the guy is acquiring expendable assets more than building a team right now. It seems to me that he is starting to put the personnel in place to run a triangle, one by one, as he can. But he is also identifying those who don’t fit, and is moving them out as he looks for the right ones. I think. That being said:
    Rubio will not play for the ‘Wolves.
    Sure, maybe for a year or two to maximize his trade value, but not long term. But if this team is truly committing to Rambis and his triangle offense (and they better be, or they put this team even farther back than McHale did), then ultimately most of the players on this team are going to be moved, for draft picks or other complementary pieces or, in the case of Rubio, for a centerpiece.
    Also: Everything you can say against Ellington was said about Reddick two years ago. And if every player that was deemed “too soft” was not given a chance in this league, the makeups of the last 20 all-star games would have been considerably different.
    Any player can flourish given the right system and with the right players around him. Wait for the final product.

  7. Steve - Jul 13, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    Kurt, you might as well stop trying to figure it out… you don’t have the mental capacity to handle it. You might want to go back to your old job of crushing cans because you are not cut out for what you are doing now.

  8. Flynn - Jul 13, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    Does this move Jonny Flynn to a 6th man spark plug scoring role? Nate Robinson esque? Or will he hold onto a starting spot?

  9. Lance - Jul 13, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    There’s one thing I’ll give Kahn credit for – this team needed to be fully blown up to move on from the McFail era. He’s sure overhauled the roster, alright.

  10. Huh? - Jul 13, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    So…in 2 years, Ellington COULD be as GOOD as Redick?
    Cut him now.

  11. donniev007 - Jul 13, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    how many consider luke ridnour better than johnny flynn? flynn has played one year and has great potential. if rubio comes over next year, ridnour is the backup and flynn and sessions are trade assets.

  12. Kurt - Jul 13, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    Stop ripping on me. I’m just doing my job. So what if i just listen to what everyone else in the media has to say about the wolves? I didn’t watch a wolves game all last year.

  13. Wade - Jul 13, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    Seriously, NBA writers need to stop writing about Kahn’s baffling PG move. Even if it was stupid what he did (and it wasn’t if you get out of the conventional wisdom haze you’re stuck in while trying to keep track of what all the teams in the league are doing), it’s an old, tired joke. He drafted three PGs in last year’s draft for VERY LOGICAL REASONS: (a) Rubio wasn’t expected to be on the board, he was the best player available and most valuable asset to potentially trade, so he’d have been a friggin’ idiot to pass him; (b) once you realize Rubio might not play in the NBA for a year or two (he’s just a teenager with options in Europe, his home), then it’s smart to pick the player you liked all along, Flynn; (c) the third pick was predetermined as a trade for Denver – Denver made that pick and Kahn was just the conduit. If you know more than “Kahn drafted three PGs, what an idiot!” and played out the scenario in real time, it’s not hard to figure out. It may not have been what you’d have done, but it’s not by any means ridiculous. He ended up with one PG from the draft last year, not three. Had he drafted two instead of three, he might have ended up with no one to run the team last year because the Sessions deal wasn’t done yet.
    As for Big Al and Darko, geesh. This is a credibility killer. Darko’s a real center. Big Al can’t defend big centers (or anyone). Darko showed great signs of life last year when he was out of shape; he liked it in Minnesota (this is great place to live, by the way, and a great sports town, and people who live here tend to stay here despite January and February for a reason). He’s a true center. With Love and Big Al redundant, and Beasley falling into their lap, it’s ludicrous to keep Big Al AND Love. Beasley fell into their lap after they were set on Darko, and their stated plan (if you read anything on this team) is that they were open about keeping Big Al if they didn’t sign Darko, but they thought they were likely going to sign Darko.
    This is just a lousy article and lazy journalism. Maybe you had five minute to write this by your boss and no time to research it, but this is just bad stuff.

  14. Wade - Jul 13, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    Seriously, NBA writers need to stop writing about Kahn’s baffling PG move. Even if it was stupid what he did (and it wasn’t if you get out of the conventional wisdom haze you’re stuck in while trying to keep track of what all the teams in the league are doing), it’s an old, tired joke. He drafted three PGs in last year’s draft for VERY LOGICAL REASONS: (a) Rubio wasn’t expected to be on the board, he was the best player available and most valuable asset to potentially trade, so he’d have been a friggin’ idiot to pass him; (b) once you realize Rubio might not play in the NBA for a year or two (he’s just a teenager with options in Europe, his home), then it’s smart to pick the player you liked all along, Flynn; (c) the third pick was predetermined as a trade for Denver – Denver made that pick and Kahn was just the conduit. If you know more than “Kahn drafted three PGs, what an idiot!” and played out the scenario in real time, it’s not hard to figure out. It may not have been what you’d have done, but it’s not by any means ridiculous. He ended up with one PG from the draft last year, not three. Had he drafted two instead of three, he might have ended up with no one to run the team last year because the Sessions deal wasn’t done yet.
    As for Big Al and Darko, geesh. This is a credibility killer. Darko’s a real center. Big Al can’t defend big centers (or anyone). Darko showed great signs of life last year when he was out of shape; he liked it in Minnesota (this is great place to live, by the way, and a great sports town, and people who live here tend to stay here despite January and February for a reason). He’s a true center. With Love and Big Al redundant, and Beasley falling into their lap, it’s ludicrous to keep Big Al AND Love. Beasley fell into their lap after they were set on Darko, and their stated plan (if you read anything on this team) is that they were open about keeping Big Al if they didn’t sign Darko, but they thought they were likely going to sign Darko.
    This is just a lousy article and lazy journalism. Maybe you had five minute to write this by your boss and no time to research it, but this is just bad stuff.

  15. oil spills and hurricanes - Jul 14, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    All the thugs like to play where the oil spills and hurricanes and drug traffic is

  16. Duh - Jul 19, 2010 at 4:26 AM

    No SF? Let me check their roster again. Hmmm. Cory Brewer, Martel Webster, Wesley Johnson, Lazar Hayward and Michael Beasley can play there too. That makes 5. Easy B will likely start at SF. SG remains their biggest need, followed by center. Webster and Brewer are capable though and Darko has a chance to prove himself. As far as drafting PG’s/signing PG’s: It’s about drafting the BPA. (Best Player Available)In Kahn’s mind, Rubio and Flynn fit the bill. Who cares about drafting and trading Lawson and Sessions is being shipped out too. Taking over for the mess McHale left behind is a nightmare. Really, they only have 2 PG’s now (once Sessions is shipped) Btw I wouldn’t start Ridnour, Sessions, or Lawson so in my mind there’s only two potential starters. The rest look like role players. Anyways, Kahn’s built up plenty of assets to make trades and sign players next offseason. Should Rubio come over, another PG will likely be shipped away to make room for his arrival. This team is very young and has potential. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you could do a GM’s job, I doubt you could do worth the ####. And obviously they’re not going to be contenders for a few years, it’s a rebuilding team so don’t jump all over the GM until he has a chance to put his team together.

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