David Kahn leaves door open to possibility of dealing Derrick Williams
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MINNEAPOLIS - David Kahn did little to quell the speculation that the Minnesota Timberwolves might be willing to move forward Derrick Williams in a trade.
Kahn, the Wolves' president of basketball operations, was asked during a press conference Wednesday at Target Center about whether the second-overall pick in the 2011 draft was part of the Wolves' long-term future or if he was available should the right offer come along.
"I think the best way to answer that is that Kevin (Love) and Ricky (Rubio) are cornerstones, and I hope that they retire here someday," Kahn said. "That's not to say everybody falls into then some other bucket of, 'Well, woe to them, not sure what will happen.' There's different degrees.
"I think this: The most important fact about Derrick, to me, is that he turned 21 last month. He's still very, very young, and I think this is a very important summer for him to demonstrate that he's serious about his craft, his occupation.
"That he's serious about taking care of himself and really doing the kind of things necessary that one must do in an offseason to become at the top of your field. ... We have two untouchables, that doesn't mean that everybody else is going to be traded this summer, it doesn't mean that ... we just don't know."
That doesn't exactly sound like an assurance that Williams is destined to remain in Minnesota.
Kahn said he "challenged" Williams in his exit interview after this past season, so the former University of Arizona star knows what's expected. Williams averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 66 games as a rookie. He played an average of 21.5 minutes per game.
Williams, who was listed at 6-foot-8, 241 pounds last season, has been looking to lose weight so he can play regular minutes at small forward in 2012-13. He is considered a power forward but All-Star Kevin Love already holds that job.
Wiliams' offseason workout program got off to a slow start because Wolves athletic trainer Greg Farnam recommended that Williams have his septum fixed.
"I think he told me last week when I saw him that he found out he had two or three breaks in his nose that he didn't even know about," Kahn said. "So his first month he had to take care of that. So he was on his back. We think it will help him a lot with his breathing."
Williams began trying to lose weight before he was able to start working in the gym and he began working out the day after Memorial Day.
"I was very pleased with what I saw last week so far, and I want to make sure that I emphasize (the words) so far," Kahn said. "I watched a workout that he had last week. It was very intense, a near two-hour workout. And then I know that he's been working with the same athletic trainer, strength and conditioning coach that Kevin (Love) has been using over the last couple of years in Los Angeles."
That would be Gunnar Peterson, who helped Love take off significant weight in each of the past two offseasons. Love lost 25 pounds during the NBA lockout.
"I think Derrick's weight was down last week to 233," Kahn said. "Unfortunately, he had a condition of pink eye that he came down with about four days ago and today I think was the first day he could workout in the last six days.
"I think his weight moved up a few pounds just because he's been on his back. But Derrick is very intent on trying to push himself as low as 225. That's not a mandate from us, that's what Derrick wants, but we're supportive of that. So here we are on June 27 and I would say that given the fact that Derrick's been at it for only four weeks, since his nose procedure, I'm very pleased with the things that he's been doing."