The Scoops: David Kahn talked Brandon Roy out of retirement, for now
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During a conversation this summer, Brandon Roy told Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn he wouldn't have made a comeback if he didn't think he could "reach a high level of basketball."
That desired pinnacle -- incredibly admirable, but seemingly unachievable -- has led Roy to ponder retirement, league sources say.
In fact, two Fridays ago, Roy kicked the idea around with Kahn before undergoing a seventh surgery on his right knee, but was convinced to hold off for now.
Roy's $5.1 million salary for this season is fully guaranteed, according to his Players Association filing, but the Wolves have an out from his $5,329,500 salary in 2013-14.
Per the filing, "Compensation Protection for 2013-14 is full, but protection for injury or illness is subject to elimination if player re-injures a past physical condition. Compensation Protection for 2013-14 will remain full in spite of above referenced potential injury if player is (i) on team's Active List for 65 or more 2012-13 Regular Season games or (ii) plays at least 1,400 minutes during the 2012-13 Regular Season."
Roy already has missed eight games this season and isn't expected to return until late December at the soonest. So, if he officially retires by sending the necessary paperwork into the commissioner's office, the Wolves would not be on the hook for next year's salary.
Chatting with Morneau
I recently caught up with Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau for a quick Q&A:
How curious are you to see what the team does this offseason?
"I'm looking forward to seeing how it shapes up. There are obviously openings in the rotation. We have a lot of positives on this team -- the lineup, the career years for Josh Willingham, Ryan Doumit, Trevor Plouffe and Ben Revere. Joe Mauer is back to his old self. We have a chance to be right there, to win the division. You trust Terry (Ryan, the Twins' GM). He has a plan. If he executes it, we have a good chance to win."
How much different is this winter compared to year's past?
"I've already started working out to get ready for spring training. I've started my strength plan. The last three winters, I was doing rehab recovering from surgeries."
With your contract up after the 2013 season, have the Twins approached your agent about an extension?
"No. Obviously I love playing here. I love the city. I love the people. Hopefully it doesn't become a distraction. It'll be tough with the injuries and games played the last few seasons. We'll see."
There's a chance you get moved this winter ...
"I hope not. You never know. It's part of the business side. Losing 90-plus games the last two years means there are things we have to do to get better. I'll leave that up to the general manager. I want to be here. I've been here in the past when we've won. It's rewarding to win with an organization that you grew up with. There's no reason we can't turn this thing around, and I'd like to be a part of that. I'm planning on being in Fort Myers when spring training starts."
If you are, will you still lean on ex-hitting coach Joe Vavra or defer to new hitting coach Tom Brunansky?
"(Vavra will) still be a voice I can go to and listen to. He knows my swing as well as anyone. We'll have a couple hitting coaches around. It's a change out of my control."
On Saturday, Morneau will be in Mauer's wedding.
• Kahn has been noticeably quiet the last few months. A few league insiders sense something is up, but at this point, what that could be is unclear.
• League insiders continue to maintain that second-year forward Derrick Williams will be on the move either by this season's February trade deadline or over the summer. Williams hasn't played in three of the Wolves last four games. One league source wondered aloud if Kahn met with Williams' agent, Rob Pelinka, while in Los Angeles this week. Pelinka can't be happy to see his client riding the bench.
• Michael Finley's camp has reached out to the Wolves, but they kindly said no thanks. Finley, 39, wants to make a comeback.
• After undergoing surgery to fix the meniscus in his twice-repaired right knee in September, Wolves second-round pick Robbie Hummel is back playing for his team in Spain, El Obradoiro. He had 13 points in a loss on Sunday.
• Nemanja Bjelica, a definite possibility for the Wolves in 2013-14, remains out with a calf injury in his right leg. He's already missed five games for his Euroleague team, Caja Laboral.
• The Wolves have no interest in signing D-League guard and familiar face Troy Hudson, but his camp is reaching out to teams, including the Bulls. Hudson had 25 points in Saturday's Sioux Falls opening night win over Iowa.
• One Twins source downplayed their interest in bringing back free agent pitcher Francisco Liriano. He's just one of approximately 20 free agent starters they've touched base about.
• The same source said of next week's winter meetings in Nashville: "Look for an active meetings." The belief is a trade of center fielder Denard Span is coming.
• While it's likely Carl Pavano's Twins career is over, his agent will be meeting with the Twins in Nashville. Pavano was given full medical clearance on his shoulder recently.
• The Twins are looking for a starting third baseman. What that means for Plouffe is unclear, but could entail him moving back to the outfield. It's also possible they come up with a left-handed bat platoon-type option.
• Twins pregame and postgame radio host Kris Atteberry is in the mix for a similar job with the Mariners.
• Ex-Gophers receiver A.J. Barker is receiving interest from a number of D-I schools, including Houston. Because he was a walk-on, he's eligible to play next year wherever he ends up.
• The football team's athletic director, David Benedict, says the Meineke Car Care Bowl is where all attention is focused. They have reached out to board of directors members in numerous ways recently.
• Benedict said no scenario has been discussed involving coach Jerry Kill shifting to an administrative/overseer role. Kill suffered his second known seizure in five weeks at halftime of Saturday's loss to Michigan State.
• Kill will receive a $25,000 bonus for whatever bowl his team is invited to.
• Ex-"U" athletic director Joel Maturi told Kill no several times when approached about the cancelling the 2013/2014 series with North Carolina.
• Benedict said they'll be getting more feedback from the Populous folks next week. The grand master facilities upgrade will include a new indoor practice field exclusively for the football team. Benedict along with Teague, regents, and donors got a tour of Nebraska's setup two weeks ago. Expect whatever the "U" decides on to mimic in many ways what they have in Lincoln. For example, they have two indoor facilities for their athletes to use in the winter. What that means here is that the current indoor football practice field would be maintained. The final product will include a ton more than just a new indoor field. For the football team alone, the coaches will have new offices and other space, the training room will be expanded greatly and will likely include hydrotherapy. There will be much, much more.
• Gophers athletic director Norwood Teague on whether he wants to schedule more meaningful nonconference games for the men's basketball team: "I'd like to throw one or two more in there. We'll talk about that."
• One part of the Gophers men's basketball team's 7-1 start: they are running considerably less flex offense, an insider says. It's believed in some circles the flex offense is too elementary.
• Apple Valley point guard Tyus Jones on Monday got a second in-person visit in the last two months from Kentucky coach John Calipari.
• Cooper guard Rashad Vaughn will be trimming his college list to 10 teams, or slightly fewer, before the week is over. The Gophers will still remain.
• DeLaSalle quarterback and forward Reid Travis will visit this week with Gophers defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys, who is in charge of recruiting the high school. Then, on Friday, Michigan State will have a football representative in town to see Travis. It's sounding more like Travis could accept a football tender to his choice, but he would also play basketball.
• Wild coach Mike Yeo is spending time this week with Houston, the team's minor league affiliate.
• In corresponding with a handful of agents and players the last two weeks, nobody thinks a full NHL season will be lost. All are convinced the lockout will end by the start of the new year.