The Scoops: Derrick Williams' agent has asked Wolves about trade
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If agent Rob Pelinka had a personal Twitter account, he might echo his client's claims from last February.
It was then that Minnesota Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams tweeted, "Anybody ever felt like a caged lion?"
According to a team source, Pelinka has voiced his displeasure with Williams' lack of playing time. He hasn't gone as far as to request a trade, but he has inquired about the possibility that one will come.
The Wolves' stance from the source: "We told him to wait for our team to come together. Wait for Derrick to play with Ricky (Rubio). When they played together last year, Williams benefited greatly."
As for when Rubio will make his season debut, the source said he was angling to play on Friday night against Cleveland. However, the source said the medical staff and coaches will have final say.
The more likely scenario is Rubio first plays in another home game on Dec. 15 against Dallas. He does want to have his first game be at Target Center.
Timberwolves president of basketball operations David Kahn is casually talking to other general managers, but nothing is percolating.
As for the ESPN report that they offered center Nikola Pekovic and Williams for Lakers center/forward Pau Gasol, a team source said numerous conversations happened this summer. Gasol very much remains on their radar, but no offer was made recently.
Until Gasol is moved, count the Timberwolves as heavily interested. In fact, the source said ownership is willing to go over the luxury tax for the 2013-14 season if need be. Gasol is guaranteed $19,285,850 next year.
The source was pretty convinced any Gasol trade is way more likely to include a third team.
• Wolves guard Brandon Roy was expected back at Target Center for Friday's game. A few people in the organization have talked to the doctor who performed his most recent knee surgery. According to the doctor, it's on Roy how much pain he can tolerate. The source said he'd be surprised if Roy retired. But as indicated in last week's column, it has been loosely discussed.
• Expect an announcement soon on the grievance the team filed with the league over the Martell Webster trade with Portland. The Wolves hope to be compensated by Portland with a draft pick and potentially money.
• The source admits it's clear All-Star Kevin Love's injured hand isn't all the way back. His shot isn't right.
• The source, when it was suggested retaining Pekovic could take a long-term deal worth around $12 million annually: "12 sounds like a lot." In other words, there's definitely a healthy internal debate about whether it makes sense to pay him big-time. The alternative is to include him in a trade, which isn't out of the question.
• Forward Nemanja Bjelica, who missed five games with a calf injury, is back for Caja Laboral. There's a decent chance that he's on the Timberwolves next year.
• The source isn't overly concerned about forward Andrei Kirilenko's back but, like everyone else, is surprised he's missed four games already. Kirilenko has told the team that he's had the same injury in the past and knows how to treat it. Even if he returns in the next few days, this injury could linger throughout the season.
• Reached on Wednesday afternoon, Twins owner Jim Pohlad said general manager Terry Ryan "has a lot of flexibility" with the team's payroll. I pressed Pohlad on a set payroll number for 2013, but he wouldn't budge. The belief is it'll be around $90 million, so they have about $20 million to spend.
• Pohlad, who is briefed regularly of Ryan's doings, when asked if a trade of first baseman Justin Morneau or outfielder Josh Willingham is coming: "I have not had any indications."
• Pohlad on whether 2013 is a rebuilding year: "Every year is a rebuilding year. Maybe we didn't do that in the past. We're pointing toward 2013."
• Pohlad, when asked if they can make the playoffs in 2013: "That's probably not realistic, but we believe it's possible."
• Pohlad on manager Ron Gardenhire's future and the signs that 2013 will be it for him: "There's no writing on any wall." When pressed if Gardenhire will be the manager in 2014, Pohlad said, "There's a realistic chance."
• St. Paul native and free agent third baseman Jack Hannahan is expected to decide on his new team on Friday. His clear preference is to receive a major league offer from the Twins. The Twins are interested but have not extended such a deal yet. The Reds, White Sox and other teams like him, too. Someone will give him a major league contract.
• Hall of Famer Paul Molitor will remain in the same role in 2013. That means he'll assist in spring training and be a roving minor league instructor during the season.
• Free agent pitcher Brandon Webb, who hasn't thrown a pitch in the major leagues in three years, remains on the Twins radar.
• Free agent pitcher Carl Pavano's agent met with the Twins on Thursday. Pavano's return is a long shot.
• Before pitcher Joe Blanton signed with the Angels, the belief from league sources was the Twins made him an offer. But no way it was for two years and $15 million.
• Team president Dave St. Peter entertained numerous season-ticket holders at Target Field on Thursday night.
• After a late morning game on Saturday, Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari is expected to take a private jet into town. He'll be at Minnetonka High School on Saturday night to see Apple Valley's Tyus Jones and Cooper's Rashad Vaughn.
• As alluded to in last week's column, ex-Gophers walk-on receiver A.J. Barker will indeed play for the University of Houston. Its head coach is ex-Gophers walk-on receiver Tony Levine. While tight with Gophers coach Jerry Kill, Levine feels like he's done enough due diligence to welcome Barker with open arms. Barker is eligible to play right away.
• Gophers spokesperson Garry Bowman: "Gopher Athletics received a $150,000 fee for participating in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, plus an additional $25,000 toward its scholarship fund for finishing in fifth place. There were some expenses for the trip, but most were covered by the tournament, so overall a good experience."
• Bowman also passes along that a new contract for football coach Jerry Kill is not on the mind of either side. Hey, thought I'd ask, since it's that time of the year.