The Scoops: Wolves active in trade talks as deadline approaches
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Before the Minnesota Timberwolves were hit with a lengthy list of injuries, the marketing department came up with a rational idea: Anyone who renewed their season tickets or purchased a new season-ticket package for next season would get a 10-percent discount if the team failed to make the playoffs.
They also should have made a money-back guarantee if they failed to make a trade by the Feb. 21 deadline. They Wolves are certainly having enough dialogue with other teams that something should come to fruition.
However, owner Glen Taylor said Thursday evening that talks are "slow-going."
Taylor, who just got home Wednesday afternoon from an educational trip to Israel, said the Wolves were never heavily in on the Rudy Gay trade discussions. Gay was moved to Toronto in a three-team deal last week.
Long-time NBA reporter Chris Sheridan is reporting the Wolves are expected to move guard Luke Ridnour. Utah likes Ridnour, according to a source. But a separate source said the Jazz are not willing to deal guards Alec Burks and Raja Bell for Ridnour. In fact, Burks is off-limits in the discussions involving Ridnour.
The most logical scenario involves Utah sacrificing the worse of its two first-round picks in the June draft -- the Jazz also owns Golden State's selection -- and Bell for Ridnour. Bell has an expiring contract.
The Wolves don't appear to be involved in any blockbuster trade talks.
As for whether the Wolves could move guard Brandon Roy's contract, Taylor didn't rule it out. He also confirmed that Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn has engaged Roy's agent, Greg Lawrence, in buyout talks.
When asked for comment via e-mail, Kahn said, "I think I was pretty clear when I spoke to the media back in late December that I was clear with Brandon that every option was on the table and would be discussed."
A source said Roy was asked if he was ready to retire again because of continuing issues he has had with his knees. Roy wasn't willing to call it quits, especially since he would have had to sacrifice the balance of his contract. A buyout was then proposed, which so far has been rejected.
Lawrence, reached via e-mail, denied these details when asked.
• The Wolves are talking with forward Chris Johnson about a contract that keeps him around through the 2013-2014 season. His 10-day contract expires Friday.
• Look for wing Mikael Gelabale to stick with the Wolves for the rest of the season.
• Wolves forward Lou Amundson still seems to be the odd man out when they need to get the roster down to 15 players.
• Kahn was asked about his interest in free-agent big man Josh Harrellson recently, but he's passing.
• Gary Moore, the advisor for 37-year-old free agent guard Allen Iverson, has called a few teams, but not the Wolves. They are like every other team: not interested.
• Whether it was being able to train near his Arizona home, money, or other factors, free-agent pitcher Joe Saunders didn't want to be a Twin. They made a competitive offer, but as indicated two weeks ago, the Twins never got the sense Saunders wanted play for them. That intuition became reality on Thursday night when Saunders signed a one-year deal with Seattle.
• Shortly after the Rays designated Reid Brignac for assignment, the Twins got a call from a party curiously asking if they are interested in the shortstop. So far, the Twins haven't called this individual back. That's not to say they aren't interested, but logic suggests they probably would return the call if they were. The Padres and Astros are two teams that are interested.
• The Twins never discussed bringing back reliever Matt Capps. He signed a minor league deal with Cleveland.
• A Twins official when asked if the fact 41-year-old free-agent pitcher Jose Contreras was working out at their Fort Myers facility was meaningful or random, simply said, "Random."
• The Twins have not considered bringing back free agent designated hitter Jim Thome at any point this offseason.
• The Twins haven't completely ruled out free-agent outfielder Scott Podsednik, but nothing is close to being imminent.
• The Twins were called about free-agent reliever Mark Lowe, but will pass. Five unnamed teams are interested.
• Before Mike Ellis became a college sports administrator -- he now is in charge of the Gophers men's basketball team -- he was a long-time assistant coach at VCU. Ellis, appearing Thursday on 1500 ESPN, was asked what's ailing the Gophers. "We look like a team that isn't playing with confidence," he said. "It's a group of guys searching for something. ... You have to walk out with a mindset that this is our time and I don't know if our guys go out with that mindset. They don't play with confidence."
• The Gophers football team has made a scholarship offer to 2014 center J.C. Hassenauer. Word is he will accept.