Wolves president dismisses Pau Gasol trade talk
The Minnesota Timberwolves have long been interested in Pau
Now that Gasol is having trouble fitting in with new Lakers
coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense, the time would seem natural for the
teams to renew trade talks. But that’s not the case.
”There’s absolutely nothing imminent that we’re working on,”
Timberwolves President David Kahn said Friday.
Kahn called an impromptu news conference after a shootaround
leading to Minnesota’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He
addressed a report that said the Wolves have built a package around
Derrick Williams and Nikola Pekovic to offer the Lakers for
The Associated Press reported in June that Wolves did dangle
Williams in an effort to land Gasol, but Kahn said Friday that is
the last time the teams talked about it.
”I can assure you there have been absolutely no discussions
with that team since last June,” Kahn said.
Kahn has considered speaking with Williams and Pekovic to
reassure them. But he acknowledged that can be ”a slippery slope”
because while there is no immediate deal one or both of them could
be on the move in the future.
Pekovic said he pays no attention to the talk, hearing of it
only when friends contact him to see if there is truth to it.
”I just never think about it,” Pekovic said.
What does appear clear is that Kahn wants to see how the team
responds to point guard Ricky Rubio’s return to the lineup. Rubio
has been out since March with a torn ligament in his left knee. But
he has been practicing and could play in a game as early as next
week, though there is no firm timetable.
”My main concern right now is that the team simply regain its
health and then maintain its health,” Kahn said. ”That’s the No.
1 concern I have because this has been, since really the night
Ricky got hurt last March, it’s really been difficult for us to
become healthy again. Hopefully sooner rather than later the team
will become healthy again.”
Kevin Love, Chase Budinger, Brandon Roy, Andrei Kirilenko, JJ
Barea and Pekovic have all missed time with injuries this season.
The Wolves, though, have not fallen too far behind. They were 8-9
heading into the game against the Cavaliers.
”I’m very admiring of the players and the coaching staff,”
Kahn said. ”I’m admiring and proud. If you really think about it,
if we’d been at full health, we might’ve had a pretty nice record
right now because they’ve been competitive, I think, in every
The Lakers maintain they don’t plan on any moves until Steve
Nash returns from a leg injury. But Gasol, who is earning more than
$19 million this year and next, struggled to find a place in
D’Antoni’s up-tempo system. He is averaging just 12.8 points and
8.8 rebounds, and has missed the last two games and is out
indefinitely with tendinitis in his knees.
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