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David Aldridge

Timberwolves move quickly to acquire Sessions

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst
Posted Sep 7 2009 6:03AM

While the NBA world waited Friday on a decision from Allen Iverson about his future, other teams began cleaning up their rosters in anticipation for the beginning of training camps in three-plus weeks.

The Minnesota Timberwolves, fresh off being rejected by first-round pick Ricky Rubio this week, moved quickly to acquire the best young point remaining on the market, agreeing to terms with Bucks restricted free agent guard Ramon Sessions on a four-year, $16 million offer sheet. Milwaukee will have seven days to match but will not, according to a league source.

The offer sheet has a fourth-year player option.

The 23-year-old Sessions will compete with rookie Jonny Flynn, the Wolves' other top pick, for the starting point guard spot. Flynn looked to be the starter once Rubio decided to spurn Minnesota's offer and agree to a transfer from his old club, DKV Joventut, to Barcelona. Barcelona agreed to pay off Rubio's $5 million buyout, but his new contract with that team will allow him to come to the NBA in two years at a much reduced rate.

Asked if Sessions's potential arrival in Minnesota changes the team's belief that Rubio will still come stateside in the summer of 2011, or its interest in keeping its rights to Rubio, Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn texted Friday, "no."

Kahn had said earlier this week in a conference call with local and national reporters that bringing in another point guard was a top priority.

Sessions had gotten great attention from both the Knicks and the Clippers, who each tried to swing sign-and-trade deals with Milwaukee for him. But the Clippers made a deal--ironically, with Minnesota--that brought in reserve guard Sebastian Telfair. And the Knicks, fearful of losing cap room for next summer, couldn't come up with a deal that preserved their room and made Sessions happy.

The Racine Journal Times first reported the likely agreement between Sessions and Minnesota.

Elsewhere, the Golden State Warriors agreed in principle with restricted free agent guard C.J. Watson on a one-year deal for slightly more than $1 million. Watson turned down a three-year, $4.5 million offer from Golden State last month, hoping that teams that had expressed interest earlier in the summer, including Orlando and Philadelphia, would come up with improved offers. If Watson signs the one-year deal, he'll still be a restricted free agent next summer, meaning the Warriors could match any offer he receives elsewhere.

But Watson, according to a source, didn't want to be stuck in Golden State for the next three years as the team's third point guard, which the team told him would be his role--a role that would not likely afford him the playing time he's looking for, or the opportunity to put up the kind of numbers that would get him another deal in 2012. Watson thinks it's better to play out the contract, see what's available in free agency next summer and, under a worse-case scenario, then play one more year in Golden State before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

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