Kahn Addresses Trade Rumors At Morning Shootaround

by Mark Remme
Web Editor

Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations David Kahn addressed the media after the team’s morning shootaround and denied rumors that the Wolves are in talks with the Los Angeles Lakers to trade for Pau Gasol.

Kahn said he’s not sure how the rumors started, but he said the team has had no discussion with the Lakers about a potential deal since the summer.

“I can assure you that there has been absolutely no discussion with the team since June,” he said.

Gasol has been linked to Timberwolves trade rumors for the past two seasons. Gasol has spent the past 5 ½ seasons with the Lakers, helping them win NBA titles in 2009 and 2010. At 7-foot-0, he’s a talented, four-time All-Star who can play at the 4 and the 5.

This year, Gasol’s numbers have dipped through 17 games. He’s averaging 12.6 points per night, his lowest in his 12-year career and at 8.9 boards per game he’s collecting fewer rebounds than he has since the 2007-08 season. He’s also reportedly battled tendinitis in his knees.

Kahn also addressed Ricky Rubio’s status tonight against the Cavaliers, saying that the second-year guard will not be playing his first game of the season against Cleveland.

“To my understanding there was a report this morning that Ricky was pining to play tonight. There’s absolutely no truth to that,” Kahn said. “It’s false, it’s erroneous, it’s irresponsible. I think we’re trying to err here on the side that I’d prefer not to have weekly briefings on what’s real and what’s not, and we won’t. But there does come a time when you see these things start to have a life of their own, and it’s important for us to state conclusively how untrue they are.”

Kahn said it’s important to manage expectations surrounding Rubio’s return and the fact that he is coming back from an eight-month rehabilitation process. Rubio tore the anterior cruciate and lateral cruciate ligaments in his left knee March 9 and underwent surgery March 21.

“I would think that any person who follows basketball would understand that,” Kahn said. “That it just doesn’t happen for him or for anyone else overnight. But everybody’s different, and so I’m not in the prediction business regarding him or any of this team. It’ll be what it will be.”

Kahn said there have been no discussions of sending Rubio to the NBA Development League before rejoining the Wolves.

Quick Hits

  • Kahn said guard Brandon Roy will return to Minnesota this weekend and will be at practice on Sunday. His first order of business will be to meet with the medical staff and get checked out. Roy underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Nov. 19.

  • In regard to the way the Wolves have been able to stay near .500 despite all the injuries throughout the first month of the season, Kahn said he’s very admiring of the players and the coaching staff. “I’m admiring and proud, because when you really think about it, if we had been at full health we might have a pretty nice record right now. Because they’ve been competitive, I think in every game, not every final score might indicate that, but we haven’t been blown out yet this year. I think Rick and his staff have done an unbelievable job managing that.”

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