A news conference with Kevin McHale was held in Minneapolis this afternoon. He introduced Kevin Love, who was traded to the Timberwolves in a draft-day trade involving the Wolves’ #3 pick – O.J. Mayo.
1:04 – Timberwolves boss Kevin McHale says “we were all excited.” Who’s this all you’re talking about?
1:06 – “We were fully prepared to keep OJ. When you draft a guy and actually have him, teams call. There’s probably more interest in the third pick before we picked it. ”
1:09 – McHale said the trade started with a conversation between team owner Glenn Taylor and the Memphis owner.
Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press: “Timberwolves screw it up again with trade”
1:12 – As expected, the Twin Cities sports media appear to be asking pretty tame questions. Bloggers, on the other hand, have a much better handle on the sentiment of fans. Take Phil Mackey of KFAN, for example:
But after so many failed moves, this is a case of guilty until proven innocent.
Wolves front office: Prove to the fan base that you are indeed capable of stringing together a few fantastic moves. Prove to the fan base that you know what you are doing. Prove to the fan base that you can rebuild this team.
1:16 p.m. Meanwhile, back when Kevin Love was a Memphis Grizzly for a few hours, we he wasn’t impressing anyone in Tennessee, according to Geoff Calkins of the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper:
So the Grizzlies did the only thing they could have done. And it was impossibly frustrating.
Love didn’t help when my colleague, Ron Tillery, told Love that Iavaroni compared Conley to a Ferrari at last year’s draft night. So, what sort of car would Love compare himself to?
“A Prius,” he said.
“It’s reliable, you’re getting good gas mileage and you don’t have to pay too much for it,” Love said.
Great quote, eh? But who gets excited about a Prius?
1:19 p.m. McHale still talking about draft night strategy. No questions about fan reaction.
1:21 p.m. Timberwolves exec answers — without being asked — questions about whether he lied when he was talking up O.J. Mayo after the Timberwolves selected him. Critics say execs lied to media knowing they were going to trade Mayo. Execs say they didn’t know they’d trade him.
1:23 p.m. Star Tribune’s Michael Rand likes the deal, but…
Now, the only quibble we have: the way it went down. It’s tough to sell the public on a player like Mayo and then pull him back in the dead of night. Is there a good reason this deal couldn’t have been arranged and ready to go the minute David Stern stepped to the podium? We don’t think so. As we watched the draft with some RandBall regulars (good time had by all), we started trying to convince ourselves that Mayo could be a good fit. Local fans who wanted Mayo were ecstatic, only to be disappointed later. The timing and handling was bad; the end result, though, will be the best thing to happen to this franchise in a long time. And we’re not just saying that because we kind of predicted it.
1:28 p.m. – McHale takes a shot at other players in the draft (O.J. Mayo refused to come to Minnesota to work out for the Timberwolves before the draft), saying Love agreed to work out against players while other players would only do basketball moves against a chair or cones. “If you can’t beat a chair, you’ve got problems,” said McHale.
The Rake’s Britt Robson breaks down the deal and the draft. He says he hated some move the Timberwolves made yesterday, but likes the trade:
First of all, the question isn’t whether the Timberwolves helped themselves last night–compare the pre-draft and post-draft rosters and try to tell me they didn’t significantly upgrade–but whether they helped themselves as much as they could. My answer is no, they didn’t, but that’s because they idiotically punted the 34th pick for no discernible reason other than to be pennywise, and we all know the second half of that course of action.
1:33 – McHale says the Timberwolves “are going to have a lot of money to play with” in the market for free agents. Doesn’t say how much.
1:37 – End of news conference. I’m still wondering if any Timberwolves season ticket holders are calling the Wolves’ offices today. Any T’Wolves ticketholders here?