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August 26, 2014 Updates

Saturday, Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders took time out of the news conference announcing the Love-to-Cleveland trade to retell the story. “Garnett didn’t want to leave,” Saunders said. “Garnett was here for 12 years, signed three contracts, had no trade clause, actually turned down trades early at first. But then when he found out this was going to be a total rebuild anyone that knows Kevin, Kevin wants to win. He wanted to be in a winning situation. So the perception that Love left because Garnett left, that’s not the right perception. (Garnett) loved it here and he gave a lot to this organization and wanted to stay here and be here. Like I said, anybody that’s here for 12 years, it shows his commitment to the organization. We feel that we’ve got players who are going to have that same type of commitment.” St. Paul Pioneer Press

Larry Drew said he was "blindsided" by the way he lost his job as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. Commenting at length for the first time since he was fired by the Bucks' new ownership June 30, Drew said his firing was "definitely mystifying." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Word leaked out that the Nets had given permission to Milwaukee to speak to Kidd, without the knowledge of either Bucks general manager John Hammond or Drew. Kidd was signed to a three-year, $15 million contract a few days later. "From their (the owners') standpoint, there's no set time for these type of things," Drew said in an interview with the Journal Sentinel. "It caught me in a position when I least expected it. But I know how these things work. I don't have any hard feelings, any grudges against anybody. "Marc (Lasry) called me and I just wished him luck. I've got to keep moving forward." Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

August 25, 2014 Updates

“Obviously being a leader is not a perfect job, it’s very lonely, everybody else just looks in from the outside and criticizes you and that’s part of the business and I get it. It’s more just holding myself to a higher standard every single day and getting used to that. “Three years in Cleveland, a lot of things going on speculation all that stuff, I had to deal with that all on my own, I didn’t really have help from anybody so I was just figuring that out,” he added. “Like I said leadership is a daily job and it’s an ongoing learning process and I’m just getting used to it. I’m not saying I’m a perfect leader but I’m learning how to become one.” For The Win

Kyrie Irving will start opposite Goran Dragic at point guard Tuesday night when Team USA plays Slovenia in its final tuneup game leading into the FIBA World Cup. But Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, in tabbing Irving as his starter against the Dragic-led Slovenians, told ESPN.com that one option under consideration is letting Irving and Derrick Rose trade ‎off as the starter throughout the tournament, which opens Saturday in Bilbao with the Yanks facing Finland. "We'll see as thing goes on," Krzyzewski said after Monday's two-hour practice. "We might alternate 'em. Both of them are going to play significant minutes." ESPN.com

Krzyzewski says he can also envision Irving and Rose playing together once the tournament starts as Rose continues to acclimate himself to full-speed basketball after two major knee injuries limited him to just 10 games over the last two seasons with the Chicago Bulls. "I asked him today and he said, 'I feel great,' " Krzyzewski said of Rose. "He did everything. He's full go. I think there's a part of him that's like: 'Quit asking me how I feel. I'm good.' So I'm not going to ask him any more." ESPN.com

The list of pursuers for the defensive-minded center, according to NBA front office sources, includes LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers as well as LeBron's old friends in Miami. But I'm likewise told that Okafor is unlikely to sign anywhere until midseason as he continues to recover from his herniated disk. Said one source: "He'll be in high demand when he's back." ESPN.com

As the draft concluded without a deal, the Wolves appeared to be in danger going into the season with a player who didn't want to be there and a fan base that was preparing to boo him at every turn. "We went through who we considered were cornerstones of trades with any team that'd call. If cornerstone wasn't involved, we probably weren't going to pursue that," Saunders said. "I believe that the No. 1 issue was, as the season progressed and maybe more so when I took over as coach, teams then believed we were not hesitant to bring Love back." Associated Press

Moving on from the second-best player the franchise has ever known was not an easy decision, and it wasn't a smooth process to make it happen. Once it was over, they wasted little time turning the page. "One thing you can't do in this business as coaches, general managers, presidents, you can't fall in love with players because the dynamics change," Saunders said. "What happens is you make decisions based on the personality and not based on the facts. "Kevin, he looked and he made a decision that he felt was a business decision for himself and there were a lot of factors that led into that decision, not just what happened this past year." Associated Press

August 24, 2014 Updates

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN CAVALIERS HISTORY

It will be very hard to surpass the No. 1 player on the list – especially now that he's back..

   

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