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April 16, 2015 Updates

Frustrated fans who purchased tickets after Garnett's acquisition wondered if Garnett was brought back merely as a public relations ploy to sell more tickets. Others questioned how he could pass a pre-trade physical when his knees were too sore for him to play. Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said the examination revealed nothing more than what they expected to see from a 38-year-old power forward who has played 20 years in the league. And Saunders saw no reason to try to rush the 38-year-old back in a season that was essentially lost in November when Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin all went out with major injuries. "His mentoring, that's why we brought him in here," Saunders said. "We didn't bring him here to sell tickets. ... If I had to do the deal over again, I'd do it in a second." ESPN.com

April 15, 2015 Updates

With keen instincts for all the angles that make all the difference between success and failure on the basketball court, Billups is far too smart to accept a no-win job as coach of the Nuggets. If his goal was the daunting task of coaching a bad NBA team, Billups told me Tuesday he could already be set as the lead man on the Minnesota bench for next season. Flip Saunders tried to entice Billups to join the Timberwolves last year as the team's associate head coach, with the understanding Billups would take over the No. 1 job for the 2015-16 season, after a 12-month apprenticeship under Saunders. Denver Post

April 14, 2015 Updates

When the season ended, they declined to sign Pierce to a new deal and let him walk as a free agent. "I would have stayed in Brooklyn because of Kevin,'' Pierce said. "I told him, 'I don't really like this situation but I would never leave you if you want me to stay.' But they decided not to re-sign me so I never had to make a choice. I would never have left Kevin like that.'' ESPN.com

"It was a weird relationship,'' Pierce conceded. "We were all good friends on the court, but Ray always did his own thing. That's just the way Ray was. Even when we were playing together, we'd be having a team dinner and Ray wouldn't show up. We'd go to his charity events but Ray wouldn't show up to somebody else's. I called him on it. I said, 'Man, Ray, we support all your stuff but when we ask you, you don't come to ours.' I remember when Rondo re-signed with Boston, we had a little dinner at a restaurant and Ray didn't show up. I know Ray probably didn't like Rondo that much, but it wasn't a fact of not liking somebody. You don't have to like everybody you play with -- it's a matter of showing support. Rondo probably didn't like Ray either, but he came to Ray's functions to show, 'Hey, we're together in this.' It's not a bad thing with Ray. We had a great relationship on the court. But even the year we won it, after a game we'd say, 'Let's go have something to eat and have a night with the older guys.' We'd get there and it would be me, Kevin and Sam (Cassell), but no Ray. In a lot of ways, me, Sam and Kevin were our Big Three. It just got to the point where it was, 'That's Ray.' No hard feelings. Everyone made such a big deal of us not talking after we left, but there really wasn't much there.'' ESPN.com

April 13, 2015 Updates

Minnesota Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders thinks Kevin Garnett will return for a 21st NBA season next year. Garnett is not expected to play in the Wolves' finale against Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. Saunders says that if he did play, he believes it would be an indication that Garnett would be calling it a career. Garnett has only played in five of the 25 games since he returned to Minnesota in a trade with Brooklyn. Knee issues and an illness have kept him out, quickly deflating a team that was buoyed by the franchise icon's return. Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Jon Krawczynski: Sprained left ankle for Budinger. That's a relief for him after all those knee issues. Twitter @APkrawczynski

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN TIMBERWOLVES HISTORY

Kevin Garnett remains unquestionably the No. 1 player in franchise history. The other Kevin can no longer threaten that position.

   

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