Milt Newton Rumors
Jon Krawczynski: Glen Taylor told Milt Newton and Sam Mitchell at the beginning of the season that he would give both of them the year in these roles and then re-evaluate it at the end of the season. He wants to see how they both respond to the increased responsibility and the moves they make. Newton did play a major role in shaping the vision of the franchise, assembling the roster and evaluating talent while Flip Saunders was still around. So he’s done a lot of the work already. Now it’s his show. And it’s up to him to show Taylor, and the new minority ownership group that is negotiating to buy 30% of the team, that he is the right man for the job going forward for the foreseeable future. That he’s already had a hand in assembling a lot of the young talent on the roster will certainly work in his favor.
It’s only a matter of time before the agents for Payne, Muhammad, Dieng and other young guys playing limited roles begin to pipe up.The Wolves have more prospects than they can realistically play as long as Garnett and Prince receive entitlement minutes. Minnesota has to resist the temptation to deal away future assets for a chance at a long-awaited playoff spot, but if they can conclude that guys such as Dieng and Muhammad aren’t part of their core, they could look to package them for a mid-career veteran who could help now — provided he’s the right age, on the right kind of deal. Strike while those Muhammad/Dieng types still carry the whiff of intrigue, and you could net something good. Wait too long, and they become Jeremy Lamb and Maurice Harkless — guys you give away for free but potentially blossom elsewhere. “We are cognizant about not rushing it,” Newton says. “We don’t want to be a flash in the pan. We don’t want to disrupt our young core. If we do something, it has to be the kind of deal where the majority of that young core is still here, but you get a veteran who is not that old — and can grow with the group.”
Taylor also said during an interview that Sam Mitchell, appointed as interim coach when Saunders was hospitalized, will direct the team this season. Milt Newton will have expanded duties as the team’s general manager. “Sometimes, positives can happen,” Taylor said. “In this particular case, let’s see what these people do, let’s see what their leadership is. Going through difficult times, maybe we’ll see people bloom into what they might not have been otherwise.”