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NBA Rumors: Timberwolves Replacing Love With Young?

Timberwolves trading for Thaddeus Young? … Rudy Gay added to Team USA Roster … Pistons looking look to add Otis Smith as D-League coach

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Thaddeus Young Heading to Minnesota Timberwolves? 

While news came out yesterday that Minnesota and Cleveland had agreed in principle to a trade that will send All-Star Kevin Love to the Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round draft pick, the Daily News has learned that the Sixers will, indeed, be involved in the deal.

A source informed the Daily News that the Sixers will be sending veteran forward Thaddeus Young to Minnesota for a package that will include Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

via Mark Perner of the Philadelphia Daily News 

On Thursday, Adrian Wojnarowksi of Yahoo! Sports reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers have a deal in place to acquire star power forward Kevin Love from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Because of league rules, the deal cannot be made official until August 23, since it is 30 days from the day Andrew Wiggins signed his rookie contract with the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers will send Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a protected 2015 first-round pick in exchange for Love. Wojnarowksi reports that there is no third team involved in the agreement, but that could change from now until August 23.

According to Mark Perner, Young will be sent to Minnesota in exchange for Bennett. In 34.4 minutes per game last season, Young averaged 17.9 points, six rebounds, 2.3 assists, 2.1 steals and shot 45.4 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from the three-point line. While these are solid numbers overall, they don’t quite fill the void left by Love, who averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists last season. Of course, not many players in the NBA could fill that void, but Young, who is still just 26 years old, still has room to improve.

Young provides the Timberwolves with a veteran player who can help Minnesota compete for a playoff spot next season, as opposed to Bennett who is just 21 years old and struggled throughout his rookie season. However, despite Bennett’s forgettable rookie campaign, he has a lot of upside and is reportedly in better shape now than he was all last season. But for a Minnesota team that is on a 10-year playoff drought, there is a more immediate need to reach the playoffs as soon as possible, rather than waiting through another complete rebuild like the 76ers.

As of Friday, Young had not been informed that any deal was imminent, stating at his basketball camp in King of Prussia: “I have seen stories, but as of right now I haven’t heard anything. My focus is not on that. It is here at this camp with my son and the rest of the kids at the camp.”

This reported deal will not be made official until August 23 at the earliest, as it is contingent on the Love-for-Wiggins deal being completed.

Rudy Gay Added To Team USA Roster

Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay has been added to the 2014-16 USA Men’s National Team and will be in contention for a World Cup roster spot when the squad reconvenes for training camp on Aug. 14 in Chicago, USA Basketball National Team Managing Director Jerry Colangelo announced today.

Gay will join Kings teammate DeMarcus Cousins as both will compete for an opportunity to represent the United States in FIBA World Cup action scheduled for Aug. 30 – Sept. 14 in Spain

via NBA.com 

With Paul George lost to a major leg injury and Kevin Durant withdrawing from Team USA on Thursday citing mental and physical exhaustion, head coach Mike Krzyzewski and program director Jerry Colangelo added Sacramento Kings small forward Rudy Gay to the USA roster on Friday.

Gay has participated with Team USA since back in 2005 and helped USA win the gold medal in the 2010 FIBA World Championship.

Last season, in 55 games with the Kings, Gay averaged 20.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.2 steals, and shot 48.2 percent from the field and 31.2 percent from three-point range. At 6’8, Gay plays small forward for the Kings, but would likely be used as a stretch-four in small-ball lineups that Coach Krzyzewski has implemented in the last few international competitions. He has a similar build to George, is a natural scorer, but is not the defender that George is. However, his prior experience with Team USA and the international rules makes him a strong candidate to fill in.

Even with the addition of Gay, the loss of Durant is a big blow to a USA team that has now lost a large number of the top NBA players who were invited to compete this summer. Durant, coming off an MVP season, was the clear leader of this USA team with players like LeBron James, Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant sitting out.

Gay will be competing with other wing players to make the 12-man roster, including Gordon Hayward, Chandler Parsons, Kyle Korver and Klay Thompson.

Detroit Pistons To Hire Otis Smith as D-League Coach?

The Detroit Pistons are in advanced negotiations to hire former Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith to coach their NBA D-League franchise, according to NBA coaching sources.

via Marc Stein of ESPN.com 

In March of this year, it was reported that the Detroit Pistons were in the process of acquiring and moving the Springfield Armor to Grand Rapids to be solely affiliated with the Pistons.

Now, recently hired president of basketball operations and head coach Stan Van Gundy will reportedly hire his former boss, Otis Smith, to coach the team, which has not been officially re-named yet.

This will be a new experience for Smith, who served as general manager of the Orlando Magic dating back to 2006 and who was eventually named president of basketball operations before stepping down in 2012. Smith and Van Gundy led the Magic through years of relative success, including a trip to the NBA Finals in 2008-09, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers. However, Smith made some questionable trades, like trading for Gilbert Arenas in 2010, that contributed to his exit from Orlando.

Coaching the Pistons’ D-League team will be a good opportunity for Smith to learn how to coach under the guidance of Van Gundy, who will make his return to coaching this upcoming season after taking two seasons off.

Jesse Blancarte is a Deputy Editor for Basketball Insiders. He is also an Attorney and a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

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