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The Minnesota Timberwolves wrestled a coach away from Seattle, but a second raid on the team turned up empty.
On Wednesday, the Sonics matched Minnesota's five-year, $15 million offer sheet to Damien Wilkins, citing his vast improvement as reason enough to invest in a 6-foot-6 swingman who wasn't drafted, appeared in just 29 games and was making the NBA minimum of $385,000.
These teams were not alone in their efforts to employ the son of Gerald Wilkins and nephew of Dominique Wilkins, accomplished pros in their own right.
"To go from a guy who was not drafted to have almost seven offers on the table, multiyear deals, is unbelievable," the younger Wilkins said in a phone interview from Georgia. "The best thing happened. The best thing for me was to be back in green and gold."
Among other pursuers were Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, Indiana, Portland and San Antonio. Everyone saw the same thing.
Wilkins, 25, was languishing on the far end of the Sonics bench until injuries to Vladimir Radmanovich and Rashard Lewis in the latter half of the season made him a regular presence on the floor. He responded with eight double-figure games, including a pair of 20-point outings, and started seven times. He also demonstrated his adeptness at playing defense, an often rare NBA commodity.
He's a 2/3, right? Why would we try to sign one of those right now when we're not even keeping JJ? Something's up...
That does look peculiar, at the same time we are saying we cannot afford to sign JJ to a new contract because he would be the third option at a position so we let him go, yet the Pacers "allegedly" had a possible offer to Wikins ?
We don't even know if this report is true. I think only about 25% of what we read on the internet is true, if that. Major sites like ESPN are wrong all the time. And if we went by internet reports Saras would be playing for Cleveland or Utah this coming season.
What do I think? I think the Pacers are actually trying to trade sideways right now. If they can get someone cheap that they think is as good as what they have, but makes more money, they will do it.
It seems to me that each time a player is signed the reporting article feels the need to list some teams that were interested. IMO they just spout off some teams that in their minds might be interested in that type of player, and we always seem to be on the list.
I believe it is probably true, but I would guess the Pacers inquire/are interested in a whole lot of players. Pacers have to be ready to shift their focus to another player on a moments notice in case a trade comes along that they can't refuse.
I sure hope thats not it. I said it in another thread, I think they just wanted to clear some room to trade maybe aj, pollard, cro, bender, etc. . . for another big man. At least thats my wishfull thinking.