By Jerry Zgoda
The Wolves continue to talk with unrestricted free agent Shaun Livingston about a contract, but it’s possible Livingston may continue to weigh his dwindling options — Portland says it has bowed out, Miami is smack up against the luxury tax – after training camps open next week because his surgically repaired knee won’t be fully ready anyway.
Expect the Wolves, whether they sign Livingston or not, to bring former NBA lottery pick Rafael Araujo, Las Vegas Summer League team guard Blake Ahearn and probably one more guard to camp, which begins Tuesday in Mankato.
Wolves assistant general manager Rob Babcock made Araujo, the former 6-11 BYU center from Brazil, the eighth player taken in the 2004 draft when Babcock was the Raptors’ boss. The team traded him to Utah two years later in a deal that sent former Gopher Kris Humphries to Toronto. Araujo played in Russia last season and is an extra big body for two-a-days now that Al Jefferson and Jason Collins both start camp injured.
Ahearn is the kind of combo guy Kevin McHale and his staff want to add as a third guard behind Randy Foye and Sebastian Telfair. Livingston, taken fourth by the L.A. Clippers directly out of high school in 2004, would be an obvious upgrade, a guy whose 6-7 and might be able to play three different positions IF his knee fully recovers from a severe injury suffered in a game in February 2007.
But questions about that knee and likely his search for a chunk of guaranteed money have whittled his NBA suitors down apparently to a very few, the Wolves included. As with everything, it always comes down to money.
Also, Gophers radio color commentator Kevin Lynch, a former Gophers and NBA player, will replace Billy McKinney on the team’s radio broadcasts with play-by-play guy Alan Horton. Lynch had been the Gophers’ analyst since 2001. McKinney was hired in June by longtime friend John Hammond, Milwaukee’s new GM, to be the Bucks’ director of scouting. The team’s broadcasts return this season to KFAN-AM (1130).