MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Timberwolves entered the home stretch of the NBA’s trading deadline with the possibility of moving veteran shooting guard Kevin Martin or making another minor maneuver.
On one of the quieter deadline days across the league in recent memory, the Timberwolves did what many other teams ended up doing, which is nothing at all. The Wolves stood pat on Thursday, unable to find a suitable deal for Martin and rebuffing several offers for point guard Ricky Rubio, general manager Milt Newton said.
“There was nothing that was presented to us that we thought would make our team better,” Newton said after the deadline passed at 3 p.m. EST. “While we did field phone calls, we’re not in the business of giving players away.”
Several reports surfaced about trade talks involving Rubio, the team’s starting point guard who has put together a very good season coming off a year in which he missed a big chunk of time because of an ankle injury. While his shooting has remained inconsistent, Rubio has re-established himself as one of the best passers and defensive point guards in the league.
Milton said the Wolves were in no mood to part with him.
“Not once did we call a team to engage them about Ricky,” Newton said. “We’re always willing to take calls about players on our team to make us better. When your phone rings, you have to answer it and hear what they have to say. If it makes your team better, it’s something to consider. If it doesn’t make your team better, thanks for the phone call.”
The Milwaukee Bucks were one of the more aggressive teams in trying to get a deal done for Rubio, but Newton’s asking price was too high.
The Timberwolves (17-37) come out of the All-Star break with a game in Memphis on Friday night. Newton and coach Sam Mitchell said they wanted to see the young team continue to progress as it did just before the break, when the Wolves won three out of four games, including impressive home victories over the Raptors and Bulls.
Newton said the team has not yet discussed the possibility of a buyout for Martin and most likely would keep the roster as is through the end of the season, focusing on the development for young players Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine.
“I think we’re versatile top to bottom and it’s an opportunity for some of the younger, less-experienced players to get that experience on the floor and get better,” Newton said. “I think we have personnel that is very talented. We’ll continue to watch them develop and grow.”
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