Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rambis and Kahn are scouting Europe

When Kurt Rambis became the Timberwolves coach last August, president of basketball operations David Kahn had completed most of the moves that left only five players from the 2008-09 roster.

The timing is much better now for Rambis, who is following through on comments he made during the NBA regular season that he wants to be more involved in the team's offseason plans.

"I will be very active ... extremely active," Rambis said Monday after the first session of workouts this week at Target Center for players available in the June 24 NBA draft. "I understood there were a lot of business decisions made last year. This year we'll be making personnel decisions, and that's a huge difference."

Rambis traveled with Kahn to Chicago last week for the NBA's predraft camp. Rambis and Kahn are leaving town again Wednesday for an eight-day trip to Europe to scout point guard Ricky Rubio in the Spanish League playoffs and 6-foot-11 center-forward Nikola Pekovic in the Greek League playoffs.

Pekovic was a second-round draft pick of the Wolves in 2008. The 24-year-old native of Serbia-Montenegro is under contract one more season with Panathinaikos Athens and could be eligible to join the Wolves in 2010-11. Rubio, a first-round pick by the Wolves last year, has one year left on his contract with Regal FC Barcelona.

During the trip, Rambis and Kahn also are expected to make a stop in Serbia-Montenegro to visit free-agent center Darko Milicic, who indicated after his 24-game stretch with the Wolves that he's leaning toward returning to the team.

"The fact that Kurt is coming to Europe with me, I hope it's obvious to everybody how important his voice is in helping me shape this team," Kahn said. "It's more than just a voice. I think of him as a partner in this process."

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